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For anyone still floundering about with holiday gifts, don't forget Mead! Local meadmakes support local beekeepers. It makes a great gift and promotes our bees! http://www.necn.com/Boston/Business/2009/12/15/Move-over-eggnog-mead-is/1260913292.html

And for the industrious types: here's what I'm taking to my work holiday party:

Honey Caramels

1 cup extracted honey of best flavor, 1 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons sweet cream or milk. Boil to "soft crack," or until it hardens when dropped into cold water, but not too brittle - just so it will form into a soft ball when taken in the fingers. Pour into a greased dish, stirring in a teaspoon extract of vanilla just before taking off. Let it be 1/2 or 3/4-inch deep in the dish ; and as it cools, cut in squares and wrap each square in paraffine paper, such as grocers wrap butter in. To make chocolate caramels, add to the foregoing 1 tablespoon melted chocolate, just before taking off the stove, stirring it in well. For chocolate caramels it is not so important that the honey be of best quality. - C. C. Miller.
Notes from Erin Forbes:

For anyone who doesn’t know, CC Miller was a great American beekeeper, developer of the “miller method” of queen rearing (one of the best suited methods for sideline beekeepers) and author of “50 Years Among the Bees” which is hands-down my favorite beekeeping book.

For the Caramels:
Soft crack is approximately 275 degrees Farenheit. I used plain milk and doubled the recipe. This requires constant stirring while cooking and it takes a LONG time to get the mixture to temperature at a medium – medium-low setting – It took me over 45 minutes. Heat can not be too high as high heat will boil over or burn the sugar/honey. Use a LARGE saucepan if doubling the recipe.

These old fashioned caramels are well worth the work!
 

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Ha Ha Jack -
Good to see you on the Beesource before the holidays - and good to see you last month at SNEBA,
Hey, put the Maine State Beekeepers Association Annual meeting on your calendar for 3/27/10. Jennifer Berry is confirmed, I'm working on Cindy Bee.
It'll be fun, you should come up. I've Haddock with driving to Connecticut.

xo,
-E.
 
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