Cooking With Honey – Honey Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

How about some homemade treats for your little Goblin visitors?  These are tasty AND healthy!

Yield:  60 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet

Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in honey, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Beautiful Beekeeping – Carving Bee Pumpkins!

025

I love Halloween, especially the pumpkin carving. Last year I carved the bee pumpkins above!

It’s easy and fun!  All you have to do is find a template you like and print it out.  Below are some suggestions.  As you can see, your design can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. You can also design your own!

Remove the seeds, pulp and flesh of your pumpkin. Tape the template to the pumpkin and poke holes along the outlines. Make the holes close together so you can see the design clearly when you remove the template.

Then, carefully using a sharp knife, cut out your design. Add a light and enjoy your Bee-utiful Pumpkin!

575 Napoleonic Bee

Airshp-logo-PurpleBeeMark-src

bee a

]

bee2

bee d

beec

bee_design

Samhain And The Bees

The ancient Celtic calendar follows the agricultural year more closely than our modern calendar. This is especially true for the beekeeper.

It “officially” becomes Winter on December 21st by the standard Western calendar, but in the ancient Celtic calendar, it begins a lot earlier.  On November 1st, Celtic winter begins with  the season of  Samhain (pronounced SOW-in).  The beginning of Samhain is traditionally celebrated on October 31st.

The Celtic seasons  are:

1. Samhain    (Winter) November 1st, the beginning of the new year, to January 31st.

2. Imbolc    (Spring)  February 1st to April 30th

3. Beltain    (Summer) May 1st to July 31st

4. Lughnasadh   (Fall)  August 1st to Oct. 31st

Why does the Celtic Winter start so early?

For beekeepers, it means that the queen stops laying and the bees go into their winter cluster with the queen always at the center, huddling together for warmth until Imbolc arrives in February and the queen again becomes active.

For most “believers”, Samhain,  means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this day.

October 31st is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltain. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits.

Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning.

The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Celebrate the Lifting of the Veil with a Samhain Cocktail.

1 1/2 oz. Vodka

1/2 oz. raspberry liqueur

1/2 oz. honey

1 oz. cranberry juice

Mix together in a shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cranberry.