Buzzing Around Brunswick County – Local Beekeepers and Their Efforts to Save the Bees

“We would like you to write an article on local beekeepers” my editor said to me earlier this summer. “Sure thing” I say.  Oh no, what did I get myself into, I ask?  I know nothing about bees other than they produce honey and bee stings.  Well, I was going to find out all I ever wanted to know about beekeeping, and then some.  My journey started by attending a local beekeepers meeting, and then scheduling interviews.

For the next several weeks, I visited farm after farm learning all about bee hives and the countless hours these beekeepers devote to protecting these tiny creatures.  Most beekeepers have the same thoughts about their bees. “They are like my children, they need nurturing, food and shelter.”

My story, and photographs, was just published in the South Brunswick Magazine, Summer 2017 issue.  To read about my journey into beekeeping, click on the link below.

Click here to read story:  2017 Summer SBM-Buzzing Around Brunswick County

Many thanks to all the beekeepers who gave up their time to school me in the “sweeter” side. And thanks for the honey!  Be sure to check out my recipe for Honey Thyme Shortbread which is included in the article.

Maybe I’ll see you around the bee hives! ~ Barbara

Figs are in Season! Try these Glazed Warm Fig Bars for a Tasty Treat.

In my younger days, one of my favorite cookies was Fig Newtons, and they still are a favorite today.  I wanted to try my hand at making my own, but I didn’t want the heavy texture of the original cookie.  Thanks to Pepperidge Farms and their Puff Pastry, I have found a way to get the taste of Fig Newtons, but with a flaky crust.  The recipe calls for dried figs, but since fresh figs are now in season, I cooked a batch of fresh figs and then drained them.  I did add some dried figs to tighten up the filling.  If you don’t have fresh figs, just follow the recipe (a link to the recipe is at the end of this post.)

Be sure to use local honey for this recipe for that taste of sweetness.  I will definitely make these again.

Homemade Fig Bars with Puff Pastry

 

Homemade Fig Bars fresh from the oven

Puff Pastry is my go-to pastry for these tasty treats.  If you do not like figs, try substituting any dried fruit; just follow the recipe on the initial cooking of the fruit.

Many thanks to Pepperidge Farms for their delicious recipes.

Recipe courtesy of Pepperidge Farms; click here:  https://www.puffpastry.com/recipe/glazed-warm-fig-bars/

Maybe I’ll see you in the kitchen! ~ Barbara

Blueberry Surprise … what could be the surprise?

Looking for a good summer read?  Check out Blueberry Surprise by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  A light, summer romance just perfect for those days on the beach or the front porch.  But what is the Blueberry Surprise?

The Blueberry Surprise is a light, moist tea bread made with honey, bananas and fresh blueberries.  You will have to read the book to see how this tea bread ties into the story, but what I can share is the recipe from the book.  Try to use local honey for a real taste treat and fresh blueberries.  Fresh from the farm ingredients can’t be beat for this tasty eats. Serve for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Maybe I’ll see ya around the farm ~ Barbara

Recipe for Blueberry Surprise

Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup honey
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and honey until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add bananas and mix well.  Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly.  Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into 9×5-inch loaf pan lined with waxed paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool, remove from pan, and gently pull away waxed paper.

Recipe from Blueberry Surprise by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

 

 

Farm to Table … Delicious Transparent Apples and Local Honey

It’s summertime, the bees are working the buckwheat fields and the apple trees are loaded with green transparent apples.  Guess it’s time to bake some tasty eats.

Transparent apples ripen in late June and early July here in the South (North Carolina.)  The fruit is medium in size and best picked when they are pale green.  They will ripen to bright yellow, however they will not be crisp, so pick when light green. The flesh is white, tender, and a bit tart; perfect for cooked apples or in one of these desserts.

Apple Strudel with Honey, Raisins and Walnuts

Apple Strudel with Honey, Raisins and Walnuts

The strudel is made with phyllo dough sheets, each sheet brushed with a mixture of honey and warm water instead of butter.  Of course, your local honey is the best for this recipe.  If you can’t find transparent apples, use a good baking apple, i.e., Granny Smith.  Gather your friends and enjoy this summer dessert hot from the oven.

For recipe, click here: Apple Strudel with Honey Raisins and Walnuts

Apple Phyllo Pie

Another way to use these summertime apples and local honey is to make this Apple Phyllo Pie.  Like the strudel, this pie uses phyllo dough sheets instead of pie crust.  The sheets are also brushed with a mixture of honey and warm water.  Edges of the phyllo dough are gathered and layered over top of the apples, very similar to a galette.

Apple Phyllo Pie

Apple Phyllo Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

And, it doesn’t get any better unless served warm with vanilla ice cream.

For recipe, click here:  Apple Phyllo Pie

Transparent Apples – Ripens late June to early July in the Southern states

Be sure to stop by your local farmer and support their efforts to bring fresh produce to your table.  Look for unusual ingredients and step out of your box to create tasty eats.  These apple dishes didn’t stay around our house very long as they were baked to be enjoyed at the moment.

Hope you will try one or both of these recipes.  See ya around the farm. ~ Barbara

“The Hive” – Oak Island’s One-Stop for Honey on Tap

The Brunswick Senior Buzz is a monthly publication from Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc. (BSRI) here in Brunswick County, North Carolina.  The mission of BSRI is to promote the well-being and enhance the quality of life for all senior adults in Brunswick County; by advocating for programs and delivering services that encourages and sustains independence and their continued participating in the community.

Last month I was asked to contribute an article about a local honey business, The Hive.  Owner Craig Connolly was kind enough to spend time educating me about honeybees and his store.  The June issue, with my article and photographs, hit the stands yesterday. Check it out … and be sure to stop by The Hive and give a wave to Craig.

June 2017 Issue

The Brunswick Senior Buzz can be found at local grocery and drug stores, as well as all Brunswick Senior Centers in Brunswick County, North Carolina.

See ya around the honey hive. ~ Barbara