Nature needs honeybees, we all do. Some of our healthiest foods depend on the honeybees for cross-pollination. Without honeybees, foods such as almond trees would no longer produce. The slow disappearance of the honeybee is a world-wide problem, with honeybee losses reported in Europe as well as here. (Plus it is a huge reason why the price of honey keeps going up).
Corn, wheat, rice and other grains rely on wind to spread their pollen. But honeybees are responsible for pollinating many other foods; favorites such as blueberries, apples, cherries, avocados, squash, broccoli, carrots, and more. I never realized how much rests on the tiny bee, and on the beekeepers that care and monitor the hives.
There are encouraging signs that we are starting to head in the right direction. Pesticides are being used less and less with more substitutes becoming available every year. More farms are going organic. And beekeepers are using more natural methods to deal with issues such as mite control. All these steps help keep the honeybees around, but you and I can do things that will help too, something we do every spring, plant flowers. Plant bee-friendly plants in your garden or backyard. Lavender, glory bushes, sunflowers, violets, and rosemary are some flowers and plants that attract honeybees.
Below are two delicious recipes that include honey as an ingredient. Try them, because I think you will like them. I also have my mother's Honey-Nut Cookie recipe and a Honey-Ranch Salad Dressing recipe in my collection. If you would like them also, send me a note and I will get them to you.
And lastly, if you have an urge for "a honey" of an ice cream, look for Vanilla Honeybee Ice Cream in the stores (made by Haagen Dazs); so good! A portion of the proceeds from each container other Haagen Dazs bee-built flavors will fund honey bee research at the University of California Davis and Pennsylvania State University.
Crunchy Pork Strips with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, panko whole wheat if possible
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg white, beaten
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut diagonally into half-inch thick slices.
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
Place bread crumbs, almonds, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender; pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip both sides of each pork slice in egg white, then evenly coat with the almond mixture. Place the pork on the prepared rack and coat on both sides with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 16 to 18 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk honey, soy sauce and mustard in a small bowl. Serve the pork strips with the sauce.
Tahini & Honey Dressing
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup tahini
2 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine lemon juice, oil, tahini, honey and garlic in a blender, glass jar, or medium bowl. Blend, shake or whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Good to hear from you
I was so interested in reading about the cakes, lamingtons. My son just got back from Australia and I saved it for him to read. He said you were right that these little cakes are all over. He is not a sweets lover so he didn't have any, but he said everyone else eats them. I love sweets so I am going to make them sometime as they sound delicious.
Thanks for the recipes for the leeks. I have been wanting to try them, and didn't quite know how to use them.
Lori-ann, Windham, N.H.
What kind of flour do you use, I mean the brand? My mother always used the store brand, but I have friends that swear by Gold Medal flour. Since you seem to do a lot of baking, I thought you would be a good one to ask.
Deborah, North Andover
I believe that people use their personal favorite. I use King Arthur flour because that is what the person used who I used to bake a lot with. But to be honest with you, my mother always used the store brand, and I, too, have friends that will use nothing but Gold Medal. Perhaps some readers will write in and let us know how they choose the flour they use and how it works for them.
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Patricia Altomare invites feedback. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write care of Gloucester Daily Times, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930.