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Monday, October 11, 2010


bee pollinating lavender
Photo by: itsabreeze
bee. Of all the vocabulary in this work perhaps after water, the bee is the most important. Bees have been making honey (see miel) since time immemorial. (Incidentally, honey never expires. That found in Egyptain tombs is still good!) Looking at worker bees buzzing around nectar flowers and dreaming of scones dripping with honey are poets' delight but one must realize that venomous snakes kill less people in the world than honeybees. Further, it should be noted that these are females. Males are drones, i.e. they do not work. They remain in the hive to fertilize the queen bee. Once this is accomplished they are kicked out of the hive and starve to death. The queen’s fertilized eggs are laid. The first born destroys all the others in their cells. Then she reigns alone. Long before the discovery of sugarcane, civilization has depended on female bees for honey as a sweetener used in candies and desserts, also the pollen grains they collect are eaten by humans since the cavemen for better health. Bees' wax is used to make candles, polish wood floors and in cosmetics. Most important bees are responsible for are pollinating some 90 different kinds of crops, which reportedly make up for one third of the human diet. Some typical products since the Middle Ages resulting from bee pollination include: vegetables (eggplants, artichokes, onions), fruits, berries and nuts (orange, coffee, almonds), oil, seeds and grains ( canola, sesame, buckwheat), herbs and spices (lavender, mustard, black pepper), clover and alfalfa which affects livestock feed, i.e. meat and dairy. Grazing practices and parasites since medieval times and now environmental changes and pesticides are threatening the bees’ survival. What would mankind do without bees; what would it do with one third less food? Before telling a bee to buzz off think twice! [Conversations with Donka Avdaloff. Aug 11, 11; and Ency Brit. 1998:2:Bayeu:41:2b-42:1a]

For 4 persons


Apple Mousse (before adding mint leaves)
Photo by: Norwichnuts
1 1/2 lbs. apples, cored and diced
1-1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp rosewater*
1 tsp chopped lemon rind
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 lb. fresh dates, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts

to garnish:
mint leaves


Cook the apples with the lemon juice, rind, honey and rosewater until the fruit is soft. Add a little more rosewater if the mixture becomes dry. Let cool. In a blender, blend the dates and apples together until they are light and fluffy. Stir in the walnuts. Spoon the mousse into 4 dessert glasses and chill. Garnish with mint leaves.

*If roses not pollinated by bees, they are not fragrant.
**A creation of the Medieval Spanish Chef using honey and products pollinated by bees. Should bees disappear, this recipe wold also.

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