Sunday, July 15, 2007

Extractors, grease and blackberries.

Now that I have over 350 lbs of honey collected, it needs to move from the honey comb to a jar for sale and consumption. Beekeepers use centrifugal force to remove the honey from the wax comb.

The "gadget" used looks and works like this. Mine has been sitting for a while and was filthy! I removed the hand crank and pinion gear and loaded the barrel and cages into the truck and headed to town to a car wash. I plugged about $4.00 worth of quarters into the hopper and sprayed with every cleaning agent available. As I was returning home, I spotted the Lyon Farms produce stand with a big sign..."Blackberries". I then knew what would be the best part of Saturday night's supper. I picked three over flowing pints of huge, ripe, succulent NC blackberries and headed on home.

I unloaded the extractor and rinsed it thoroughly with fresh well water. I scrubbed any stubborn spots with an organic cleaner. I then rinsed the entire barrel and cages in white vinegar, and rinsed once again with lots of fresh water. I then let the whole contraption air dry and then began reassembly. Each moving part was rubbed with a very light coat of food grade clear grease and each bolt was torqued to tightness. By the time I finished all this, I knew there would be no honey in jars this day. I then moved on to plans for supper as my wife was out of town until early evening.

Chicken was on the menu. I cut four pounds of chicken tenderloins in half. Thinly sliced a medium Vidalia Onion and gathered a generous hand full of fresh basil, oregano and cilantro from the herb collection that grows on our window sills. I also passed by the fridge and grabbed a bottle of teriyaki sauce. I placed a layer of chicken in the bottom of a dutch oven, seasoned with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, sprinkled on 1/3 of the chiffonade of fresh herbs.
I repeated the process until I had about 31/2 layers. I then added 3/4 cup of teriyaki to the dutch oven. I cooked the chicken until it was 150 degrees internal. Served over steamed broccoli it is a quick and awesome meal. Next time, I will steam rice to add to the bottom of each bowl at serving.

The dessert was blackberry cobbler. I wanted a quick and easy cobbler without having to make a crust. I looked through several cookbooks and at FoodTV, but did not find a recipe I liked. As usual, when faced with this, I decided to "wing it". The crowd thought what I came up with was great and I plan on a serving for supper/snack when I finish this post. The recipe follows.

Jimmy's Quick and Dirty Dump Fruit Cobbler.

2.5 cups All purpose flour
3 cups Sugar
2.5 tsp Baking Powder
1.5 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Cornstarch and enough water to make a slurry
1 tsp Pure vanilla or one vanilla bean split and scraped
3 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
1 cup Butter
1 cup Water
Approx 2 cups Buttermilk
1.5 qrts Blackberries or other fresh fruit.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place butter in 3-4 qrt dutch oven or baking dish. Set in oven until butter melts and slightly browns. Watch CAREFULLY as butter will burn easily. Remove from oven and set aside.

Place water and 2 cups sugar into microwave safe bowl or large measuring cup. Heat until sugar dissolves and syrup boils, stirring occasionally. BE CAREFUL!! Pour HOT syrup over fruit and allow to macerate. After about 10 mins add lime juice and cornstarch slurry, mix.

Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add one cup buttermilk and vanilla..mix. Add enough butter milk until you have a thick batter...about like a cake batter. It may take more than two cups buttermilk.

Pour batter into buttered pan. Spread to fill entire pan. Dump fruit and syrup mixture on top and spread. Place in oven. Bake covered 35 mins. Uncover and cook until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 mins before service.

I could not wait until I finished the post. As I was writing about the butter in the oven my lovely wife delivered a supper size serving to me at my computer. Life is so good!!


  1. You amaze me! What can't you do? I'm definitely going to try that blackberry thingy.

  2. There are a myriad of things I cannot do, but there are very few things that do not peak my interest. That is why the greatest gift my parents gave me was reading. You can find a book about any topic and I learn best reading and doing at the same time.

    The cooking thing has been part of my family from childhood. Both my Mom and Dad are masters in the kitchen and they passed their love for food on to the rest of the clan.
    They still believe that every young man should learn to cook and cook well. They know most every young man will be a husband and father someday and cooking for a family can come in handy.

    You would NOT want me to help you with the mathematics on a complicated physics problem...I barely made it through.

  3. You do like your dutch ovens, huh?
    See ya soon. Tom

  4. Nice guide thank you!/ I love it! very creative! That's actually really cool Thanks.