Slainte! Red House Honey’s Robbie Burns Night

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#redhousehoney

Red House Honey celebrated Robbie Burns Night a little early…after all, they are already celebrating in Scotland, so why not? As our magnificent haggis, procured from master haggis-makers at Glebe Meat Market, roasted in the oven, we put on our kilts and trotted out our 20-year-old Talisker Scotch whiskey, bought on a previous trip to that eponymous fog-shrouded village in Skye.

Bringing out the Talisker

Bringing out the Talisker on Robbie Burns Night

One powerful, peaty shot is enough to warm the cockles of your heart (and everything else) for hours. Drizzling some Red House Raw Honey atop the “great Chieftain o’ the puddin’ race” one of our number leapt atop the table, sword in hand, and recited the Address to the Haggis (well, at least the first three verses).
Then, toasting the venerable overstuffed sausage, garnished with pan-roasted potatoes, kale, marrow and onions, we carved it up and fell upon it.

Not entirely a conventional Robbie Burns evening, but a delightfully tasty one.

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Red House Honey’s Cranberry-Honey Mmmmmuffins.

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#redhousehoney. Red House Honey’s Cranberry-Honey Mmmmuffins.

Red House Honey's cranberry muffins. Made with raw honey. Mmmmmmuffins!

Red House Honey’s cranberry muffins. Made with raw honey. Mmmmmmuffins!

My grandmother used to make these as a winter treat, baked right in her wood-fired kitchen range. Try them yourself!

RHH Cranberry-Honey Mmmmuffins:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup RHH raw honey
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh, unsalted butter
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (from two oranges)
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups fresh, cooked cranberries, chopped

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, honey and sale. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Combine orange juice and grated rind with well-beaten egg. Pour all liquid into dry ingredients to mix just enough to damped. Carefully fold in nuts and cranberries. Spoon into greased muffin tin (makes 12). Bake in a 325-350 degree F. oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on size of muffins. I have a “hot” oven, and small muffin tins, so I turn the temperature down a little and bake them for less time.

Allow to cool ever so slightly, drizzle more honey on top, and enjoy!

Red House Honey’s Excellent Peruvian Adventure

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Red House Honey’s Excellent Peruvian Adventure #redhousehoney @redhousehoney06

Traditional Peruvian Vinyard

Traditional Peruvian Vinyard

Red House Honey visited Peru this December, spending Christmas Day at Macchu Picchu and mastering the art of the Pisco Sour.
Beekeeping is alive and well in Peru. Bees are kept even at the very high altitudes of the Cusco region
(11,000 feet) and beyond. Bees forage on many local plants including avocado, orange blossoms, and eucalyptus (though this latter is not indigenous). While investigating local wines and pisco (a by-product of the wine production process) RHH stumbled upon an the Mis Girasoles Apicola (apiary) in the tiny village of Catapalla, in Lunahuana district in the hills about three hours drive from Lima. RHH purchased four delicious jars of honey, two of which broke in a suitcase on the way home, conveniently covering two exquisite Quechua tapestries. Fortunately, alpaca wool is tough and strong. The honey washed out and aside from a strange dog smell throughout RHH’s laundry room, all was well.

Incan Agricultural Terraces, Pisac, Peru

Incan Agricultural Terraces, Pisac, Peru

Avocado honey is dark and extremely pungent, even more so than buckwheat honey. It said to be good as an expectorant, a wound dressing, as a disinfectant and a laxative. It also tastes great. This information is related on the product label, putting Peru so much farther ahead of Canada in their knowledge of the many beneficial uses of honey.
Eucalyptus honey is golden in colour and not so pungent in taste but still very sweet and somewhat nutty.
The hives we saw were placed in a rocky, arid area high above the valley floor, probably to escape flooding and predators, at least those on foot. Condors, with their three-metre wing span, are not an unusual sight in these valleys, though with a reproductive cycle in which they produce a chick every 3-5 years, and only after females reach the age of 25, their numbers are decreasing.
Alpaca and llama wander everywhere in the high regions, with women and children, often barefoot, watching them from vantage points. The women are inevitably weaving a gorgeous tapestry of bright colours. Spectacular Inca ruins are everywhere, many of them unvisited and only partially excavated.
Peruvian people, particularly the highland Quechua, who made up the Incan indigenous labouring class, are polite, friendly and proud of their culture.
It was a great time. RHH can’t wait to go back.

Incan Circular Experimental Agricultural Terraces, Moray, Peru

Incan Circular Experimental Agricultural Terraces, Moray, Peru


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