Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who Loves Ya, Honey?

  Alright, let's see what new project we can start.  I still have some of those great vanilla beans I ordered - and this time, I'll share my source, later in the post.  I've been browsing, asking for suggestions, and some wonderful gals over at the Kittencal's Kitchen forums what to do with my vanilla bounty, and Swedish Chef and MaMere suggested this magical elixir called Love Honey. I headed over to check it out, and it sounded fantastic.  So guess what we're making today? 

  Love Honey!  This recipe has been scaled up for 12 oz from the original 8 oz, and I'm leaving out the cardamom from the source recipe.  I don't have anything against cardamom, mind you.  I just do have a thing against paying $8.50 for a bottle when I just need a pinch.  To check out the original, go visit EdsGirlAngie's recipe here:

Love Honey

12 oz honey
3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
2-3 pieces of lemon rind
1 vanilla bean
3/8 teaspoon ground ginger

  In a small pot, pour the honey.  Heat over low heat for just a minute or two.  In a jar, or in my case - honey bear, put the spices in.  Pour the slightly heated honey over the spices and seal tightly.  Store for 3-4 weeks before using to let the flavors blend.

Notes - Just a word on how I prepped my vanilla bean and lemon rind.  As per MaMere's advice, I took a sharp knife and just scored my vanilla bean with about 4 slashes.  And the lemon was done simply with a vegetable peeler, just taking the yellow rind.  Once you get down into the white pith, you begin to get very bitter flavors.  I enjoy a lemon flavor, so I went with 3 strips for my honey bear.

  The hard part? Waiting.  I'm really curious to how this tastes.  The spices were rich and heady just putting them into the container.


  Now back to the first vanilla project we started.  We're at day 21!  Wanna see how it's progressed?

  Seven days into our vanilla extract mellowing, and wow!  Look how much color our vodka has taken on.  It's becoming a lovely amber shade, and more beans have come away from the pod during the jar's weekly shake.  I was pleasantly surprised how it is matured already; I was not expecting to see this kind of coloring this early in the process.

  Today marks week 3.  The color has become richer and darker as time as passed.  I bet the flavor has, too!  Patience, grasshopper, patience.


  I realized much later after my post where I started my vanilla extract, I forgot to give you links to my supplier.  I purchased my vanilla beans on Ebay.  Yep, Ebay.  Now, hold up.  This is a very reputable vendor, that comes highly recommended: Vanilla Products USA.  They also have a website storefront, as well.  Vanilla Products actually has 2 separate stores on Ebay - one for vanilla, and the second for other things, although, there are some smaller packages of beans on the second account, which is where I bought my dozen Tahitian beauties.  (Seller - greenerdogjr)  (Seller - vanillaproducts)

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