Sunday, June 17, 2007

Maine Honey + Peaches

During the Presidents' Day holiday weekend back in February, we were invited up to A's family's farm in Maine. Five of us spent the weekend learning (or in A's case, teaching) to snowboard and feasting on incredible homegrown food. After three days of sausages and bacon from their own pigs, eggs collected each morning, fresh milk and cream from the cow in the barn, and bagels straight out of the oven with last summer's raspberry-rhubarb jam (and much, much more), I'm surprised that any of us could walk!

The morning we departed we were treated to an incredible cheesecake with glazed strawberries (all homemade, and a fabulous surprise as it was my birthday!), and we were each sent home, as if they hadn't been generous enough already, with a huge jar of exquisite honey from the beehives in their apple orchard.

So far, we have been fairly conservative with our jar of Maine honey. I want it to last as long as possible (honey keeps beautifully), and we can get good local honey from my favourite produce store, so I use that when I need more than a few spoonfuls. As A and S are visiting for the weekend, though, I thought it would only be fitting that we bring out the special stuff.

We're starting to see baskets of surprisingly tasty tree-ripened peaches around here, so this morning I sliced four large ones into thin wedges and drizzled 1/4 cup of honey over the slices. After letting the concoction macerate for 15 minutes, we had peach slices in a refreshing peachy-honey syrup.

The honey has crystallized in the jar and is perfectly good as is, but for this I wanted a smooth syrup. I was able to return the grainy honey to its liquid state using a trick I garnered from an old cookbook- by spooning a few lumps into a pyrex cup and letting the cup sit in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.

Note: Do note feed honey to children under 1 year of age.

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