Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rosemary Infused Honey

 I 've been busy as a bee the past couple of weeks preparing for opening day of the farmers market that I manage here in my home town. It takes months of work, hundreds of phone calls, and thousands of emails to get the farmers market ready for business each year. I helped build our local farmers market from the ground up. It took well over a year of planning just to get it off the ground. Last summer was our first season. It was so gratifying to see those tents go up and the people in our community line up to buy fresh produce from our local farmers. I feel very strongly that we need to support our local growers and think more locally when it comes to eating.
Having a year of experience under our belts, made planning and executing this years market a little easier. The best part, for me, of managing the market is getting to know so many of our local farmers and producers. They are a wonderful hardworking and independent group of people. I look forward to seeing them each week and love buying what they've grown. It's so nice to have a face attached to the food your eating. 
The Beekeepers Association has a booth at our market. Each week different beekeepers run the booth and bring along the honey they've collected from their bees. They encourage their customers to sample the different honey. It's amazing how the honey for one grower tastes completely different from that of another grower. Their hives may be only a few miles apart, yet have a completely different taste and color.
I can't help myself, I always buy too much at the market. I end up having to freeze, or can, or throw a party, to use up everything I've bought each week. I decided, since I had quite a bit of honey, I'd try infusing some of it with herbs and see what happened. I went with rosemary this time because I think that rosemary and honey are a terrific combo and because I have the world's largest rosemary bush. Seriously, it's like some mutant plant or something. Anyway, I used the quick method of infusing my honey. With the slower method, you don't heat the honey at all. The herbs slowly over time infuse the honey with their flavor. The honey has a longer shelf life if you use this method, but I'm too impatient to wait several weeks for the honey to be infused! So I used the quick method. It's quite easy and I loved the end result. Rosemary is perfect with honey. I've already used this honey in so many things: salad dressing, drizzled over cheese, on fresh fruit, and in my marinades. It would be perfect in place of regular honey in the grilled figs I made here.

Quick method for infusing honey with rosemary

1 cup honey (such as clover honey)
a good sized handful of rosemary

Place honey in a double boiler with water in bottom. Squeeze rosemary
leaves to release flavor and add to honey. Bring water to a boil; bring
honey to 185°F and keep at 185°F for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and
let stand for 10 minutes. Strain while still warm. Strain into a clean glass jar.
Makes 1 cup. Store in the refrigerator. Honey should be good for several months.
Stop by your local farmers market and pick up some local honey and infuse some for yourself.
P.S. Infused honey would make a great gift.


steph said...

I am going to the farmers market this weekend - I'll look for honey. I am growing rosemary - this looks great!

grace said...

there are certainly worse places that you could be splurging. :) i'm a fan of the rosemary, and this is a nifty creation!

bellini valli said...

You will find me at our local farmers market every Saturday morning without fail. We have a beekeeper as well so you may just find me incorporating some of my patio herbs.

Juliana said...

Wow, honey and rosemary..will definitely try since I have both around :-)

Barbara said...

Congratulations on all your hard work getting the farmers market off the ground! Supporting local growers is so very important!

What a fabulous idea infusing honey with rosemary. That piney fragrance with the honey would be divine!

Eliana said...

I absolutely love rosemary so I can imagine how great it tastes in honey over cheese.

this free bird said...

mmmmm. i'm gonna do this pronto! thanks so much.