Thank you again to those of you who have reached out with encouragement and understanding! Yes, the blog is definitely proving to be a cathartic writing experience, marrying stories and food and everything in between. We are nearly at the very peak of tax season now so this is about as stressful as it will get. Compared to last year, I am noticing that while we are working on a lot more projects that are deadline driven, our communication as a team has improved greatly.
We have to celebrate small victories!
Now if only this mini-cold can let go of me. I must have gotten it from Anna, who probably caught it at school or at the pool. Thankfully, she’s feeling better and I’m at that in between stage of… I’ll either feel better, or feel much worse by the end of the day. The magic of Karpathian honey is helping me for sure… spoonfuls at a time. Having no signs fever helps, especially since I’m heading up to Boston later this week to help Michael with work. I’ll definitely get to see snow this weekend, even if it’s from our busy office!
Speaking of honey… there are so many varieties and for those who use it often I’m sure you’ve developed a flavor that you enjoy. For example, Anna will gobble down clover honey sticks right before a race, but those are more for fun. She actually likes the classic “teddy bear” honey. Hello, Anna? We have the best honey produced from our land that is floral and delicious, yet she’ll take the teddy bear that has so little flavor. I admit buying the clover honey sticks online at Amazon since Anna and her swim friends fuel on those during swim meets (thanks Amanda for suggesting honey stix to me!). But there’s something unique about enjoying tea with a spoonful of honey that is from a place you know…
The Karpathian honey from our land is called “thimarisio,” which is from thyme and wildflowers. It’s rich in color and flavor with a gentle tang. It’s part of my private stash here in the kitchen… just like the Karpathian salt and olive oil, the honey is also hard for me to share. I wish I could just bring more with me. Generally, the way you can test pure honey is with a spoon… I love doing this, it’s mesmerizing! Just lift a spoon slowly up from the honey until there is a single thin line. It will get thinner and thinner as you pull the spoon higher. If the flow is steady, the honey is pure. If it separates or drags then it’s been mixed with sugar.
So, one of my favorite fun recipes that I enjoy doing on my own and with Anna (kids love this!) is honeycomb candy, or sponge candy. You can make this with maple syrup too, but good honey works the best I think. Easy and fun to make, honeycomb treats are tasty and fun to share!
MAD HONEYCOMB CANDY
Prep time: 5 minutes – Cook time: 10 minutes – Yields: 1 batch of candy
1.5 cups of sugar
1/3 cup of dark corn syrup
1/3 cup of your favorite honey
1/3 cup of water
2 tsp of baking soda, SIFTED into a small bowl (have this ready before you start)
4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate, melted (optional for coating)
Have a lightly greased baking sheet ready on the counter.
Over low heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water in a large saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved in the mixture. Place a candy thermometer in the mixture (affixing it on the side of the pot to secure it) and increase the heat slightly. The mixture should boil at about 270F. LOWER HEAT as soon as the temp is 270F.
The key here is to maintain the temp at 270F so this means lowering the heat as much as possible. At this point you don’t have to keep stirring… just maintain the temp at 270F for about 13 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on the thermometer.
Once 13 minutes are up, be ready to stir quickly as you can as you toss into the mixture the baking soda. This will look like a science experiment! The more you stir fast the more the mixture will bubble! Take off from the heat and IMMEDIATELY spread the hot liquid onto the baking sheet. BE CAREFUL and don’t let kids do this part as the mixture will be super hot and can cause some serious burns if not handled correctly.
When the mixture is spread out, let it cool until hard to the touch. Break apart with your hands. Once completely cooled, you can dip one of the flat sides into the chocolate. Yummy!