This past week was New Zealand’s first ‘National Honey Week’. We love honey and honey bees around here and this time of year our garden is buzzing with activity as the bees feed on blue borage, sage, chive and thyme flowers. If you want to attract honey bees into your garden it is important to plant blue and purple flowers as they are particularly attracted to these colours. Honey bees are essential for pollination of many food crops so celebrating them and the sweet nectar they produce is a good thing.
The other thing my garden is bursting with at present is homegrown strawberries. This beautiful warm weather is doing amazing things for the garden with all of my vegetable plants well ahead of schedule compared to last year. Every few days I head out to the garden with my children in tow for, as my daughter puts it, ‘a strawberry session’. I must have said this once when we were picking berries and truth be told it really is ‘a strawberry session’ as none of the strawberries make it past the garden steps. Well, except for the bowl you see above. I managed to distract the eager little fingers away from the strawberry patch for a few days so we would have enough to make a little video. If they only knew!
The recipe I make in the video above is part of my Wild Tomato Magazine Christmas Lunch Menu. If you live in the top of the south island (New Zealand) be sure to pick up the December issue of Wild Tomato for my 6 page food feature. The menu is a simple lunch focusing on seasonal and local ingredients. As well as creating and writing the recipes I photographed the whole feature including this beautiful table spread. I am quietly rather proud of myself.
Video produced by my friend and videographer Fraser Heal (and the photos of me above).
This silky smooth dessert is lightly sweetened with honey and barely set to make a dangerously creamy and moorish dessert. Roasting the strawberries intensifies their flavour making this dessert one to remember. This recipe makes enough to serve 8 people so you could halve the quantities for less people, however, it keeps well for several days in the fridge for a sneaky dessert once the children are in bed.
1 1/2 sheets gelatin or 10g powdered gelatin packet (*see notes for vegetarian option)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean pod (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
4 heaped tablespoons liquid honey
2 cups thick Greek Yogurt
500g fresh picked strawberries (or 2 punnets)
1 tablespoon raw sugar
vanilla bean pod (reused from making the Panna Cotta)
Chopped pistachios to serve
To make a vegetarian Panna Cotta use agar agar flakes (a seaweed derived jelling agent). Use 3 tablespoons agar agar in place of the gelatin, adding the agar agar to the milk and cream mixture before heating as the agar agar needs to be boiled to be activated.
*This recipe is my entry for the “Cook Something Yummy With Honey” food bloggers competition to celebrate New Zealand’s first National Honey Week in association with Airborne Honey.