DAY 7: BEE STOMACH(S) and SWEET BRUSCHETTA and UPDATE

UPDATE – A notable cuisine magazine discovered the Tennessee Artisan Honey Bar Facebook page and called to request Artisan Creamed Honey samples. Can’t wait to hear how they like the cardamom infused Sourwood creamed honey.  Wish me luck by posting your favorite flavor of creamed honey.

Bruschetta-Cheese_s4x3RECIPE 7 – SWEET BRUSCHETTA is a flavorful surprise that changes with each variety of honey.

INGREDIENTS: ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil / 3-4 cloves garlic, minced / 1 French baguette, sliced on the diagonal into ½ inch slices / 1 lb Gorgonzola cheese or a mild goat cheese, very thinly sliced / 1 cup honey

DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl or cup, mix the olive oil and garlic together, then spoon or brush on one side of each slice of bread. Place these slices, garlic side up on a cookie sheet under a medium broiler until the garlic begins to turn slightly brown. Don’t overcook. Remove from the oven and put a slice or two of cheese on top of each bread slice and return to the broiler just long enough for the cheese to soften, but not melt. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle your honey over the top. If you’d like, use two or more honeys for variety. The honey should puddle on the cheese and run off just a little for effect. Serve while still warm.

SOURCE: A National Honey Board recipe as interpreted by Kim Flottum for the Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook, Quarry Books 2009

Bees transfering nectarDAY 7 – HONEY BEES have two stomachs and one tiny drinking straw called a proboscis to suck up nectar from flowers. Nectar flows into the two very different stomachs within the bee. Some nectar goes into a bee’s main stomach to digest for food and energy, the rest of the nectar goes into the “honey” stomach. Stomach enzymes start to change the nectar into honey even as the foraging bee is flying from flower to flower and back to the hive. When the foraging bee arrives on the landing board she is met by a younger bee; the two bees connect their proboscis to exchange the nectar. The foraging bee leaves for another “belly full” of nectar and the younger bee walks deep into the hive to deposit the nectar into a honey comb cell. While the second bee is walking the nectar enzymes in her honey stomach continue to process nectar into honey. The honey will continue to cure in the hive until it is ready for a third bee to cover the cell with wax.

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