The Apiarist's Cake

As summer begins to fade and we settle into the back-to-school rhythm of things, the phrase busy as bees takes on a whole new meaning; closing pools, fall clean-ups and many outdoors chores. 

Eating locally made honey helps build your immune system. A bee keeper, aka an apiarist may manage a colony of bees that can have upwards of 50,000 members. But, the art of the apiarist is not only about making honey, it's more about the preservation business these days. 

I talked bees with J. Smith, who takes his bees very seriously. He is based in County Kerry, Ireland where he has devoted his life to preserving the species and is constantly spreading the word of the critical condition the bee population is in globally. The one thing he said that really stuck with me was his explanation of how the bee colonies "live together with a collective consciousness - something humanity should adopt." His honey is available for local merchants and markets; sustainability is paramount.

The perfect combination of locally made honey and citrus is what inspired today's post, as seen on an episode of GH Living it UP! Enjoy a slice of my Orange Honey Cake with a hot cup of Barry's Tea, a Good Stuff pick. BTW - this recipe is a really easy one to whip up for a impromptu gathering since you can make, bake and eat this cake, all in under one hour! Enjoy!

For My Orange Honey Cake Recipe

Put Some Joy Into Your Life

It's simple; with an ice cream cone. So much focus is usually on the ice cream, but the foundation of every ice cream cone is a good tasting cone. The Joy Cone Co. began it's waffle cone biz in 1918. It is now the largest cone making company in the world, baking more than a billion cones per year. They are using the same recipes that gave their cones the Joy label; making both sugar and waffer cones. Made in the USA. 

Family ties, attention to detail, and old-fashioned quality are the ingredients that make our cones a Joy to sample. We have built our company by making the best cones in the world.  Joy Cone Co.


Bucatini Spicy Tomato

Here's my quick spicy pasta to complement practically any protein; it's especially good with my grilled shrimp or grilled pork chops.

TIP: The key to the tasty sauce, use good quality canned tomato like San Marzano and serve pasta cooked al dente.

In a small mountain village in Abruzzo, Italy, one family has been making bucatini—thick, hollow, spaghetti-like pasta—the same way since 1867. They start with handmade semolina dough, shape it using a handcrafted circular bronze die that "rough cuts" the pasta, (which results in a texture that allows sauce to cling), then allow it to dry slowly for up to 48 hours at a very low temperature in order to bring out the true artisan flavor. Available at Dean & Deluca.

George's Spicy Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 cups |

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup chopped pancetta

10 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/2 chopped onion, chopped fine

1/4 cup prosciutto, chopped fine

2 cups canned plum San Marzano tomatoes, crushed

1/4 cup dry white wine

2-4 teaspoons hot pepper flakes

10-12 fresh basil leaves, lightly torn

Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a saucepan and heat the olive oil.  Add the pancetta and cook until it becomes light brown.  Add the garlic, onion and prosciutto and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, white wine, hot pepper flakes, basil and black pepper, stir well and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  You can regulate the spiciness of the dish by adding more or less hot pepper flakes.

Suggested Pasta: 1 pound Bucatini

Heat a large pot of water and cook the Bucatini according to package directions.  Make sure to drain the pasta very carefully, shaking the colander to discard any water remaining inside the Bucatini.

Return the pasta to the cooking pot, add the sauce, mix well and serve in deep bowl.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Morning Mate Unplugged

The Chemex Coffee Maker is so simple to use. I've been enjoying my Chemex all summer long. It reminds me of food chemistry class—yes, there is a science to this coffee making madness. I pair my Chemex with filtered water and freshly ground Columbian Supremo coffee beans.  It amazes me how many people I know can talk about making a good cup of coffee. BTW, Chemex made my Good Stuff pick!

Read on about the invention of Chemex and the intructions for making an exceptional cup of coffee.

About the Maker |

     The Chemex® coffeemaker was invented by Peter J. Schlumbohm, Ph.D., in 1941.  Schlumbohm was born in Kiel, Germany in 1896.  He received his doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Berlin.  After several trips to the United States, he settled in New York City in 1936.  Over the years, he invented over 3,000 items for which he was granted patents.  However, his coffeemaker and carafe kettles were his most long enduring inventions.

     Being a doctor of Chemistry, he was very familiar with laboratory apparatus and the methods of filtration and extraction.  He applied this knowledge when designing his coffeemaker.  He examined his laboratory glass funnel and his Erlenmeyer flask and made modifications to each.  He modified the laboratory funnel by adding an "air channel" and a pouring spout.  He added the "air channel" so the air displaced by the liquid dripping into the vessel could easily escape past the laboratory filter paper, which was to be used in the funnel as the filter media.

     To the well of the Erlenmeyer flask he added a protrusion, which looks like a bubble.  Consumers have often called it a "belly button."  This is a measuring mark, which indicates one half the volume that is below the bottom edge of the handle.

     He then combined the modified glass funnel with the modified Erlenmeyer flask to create a one-piece drip coffee maker to be made of heat proof, laboratory grade, borosilicate glass.  Last, he added a wood handle and called the item a "Chemex®," which was a fabricated name.  All that was needed then to brew the coffee was the coffee, hot water, and filter paper.

     Schlumbohm designed the water kettle, or carafe kettle, three years later.  His goal was to create an attractive yet simple and fabulous vessel.  Again he chose heatproof borosilicate glass as the material.  He designed a boiling kettle which has no lid, but which is nevertheless almost completely enclosed.  The "steam stopper" prevents the steam from coming into contact with the upper portion of the neck.  Thus, this portion remains cool and is used as the handle.

     Over the years, these items have been recognized as outstanding examples of American Design.  In 1956, the coffeemaker was selected by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the best-designed items of modern times and it was the only coffeemaker so designated.  The coffeemaker and the water kettle are in the permanent collections of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum and the Corning Museum located in Corning, NY.  The coffeemaker completed a traveling exhibition tour of a number of countries in eastern Europe as part of the "United States Information Agency's Design in America Exhibition."  In the fall of 1989, it toured with the "Design, USA" exhibition to the former USSR.

Chemex® Brewing Instructions

1.  Open the Chemex-Bonded® Coffee Filter into a cone.  One side should have three layers.  Place the cone in the top of your coffeemaker with the thick portion toward the pouring spout.

2.  Using Regular or Automatic Grind coffee only, put one rounded tablespoon of coffee per 5 oz. cup into the filter cone.  If you prefer stronger coffee, use more; there is never any bitterness in coffee brewed using the Chemex® method.

3.  When the water is boiling, remove it from the heat until it stops boiling vigorously.  It should now be at about 200ºF, a perfect brewing temperature.  Pour a small amount of water over the coffee grounds, just enough to wet them without floating.  This is important because it allows the grounds to "bloom," so the desirable coffee elements can be released.

4.  After this first wetting simply pour more water, soaking the grounds each time, but keeping the water level well below the top of the coffeemaker.  Once the desired amount of coffee is brewed, dispose of the spent grounds by lifting the filter out of the coffeemaker.  And that's it!  You are now ready to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee!

Tea Brewing Instructions

     Follow the instructions for brewing coffee.  In place of coffee, measure in your favorite loose tea, one level teaspoon for each cup.