Bee-widow.

The book, A Cook’s Tour, describes near-disaster cooking Professional MasterChef Champion Steven Edwards’ honey cake and how I managed to make every surface in the San Francisco kitchen sticky.   But I still love using the sous-chef’s home-produced honey in many dishes – even the staple crumble mix.

But there’s a price to be paid: the house permeated with smoke when the bees need inspecting; masses of studying, meetings and training away-days; the tap-tap of his hammer making new frames for the hives.   I suspect that, at the price its sold, shop-bought honey takes less effort and is more likely to be imported.   One friend was thrilled to buy a jar of “Farm Shop honey” until she read the back-label: Produced in China!

His bee-suit can be challenging.   It needs regular washing to avoid bugs and other nasties cross infecting the bees.   He wants everything that comes near them to be clean and healthy.   But, with no chance of a separate bee washing machine, sometimes there are other bits of clothing in the drum when the bee-suit goes in.   He takes care to close all the Velcro which could catch the odd sock.   However, such attention to detail didn’t prevent a bra covertly hooking on to the fabric.   Discovery was pure luck or he’d have been out in the apiary, trailing an ample female undergarment!

The last cooking demo included these very quick Chocolate brownies: https://www.pennymelvillebrown.com/recipes/chocolate-brownies/ which are full of wickedness but were devoured at the last beekeepers’ gathering.   I’ll try them with honey next time.   I’ve also included a gluten-free sweet potato, date and cranberry version https://www.pennymelvillebrown.com/recipes/sweet-potato-date-and-cranberry-brownies/ sent by friend Rosemary in Australia.  She hosted me in her Kiama home while I was on my prize-winning world tour and I was introduced to lemonade scones, authentic bush-tucker and an Iranian barbecue feast.   All the recipes are in the book and there are links to the demonstration videos we made on location: www.pennymelvillebrown.com.

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