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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Creamed Honey and Seed Saving

Having extracted the honey yesterday the next step was to cream it. Such a surplus means it will be ages before we get through it or give enough away and rather than let it crystallise with age we crystallise it ourselves but into fine crystals that taste terrific. We kept one jar of the previous creamed honey as the seeding material.

A few small jars of natural honey is bottled for gifts and as a comparison to the creamed product. The rest is mixed with the contents of the seed material jar for an hour on the pedestal drill with a squirrel mixer and then bottled predominately into small jam jars kept from when we ate jam.
Natural honey kept as samples

We don't eat jam any more preferring to have the fruit and fibre fresh or if desperate for a sweet flavouring either honey or dextrose (in moderation).

The previous batch of creamed honey now out of the fridge

By the time the mixing and filling and cleaning is completed another half day went by.
Creamed on the left and natural on the right

This time rather than use the cheese fridge to keep the honey cool while the crystals form we activated the bar fridge someone gave us that has an adjustable thermostat allowing us to keep the honey at 14 C for two weeks.
In the refrigerator for setting

While I was fiddling around with honey Jean got stuck into seed saving. Samples of various tomatoes we grow have been soaking for a few days and now she washed and sieved and lay the seeds out onto paper to dry.
One batch of seeds drying with the oyster opening gear in front

The rest of the seeds drying with a sprouting carrot top and some Avocado seeds
We also went through our tomato planting plan for next year over morning tea. Too many varieties are being grown. Some were eliminated on taste and others because they didn't do well. Usually we give them a couple of attempts before dropping them but today we were having an aggressive clean out. And still next July when we look at the issue again we may add some back or come across yet another one to try.

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