I visited Mark out in the candle/honey shop yesterday and as always, I enjoyed looking at the bucket o’ beeswax, thinking about how that bucket you see below turns in the lovely creations we take to market, ship out in orders and gift to others. How amazing, right? That’s cappings you see in the bucket – this is what is sliced off the tops of honey frames during honey extraction. The bees seal up each honey cell once they have dried out the honey to their liking. Remember the 80/20 rule? If a frame in a honey super is about 80% sealed, it means the honey is pretty much ready for harvesting. Anyway, we have to remove that capping in order to open up the cells so that the honey will sling out when the spinning extractor is turned on. The cappings sit in a tub that allows honey to drip off into a tub that we later filter to remove big chunks of wax as well as bees who have gorged themselves silly on honey (what a way to go). But not all the honey is completely gone so when we melt down the cappings and run it through the micron filter to remove dirt and debris, there is enough honey left in the wax so that when you light our pure beeswax candles, you will smell the sweetness of the honey. It’s very subtle (unless you are like me and light about five at a time, or ten during winter months) and does not overwhelm a room like traditionally scented candles might. We love it and we love it when customers come back to pick up more as gifts because they enjoyed their candles so much. Great feeling. Still, I’m just always amazed that this is what it looks like at one point in the process. Of course, it makes me think of cookies and I want to just grab a glob of it as if it were cookie dough. Sigh.
Today during lunch, I treated us to a delicious new sweetness I’ve been wanting to try since I saw it last week. I picked up some delicious figs at the Quarry market Sunday and while they are quite delicious just washed and quartered, today I caramelized them in the skillet and then put them on my plain Greek yogurt and then added a big of Gonzales honey on it all. Oh. My. I liked it. Mark liked this fresh fig and liked the caramelized figs even more. We love finding new ways to enjoy honey and we also appreciate the opportunities to try new foods – wouldn’t be happening so often if we weren’t at market. Yay for local farmers we meet! I got these from 9-1 Farm at the Quarry. Fernando is super nice and hard-working, like everyone else. Can’t wait to tell him how much we enjoyed his figs. I’ve gotten lots of other produce from him in the past, including that super awesome purple cauliflower. Loved it. Can’t wait for it again next year. Tomorrow’s fig adventure will include comb honey and Brie!
This was the finished product this afternoon. I adore fig preserves so that’s going on my list to learn and we’re wondering where we can plant a fig tree or two on our little Bee Ranch. 🙂 Just a random comment about figs – I was at HEB today after work and I noted there were no fresh figs to be had. Made me wonder why they didn’t have any.