I’m not sure if we truly enjoy beekeeping, or use it as an excuse to visit the Garlicks to spin our honey each fall.
Puppy sisters Molly and Lucy enjoyed a happy reunion.
And Dean teased Erik incessantly about our beekeeping skills.
We were terrible beekeepers this year. Ignoring them all spring, we paid one little summer visit and promised to come steal honey in the fall. Still, we were rewarded with twelve frames heavy with honey.
It takes some time to scrape the wax off each frame and place them in the spinner, which gave Mary plenty of time to play in the rain with the puppies.
Such helpful puppies, cleaning all the honey off the table.
It looks like I’m making them pose, but really they are standing on the platform to keep the spinner steady.
It does make for good photos.
While the boys watch the spinner, we make tomato sandwiches with Lisa. French bread, thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, Gruyere cheese and a drizzle of honey across the top. Heaven.
The boys scrape every last bit out of the spinner.
One puppy is sweet;
two can be overwhelming.
Really, we could just sit and laugh with the Garlicks all day. They are friends who are family. We love them more than we can possibly express.
At home, even before we bottled our own honey, we made a batch of Lisa’s famous honey caramels. It’s fun to watch people eat these. They politely take one, begin to chew and their eyes widen. Civilized people, even those who have sworn off sugar, sneak handfuls of caramel into their pockets, purses, up a sleeve. I’m not kidding. You’ve never tasted caramels until you try these.
Honey Butter Caramels with Sea Salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
2 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
1 cup chopped pecans
Line the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9 in baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Let the sides of the foil or parchment hang over the sides of the pan; this will make it easier to remove the caramels.
In a large saucepan (use at least a 3 quart saucepan, as the boiling caramel will increase in volume), combine the corn syrup, honey, sugar, and sea salt, and bring to a boil. Let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches 305 degrees F.
Meanwhile, place the cream in a small saucepan and warm on the stove until it is just at a simmer. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan to keep the cream warm (you do not want to add cold cream to the hot caramel or it will seize up and harden.)
When the caramel is at the right temperature, take it off the heat and add in the butter, stirring until it is melted and combined.
Add in the cream slowly – when you pour it in it will bubble up violently, so don’t add the cream all at once or it might overflow. When you have added all the cream, stir the mixture until combined.
Return the saucepan to the stove and cook on medium heat until it reaches 250 degrees F.
Pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Sprinkle lightly with a little more fleur de sel. Let it set overnight before removing and cutting into individual pieces. Recently, I ordered these wax paper squares from Amazon.– so much easier (and less expensive) than cutting up a roll of wax paper.