DAY 19: HONEY BEE DRONES and HONEY BRAN WAFFLES

FACT 19 – HONEY BEE DRONES – aka Male Honeybees – Drones are the product of an unfertilized egg; so technically, a 250px-Drone_24adrone only has one parent, the hive queen. Drones do not have stingers to defend themselves, but they are groomed and fed by female worker bees until they are needed.

Drones serve two purposes in the hive – historically to mate with a virgin queen from another hive and within the confines of modern apiary management, as bait for Varroa mites. Drones die in one of three miserable ways: (1) immediately after ejaculation or (2) immediately after being pulled from their pupae cell by a beekeeper who is counting Varroa mites or (3) at the end of the forage season when the female worker bees push the majority of drones out onto the landing board to die of exposure. The hive is a rough neighborhood for the male gender. More on Honeybee drones tomorrow.

RECIPE 19 – HONEY BRAN WAFFLES are a wonderful distraction from all this snow. Ahhh!

wafflesINGREDIENTS: Whisk together ¾ cup all-purpose flour / ¾ cup whole-wheat flour / ½ cup coarse bran / 2 tsp baking powder / ½ tsp salt / ¼ tsp baking soda – Whisk together 1 ½ cup buttermilk / 1/3 cup honey – try Sourwood for its woodsy flavor / 4 tbsp ( ½ stick) unsalted butter, melted / 2 large eggs / ½ tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS: Preheat your waffle iron. Preheat oven 200*F if making a large batch.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a second bowl. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk them together, mixing just until combined. The batter will be thick and bubbly. Spoon a rounded ½ cup batter (or more) onto the hot iron. Spread the batter to within ¼ inch of the edge of the grids, using the back of a metal spatula, wooden spoon, or ladle. Close the lid and bake until the waffle is golden brown. Serve immediately or keep warm in a single layer on a rack in a 200*F oven while you finish cooking the rest.

SERVE WITH: Try these delicious waffles with sharp Cheddar cheese and Cinnamon or Orange infused Artisan Creamed Honey

SOURCE: Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker. Published by Scribner – original copyright 1931, my copy 1997 and still my go-to cookbook.

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