Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Chicken, Mushroom & Asparagus Orzotto

Our asparagus is doing very well this year. This is our second round of asparagus from the garden. We still need to buy about twice as much as we pick to get what we want, but it's gratifying to see how the bed is improving. Of course the asparagus beetles have found it too, which is much less gratifying.

I have been on a chicken kick lately and it doesn't seem to be over yet. It does go awfully well with spring vegetables like asparagus and spinach.

4 servings
3o minutes to assemble; 1 hour advance prep

Chicken Mushroom and Asparagus Orzotto
Cook the Barley:
1 cup pot or pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water

As ever, I prefer to cook the barley in my rice cooker. Dump the above ingredients in, turn on, walk away. Set the cooked barley in the fridge until wanted.

However, it could be cooked on the stove top as well. Put the above ingredients in a pot and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the water is just absorbed. Watch carefully towards the end to avoid scorching. It can be stirred occasionally if it seems necessary.

Make the Orzotto:
500 grams (1 pound) diced chicken
500 grams (1 pound) asparagus
shiitake mushrooms
2 cups diced green onions or other oniony stuff
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
1 teaspoon rubbed savory or basil
2 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil
4 to 5 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

The chicken can be cooked or raw; this will only affect when it gets added to the dish.

Wash, trim and slice the asparagus into fairly dainty bite-sized pieces. Set it aside.

Trim the stems from the shiitakes - I set them on a dish to dry and save them to use in making stock - and slice the caps into ribbons.

You can use green onions, leeks, garlic greens, even wild leeks if you can get them. If using garlic greens or wild leeks I would not add garlic; otherwise peel and mince a clove or two.

Heat the chicken fat (prefered) or oil in a large skillet. If your chicken is raw, add the pieces to the pan now and cook them until lightly browned. Add the oniony stuff and cook down for a minute or two. Because it is green juicy stuff at this time of year I would not aim to brown it. Add the shiitakes and continue cooking and stirring well for a few more minutes. Add the garlic, if using, and cook for a minute more.

Add a good ladleful of stock to the pan, then mix in the barley. It's best to break it up with your hands to keep it from clumping. Once it is in, continue cooking the dish over medium heat, adding chicken stock as it is absorbed by the barley, and stirring frequently.

When most of the stock is in, and the barley has reached a slightly soupy/creamy stage, add the cooked chicken (if that's what you've got) and let it heat through. Then add the asparagus pieces and any remaining stock. Cook, stirring regularly, until the asparagus is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the sherry and the finely grated Parmesan, mix in well and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Last year at this time I made Beet & Radish Salad.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Yeah, Yeah, I'm Still in the Garden

The pace of the gardening continues, although we are about to have to take a couple of days off as my father, his partner and my aunt are coming to visit this week. Time to clean the house instead!

This bed has been seen before, full of lettuces. There are a few remaining that will be pulled and eaten in the next week or two, but most of them are gone and chiles (peppers) and eggplants have been planted in their place.

All the spinach has been cut in the bed behind them. By the end of next week this should be planted with melons.

Beans are starting to come up. You can see a huge difference in the different varieties, and how quickly they germinate.

This strange looking bed is an experiment in potato growing. We laid down newspapers on the grass and filled it with compost.

Mr. Ferdzy dumps in the 12th and final wheelbarrow full of compost. The 4 foot by 16 foot bed took a bit more than a cubic metre of compost for the first layer - that's a lot of dirt and we will need a lot more. We've planted long-season potatoes in it, and as they come up we will cover them with more soil and add more boards to the side to support it. The idea is, we hope, to triple our potato crop.

The boards we are using are rough spruce (?) otherwise known as construction strapping. It's the cheapest wood we could find. The potatoes we have planted are Russet Burbank (a personal favourite) and German Butterball, which we have not grown before. They were chosen because they have a long growing season, which is another way of saying they are indeterminate plants - they will keep producing potatoes as long as they can. Short season potatoes are determinate. That is, they will produce a set amount of tubers then declare themselves done. They are not suitable for this kind of growing as no amount of hilling up will encourage them to produce more.

The other thing our reading tells us is that once shoots appear above the soil, you have 3 days to cover them with more if you wish to change the stems to roots, that is, more potatoes. Otherwise it will be too late and they will stay stems even if you bury them. We have decided that we will check the potatoes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and cover or partly cover stems with dirt. Our goal: a two to three foot deep bed loaded with potatoes! Will it work? Stay tuned!

We planted tomatoes last week when the weather forcast showed no nights below 10°C. The weather forcast was wrong. We immediately had 2 nights at 6°C and as we are in the bottom of a valley we know their forcasts can be for higher temperatures than we actually get. Up went the hoop-house covers for a couple of nights. Tomatoes appear to be doing very well. Those hoop-houses are so handy.

These feeble looking little sprouts are sweet-potatoes. They are small but actually quite healthy and doing well. Looking forward to them taking off as the weather warms up.

And we finally tackled one of our two horribly overgrown beds. Here is the before picture - Mr. Ferdzy is just starting to string a line around it to redefine the edges.

While he did that, I pulled out all the remaining leeks in the bed. Man, we got some really gorgeous leeks. Leek and potato soup coming up!

Once all the weeds were pulled we dug a trench around the outside and put in plastic edging. We don't want it to get back into that weedy state again!

And finally, there it is - dug over, weeded, edged and planted with five kinds of bush beans. Now we just have to do the same with the ex onion bed. Planting is winding down. There's the melons and corn to plant, and then the last big task is to dig three beds in the wetter part of the garden. It's been too wet to do it! But that will allow us to put in our pumpkins and squash, celery and leeks.

We've been getting a surprising amount of rain this year. We've had to do some watering but not too much yet. We planned to put in the "wet" beds to deal with our semi-perpetual drought, and so of course we aren't actually having it at the moment. So it goes. Anyway, more work to do...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Yogurt Panna Cotta

This was so good! Even Mr. Ferdzy liked it, which surprised me a little because it's full of yogurt which is not his favourite thing at all. But it was so good! The texture was lovely; not quite as gloppy as pudding, or as set as custard, or as thin as plain yogurt but somewhere in the middle of all those. Very delicate.

I served it with stewed rhubarb with juicy raw orange segments cut up into it; delicious. That was the first serving though. For the second time we had just a little of my slightly runny homemade apricot jam and that was excellent as well. I'll be making this again... quite often, I think. Apart from the need to make it in advance to allow it to set, it was very quick to make.

4 to 6 servings
15 minutes prep time; 3 hours or more to set

the juice of 1/2 lemon
2 1/4 teaspoons gelatine

1 extra-large egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon very finely grated lemon zest

2 cups plain yogurt

Put the lemon juice in a small bowl, and sprinkle the gelatine over it. Let it rest while you continue.

Put the egg and milk into the top of a double boiler, or into a heavy-bottomed pot. Whisk well until completely blended. Add the honey, salt and finely grated lemon zest. Heat the mixture slowly, whisking or stirring constantly, until it is hot and steaming and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and mix in the lemon juice and gelatine until completely dissolved.

Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes, then mix in the yogurt. (If it is too hot, the yogurt may separate.) Ladle the mixture into individual serving bowls, then chill them until set.

Serve with whatever fruit sauce you like; as mentioned, I used stewed rhubarb and then jam. But a strawberry, blueberry or raspberry sauce would be lovely - just cook the prepared fruit briefly with a little sugar or honey. Applesauce or pearsauce would be good.

Last year at this time I made Spicy Indian Style Mushrooms.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Asparagus & Wild Leeks

I've been trying to break my habit of refering to wild leeks as ramps. Nobody around here calls them that, and I get very blank looks when I say "ramps". Unfortunately, my introduction to them was not from local eating, but through American reading, so I am stuck sounding foreign, at least on this one topic. But whatever you want to call them, they are delicious with asparagus. And yes, I finally got some! I don't know how much longer they will be around though. So eat up!

4 servings
20 minutes prep time

450 grams (1 pound) asparagus
12 to 16 large wild leeks (or more, if you can get them)
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Wash and trim the asparagus, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. On the diagonal is nice. Wash the wild leeks and trim any roots off the white bulbs. Cut off the white bulbs, and cut them in half if they are large. Set them aside by themselves. Roughly chop the remaining stems and green leaves.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the asparagus and the white wild leek bulbs, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 or 4 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of water if they are starting to brown in spots before they show any signs of getting tender, but don't add to much, and do let them get a bit brown in spots.

Add the soy sauce, and cook a minute or so longer, until it has evaporated or soaked into the vegetables. Add the leek greens and cook for just a minute or two longer, still stirring and tossing constantly, until the greens are limp and soft.

Serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Frog Soup.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Crazy Time in the Garden

The next two weeks are crunch time in the garden. Almost everything should be in the ground between now and around June 1st. There are a few things that can go in after that date, but not much later if you expect to get a harvest by fall. In other words we need to get out there and dig. (Not that we haven't been!)

Right now lettuce and spinach are still going strong from last year's fall planting under hoop houses. However, they will have to be pulled right around June 1st and replaced with the melon, cucumber, squash and tomato plants that are growing in pots inside right now.

That's actually an easy job compared to some. This bed, for example, needs a touch of weeding. Okay, really it nearly has to be completely re-dug. We are making a concerted effort to get most of the beds edged in plastic this spring, and this is why. It's expensive, but it removes three-quarters of the work of weeding the beds between crops. This bed is particularly bad because it contained onions, which are a crop that stays in the ground for a long time, allowing the twitch grass plenty of time to move in and make itself at home. How long do onions stay in the ground? Well, I planted them last spring and I am still pulling out quite a few! But they will all have to come out in the next couple of days.

On the other hand, progress is being made. This bed is ready to go and contains snow-peas. We have learned some things since last year, and made some changes.

The trellises now have braces along the bottom as well as the top, to hold the strings. Last year we just attached them at the top and let them hang down. This worked well for a while, but as soon as we had some windy weather (i.e. not long) the peas caught the wind and and the whole mass of vines would shift and end up hanging mostly over the paths.

Also, last year we planted the peas in blocks, from one side of the bed to the other. This year we have put taller peas in blocks down the middle of the bed, and shorter peas in blocks on either side. The hope is that this will allow the peas in the middle to get more sunlight and produce more peas, and that it will be easier to pick peas in the middle of the bed as well.

The tall beans have also been planted - I am worried a touch too early, given how chilly it has been - but the trellises still need to have the strings put in place. We are still planting these in blocks across the bed mostly, rather than keeping tallest ones in the middle. Beans seem to be more open plants than the peas, and we didn't have as much problems with reaching the middle as we did with the peas. However, we have added the bottom bracing here too. There is one section where we planted shorter beans; they're in the spots without bottom bracing, on the outside of the near bed.

Meanwhile, the bed next to this one is still fairly full of leeks, and like the ex-onion bed is a mess. As soon as it's cleared out and edged, it will be planted with short bush beans.

We tried starting a lot of greens inside, early, this year and they were mostly a failure. The one thing that seems to have made a good transition to the garden is the chard. We had it under the hoop house for a little while, but it is getting warmer and it seems to be settling in nicely, so it's been exposed to the elements for at least a week now. The leaves it had when it was planted are going to die off, but it is definitely forming new ones so while it doesn't look all that great I think it is actually fine, and we should have Swiss chard at least a month ahead of last year, in spite of the much slower start to this season.

Not shown; our carrots are actually germinating not too badly this spring. It helps to have had some actual rain. I hope a little more is on the way! I was talking to a waitress in a local restaurant about the general lack of rain in Meaford, and unfortunately, she was able to confirm my theory: rainclouds get stuck on the edge of the escarpment on the west side of town, drop their rain, and then move over our area without dropping any rain on us. She lives halfway up the hill, and says she often sees it raining on the other side of her road - while her garden is left high (er, low) and dry! Yikes! So we are working on the idea that water will always be in very short natural supply in our garden and we will have to find ways to make watering easier and more efficient.

Asparagus is doing so well this year you can almost see it in a picture! As ever, and in spite of being edged with plastic last year, this remains our worst spot for weeds. The perennial nature of asparagus makes it hard to weed, and having once been allowed to be completely engulfed in weeds, the weeds are in some ways better established than the asparagus. However, they are not completely out of control and again we feel like we are making some progress.

We started soooo many onion seedlings this spring we ran out of places to plant them! So we stuck them on the plains at the foot of Mount Manure. We'll take our manure from the other side of the mountain now, and see how onions do in lots of manure. Yes, right now they are such feeble little grass-like strands that you can hardly see them. Hope that changes!

And finally, our largest and most daunting project for the year. Off to one side of the vegetable garden is a long narrow field. Unlike the rest of the property this is close to a creek and stays wet, not to say soggy, for a long time in the summer even without rain. We decided we would try to put four beds in here for the vegetables that like the most moisture. Unfortunately, there's a catch: the soil here is very, very, very different from the nearly pure sand of the higher garden. This is nearly pure clay, and it's a horrible job to dig it. We hope to raise the beds a bit with sandy topsoil from higher up along with manure, but in the meantime, the beds have to be dug. This was also never really a lawn, and the field is full of little shrubs that have been mowed for years. They don't look like much above ground, but they have massive root systems that must be dug out.

So far we have just one bed dug, which has also been trellised and planted with peas. Three more to go, ugh. Triple ugh. Not looking forward to it. I'm also not expecting a great crop from these beds this year, but I am hopefull that after a couple seasons of working on them they will actually be very good, rich moist beds.

Well, I guess you know where I am today, and all week too. I could have an enforced day off tomorrow if it rains, which it might. Let's hope so! Although on the other hand that's one less day to get things planted... hmm, typical gardener: never happy (although I am, really.)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Chicken & Asparagus Salad with Lemon, Chive & Mustard Dressing

This salad started off with me looking in the fridge to see what could be tossed together for a quick lunch. I had some chicken breasts left from the last batch of chicken salad, and also some asparagus - the first batch of the year! I always think that the "real" new year starts in the spring, and the date is the arrival of the first asparagus. The proper way to celebrate the changing of the seasons is, of course, to eat some asparagus!

Anyway, what else: lettuce from the garden, an apple, a bit of celery, and a few other odds and ends; a pretty ordinary salad really. But the dressing! We thought the dressing was great, and really tied it all together.

2 servings
30 minutes prep time, plus time to cook and cool the chicken

Make the Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
1/2 cup very finely minced chives
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
the juice of 1 large lemon

Clean and mince the chives, and mix them with the mayonnaise. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Be sure to wash the lemon well before grating the zest. Once around the lemon should give you about the right amount.

Set the dressing aside to rest while you make the salad. It does it no harm to be made in advance and refrigerated when you do the other advance cooking for this salad.

Make the Salad:
2 medium (375 grams, 3/4 pound) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
350 grams (3/4 pound) asparagus
4 cups torn up lettuce
2 stalks celery
1 medium apple
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped almonds

Poach the chicken breast in a little water until just cooked; about 15 minutes. (See previous recipe for more detailed instructions) and let cool.

Wash, trim and cook the aspargus until just tender, and rinse under cold water until cooled. Drain well, and cut in bite-sized pieces.

Wash, dry and tear up the lettuce, and arrange it on 2 plates. Wash and chop the celery and apple (discard core) and arrange them over the lettuce. Sprinkle the cranberries and almonds over the salad, and finally top with the asparagus and chicken.

Drizzle with the salad dressing. This is perhaps more than will be required for 2 salads, but any leftover should keep in the fridge for at least a couple of days.

Last year at this time I made Spinach with Feta & Dill and Garibaldi Biscuits.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Chicken Salad with Fruit & Quinoa

I don't often buy chicken breasts, but I bought a large package this week and so it's been chicken salad ever since. This is a favourite from way back when. Sometimes I mix a little mayonnaise in with the leftovers and put them in a sandwich - pita is good.

The instructions make it sound terribly time-consuming but it really isn't. Some of it just has to be done in advance. It keeps pretty well too. If you know you won't get to the leftovers right away, you might put parsley just in the part you expect to eat immediately, and add more to the rest as you eat it. That'll help keep it fresh and perky.

6 to 8 servings
20 minutes advance preparation; 20 minutes to finish

Cook the Chicken:
3 large (750 grams, 1 ½ pounds) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 bay leaf
a pinch of salt
1 ½ cups water

Put the chicken in a pot, in a single layer, and add the bay leaf, salt and water. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over halfway through the cooking time. Let cool and refrigerate.

Cook the Quinoa:
1 cup white quinoa
1 2/3 cups water
a pinch of salt

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, and drain well. Put the quinoa, water and salt into a rice cooker. Turn on; cook; let cool.

You can do this on a pot on the stove as well. Bring the quinoa to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Soak the Dried Fruit:
1 cup water
12 to 16 pods green cardamom
1 tablespoon peeled, chopped ginger
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups mixed dried fruit

Snip or cut up the dried fruit into small bite-sized pieces.
Put the water in a medium-sized pot. Crush the cardamom, and peel and chop the ginger. Add them to the water, with the honey. Bring to a boil and boil, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid, pressing the cardamom and ginger to extract as much flavour as possible, and return the liquid to the pot. Discard the ginger and cardamom. Add the dried fruit to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, turn off the heat, and let the fruit sit for about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Finish the Salad:

1 large or 2 small navel oranges
1 large or 2 small apples
3 or 4 stalks of celery
1 cup finely chopped parsley
the juice of 1 large lemon, or a bit more
salt & pepper to taste

Peel the oranges, and chop and de-seed the segments. Wash and chop the apples. Wash and chop the celery and parsley. Use more or less parsley depending on how much you like parsley (and have on hand). I like it quite a bit, so I use lots when I have it.

Chop the cold chicken breasts.

In a large bowl, mix the chicken, oranges, apples, celery, parsley, dried fruit with their soaking liquid, and the quinoa. Add the lemon juice. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as required. If you would like it a bit more tart, the juice of another half lemon may be added.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Pasta with Spring Spinach Pesto

Okay, here I am. I haven't just been sulking, I've been crazy busy.

As soon as I stopped posting, the weather improved and we've been in the garden almost non-stop ever since. We are still way, way behind where we would like to be. I'll post about that a bit later.

Meanwhile, this is something I've been playing around with this spring. As you see, it's pretty flexible. Almost all the measurements are fairly approximate, and you should emphasize whatever elements you like. In particular, the cheese you use will make a difference. I've mostly been using some nice creamy chevre, but any soft cheese should do. The spinach gives it more body than a regular pesto, so it can go on thicker too. Some sliced asparagus added to the pasta at the end of the cooking would go well.

I would have liked to use some wild leeks (ramps) in this, but I haven't seen any around here this spring. I haz a sad; the world is plainly going to hell in a handbasket. I know, I know; shut up already, and eat.

4 servings
20 minutes prep time

450 to 500 grams (1 pound) dry pasta

6 to 8 cups spinach
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped onion greens
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sunflower, pumpkin or nut seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons rubbed basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
salt as required - depends on the cheese!
150 to 200 grams soft creamy cheese
1/4 to 1/3 cup light cream or chicken broth

a little grated Parmesan to serve over the top

Put a large pot of salted water on to cook for the pasta.

Wash and pick over the spinach, and rinse it again. Drain well, and chop coarsely.

Wash and trim the onion greens. You can use onion tops, wild leeks, garlic tops, leeks, chives; whatever greeny oniony stuff you can get your hands on. Again, chop them coarsely.

Heat the butter in a large skillet, and cook the onions until soft. Add the well-drained spinach and cook it down. Meanwhile, put the basil and cheese into the bowl of a food processor. When the spinach is soft and completely wilted, add the spinach and onions to the food processor, and whizz until well chopped. Add the cheese, and process again. Add the cream or broth, to make a loose, flowing but not liquidy sauce. Taste, and adjust the salt.

Toss the cooked, drained pasta with the sauce. If you are cooking capellini, it should not go into the boiling water to cook until the sauce is ready. If you are cooking regular pasta, done in the 9 to 11 minute range, the pasta should go in to cook as soon as the onions go into the pan with the butter.

Last year at this time I made Pizza with Asparagus, Mushrooms, Fiddleheads & Ramps, and Fried Onion Rings.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


I don't believe I will be posting for the rest of the week. I am grieving the loss of my country. I have never been so glad that I have no children. See you later.

A Honey Tasting

For the last couple of years, whenever I have seen an interesting locally produced honey for sale, I've bought it. Mr. Ferdzy's brother and sister-in-law were here for the weekend, so we decided it was time to haul out our honey haul and compare and contrast it.

From left to right, we had melon honey from Thames River Melons, lavender honey from Prince Edward County Lavender, cranberry bog honey from Iroquois Cranberry Growers, treeflower honey from Sunnyside Honey, blueberry honey form Parker-Bee Apiaries, and a mixed wildflower honey from Beaver Valley Gold. Somehow I forgot to get any buckwheat or clover honey! Still, that's an impressive selection of local honeys - bet you didn't know there were that many.

The suggestion was made to pair the honeys with cheese, so that's what we did, along with bread and a salad from the garden, and a few pickles and preserves. It was interesting to try the honeys with different cheeses. Some combos we all agreed on, others were an individual preference, but it was amazing how the different cheeses and honeys combined in very distinctive ways. Some combos were fantastic, others were not so good.

So, what did we think?

The first honey we tried was the treeflower honey. This was produced in the spring of 2009, when we had a long cold spring (a bit like this one, actually). Because the flowers were so slow to emerge, the early bees had to forage from the usually wind-pollinated flowers of trees. The resulting honey was astonishing. Not overly sweet, but perfumey, in a woodsy rather than a floral way, with a flavour that seemed like it was going to head into menthol, or horehound, or something intense like that, before turning around and finishing sweetly. This went with most of the cheeses, but nobody liked it with the smoked cheddar.

Because of the requirement for precise climactic conditions, this is not a honey that will be available every year, and few people are likely to have it. Still, it's rather fabulous and if you see it, it's worth snatching it up.

Next we tried the melon blossom honey. It seemed much sweeter, but with a unique flavour. It was less complex than the treeflower honey, but was still very deep and rich in flavour; almost caramel-like. We thought it went particularly well with a maple-flavoured cheddar from Black River Cheese.

The cranberry bog honey, too, was sweeter than the treeflower honey, and lighter, brighter and more acidic than the the melon blossom honey. It seemed a little less sweet than the melon blossom honey, and it paired really well with the smoked cheddar.

The lavender honey was the one that had the most detectable flavour of its source blossom - but it was still very faint. This honey seemed intensely sweet, and it was the lightest in colour of any of the honeys. I liked it with a soft creamy chevre.

There was some detectable berry flavour in the blueberry honey as well, although it was even slighter than the lavender. Like the melon blossom honey, it had some caramel flavour to it, although it was overall a lighter and more acidic honey, but with a good lingering finish. We liked it with a goat gouda from Monforte, and with the smoked cheddar.

Finally, we tried our standard everyday honey, which is a wildflower mix. It suffered a little from overfamiliarity, at least in Mr. Ferdzy's assessment. I actually think it is a superb honey, second to none. I have always loved the honey from the Georgian Bay/Muskoka area. The flavour is rich, well balanced, and complex but not heavy; almost changing from moment to moment perhaps because it contains such a mix of nectars. Our wine expert (Mr. Ferdzy's brother) described it as having a good long finish, and it's true; it does linger, sweet and a little perfumey.

I've always wondered why there isn't apple-blossom or peach-blossom honey. I asked a honey vendor in the Niagara this question once, and was told that the early honey was left for the bees, and the late summer honey was the one that was harvested. But since I was able to get the treeflower honey, obviously it doesn't have to be done that way. I do wonder what those honeys would be like, and I hope I will find someone who has some sometime. Has anyone had any other local honeys? What did you think of them?