|Mystery revealed...what in the world IS this stuff?|
If you follow me on Instagram (wait, you don't? click here!), then you saw that I posted another version the above picture. I didn't tell you what it was...until this post.
It was HONEYCOMB!
Wait a minute...that isn't exactly accurate...
It was roasted honeycomb...freshly cut from the tree in our front yard...with...
Seriously? Let me describe it...it was surprisingly salty (though, my friend did sprinkle it with salt on both sides...but not that much). It was chewy. It was crunchy. It was...sticking to my teeth. Instead of the honeycomb stuck to my teeth, I was pretty sure it was larvae membranes sticking to my teeth. How's that for earthy-granola-cuisine? I feel so green right now.
How in the world did we get fresh honeycomb? This guy...
|Our courageous new friend, honeycomb in hand.|
One of our friends invited her husband to come over a few days ago to help us out with yard work. He pruned trees and picked weeds and such. While watering the grass, he happened to look up and notice our large beehive up in one of the front trees (not in the one Run normally climbs, praise the Maker)! He assured me that he could cut it down for me and get the honey. Who am I to argue? So, I let him! He grabbed the ladder, hiked up his shirt collar, and found some gloves and a motorcycle helmet for extra protection. After soaking the bees with water from the hose (whaaaaa?), he said the bees' wings would be too wet to fly much and they wouldn't bother with him during the harvesting. He was so right. Not one sting.
|Cutting the honeycomb to reveal the goodness inside...|
|How beautiful is that? I can't believe that honey was just hanging in our front yard!|
Half of the comb was filled with this gorgeous honey! How's that for organic, un-filtered, raw honey? Over toast or a bagel...aaah...I am drooling.
|Muscle-power to squeeze the honey out of the comb.|
All he did to retrieve the honey was to squeeze the comb in his hands and catch it in a big bowl of ours. The kids all ditched school to watch the whole process with me. Seriously, who has time for addition facts when this is going on?!
|Our new friend was so full of joy that the kids fell in love with him instantly...and...he gave them fresh honey, so I am sure that doesn't count against him, either!|
The squeezing wasn't too meticulous of a job, so the honey comb, leftover bees and stick parts had to be filtered out...
|Separating the honey. I just happened to have a honey jar lying around, actually. Though, maybe I should re-label it to "100% Pure Thai Honey."|
When this was over, my friend (the wife) said that the honeycomb would be delicious if I roasted it. Of course! Why didn't I think of that? I had fresh honeycomb before and loved it...roasted would be even better. Boy, was I surprised of what was hiding inside this other part of the honeycomb...
|The honeycomb before baking. I saw a few larvae poking out, but had no idea that when it roasted (a truly heavenly smell, by the way)...that the comb would turn into this...(check it out below)...|
|It is like the larvae swelled up and were just popping out of the comb. My friend was thrilled. I was scared. Honesty, people.|
After just ten minutes of roasting, we had this honeycomb to share. My friend tasted it, I had some, and the boys each tasted it as well. They didn't like it, per se, but I am impressed with their desire to be adventurous eaters. They challenge me, most of the time, to eat things that I would never dream of liking. Asia is changing our views of what is "normal." That is one of the huge benefits of being here...we realize that our worldview and opinions on most things are heavily influenced by the culture we're around. It makes me wonder what kind of men (and woman) they will be. I am excited!
|After we roasted the comb, our new friend took the remaining comb he had squeezed honey from, reattached it to the original branch, rigged it back up into the tree, and didn't get bit. Even once. Astounding!|
Our friend's husband reattached the old comb back to the same main branch because he said that if the queen bee hadn't left yet, that the whole swarm would be attracted to the honey there and start another home. I had no idea! This time, instead of wishing the bees would just go away, I am sort of hoping they'll stay so we can recreate this adventure again and get more delicious, free honey.
|The hoard of bees waiting to reclaim their place. I actually hope they stay!|
That was the end of the adventure that we never planned...right in our own front yard! I wonder what the next one will be like...