We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Cheese n' Bees

Cheese and honey ... and they do go together as you'll see! Remember those long-ago posts about my cheese-making adventures, way back in April/May? Well, that lovely old Gloucester and my Farmhouse Cheddar have been sitting patiently maturing since then. And now ready for the eating. Tim's parents brought us some cheese biscuits when they came in June, which made it even better. Cheese and biscuits!  I am still amazed ... it really was cheese! Even that carrot juice dye had proven itself with the hint of orange in the Gloucester! It looked like cheese, cut like cheese and really tasted like cheese. Amazing! I was prepared to be disappointed, but I really wasn't! Definitely this is something to do again, so I am delighted! My vote was for the Cheddar; the Gloucester, I thought, had perhaps a slightly acidic taste but it was pretty good really and easily delicious for cooking! I really could go on and on here .. I love this cheese adventure! Now I am convinced it is possible, I can't wait to do more! I would love to get some mature in time for Christmas!

Our cheese platter
Our other interesting project was rather unexpected on the night we arrived back from Kimande. Honey harvesting! (Louisa has written more about this on her blog ... it was a very good learning opportunity!) It wasn't great timing, but on Monday night, our night guard took the honeycomb from the hives in our garden, as he was thinking that the bees would have all the honey at this late stage. So we all traipsed to the bottom of the garden in the dark with our torches and watched as Mbwilo (wearing a mosquito net and my rubber gloves) smoked the bees out with a small fire of corn husks. He then collected all the honeycomb, loading it into buckets and brushed the combs clean with a sprig of rosemary.

Brushing the honeycomb
The next morning, there were three buckets of honeycomb to deal with. How?? Lucy and I got busy crushing the honeycomb up in the first bucket and then putting it all in a mosquito net. Yes, these nets really do come in useful ...and we do still have some on our beds! We hung the net up high and let the honey drip out into another large bucket. All day and all night. This morning, we took the net down and removed the crushed comb and bee remains and my next task is to figure out how to separate the beeswax. We've now just hung the second bucket of honeycomb to sieve. It is such a sticky, sticky job! Sticky honey all over me, up my arms, on my clothes, on my shoes and all over the floor! (This has been a really bad time for our washing machine to pack up!) And the bees! We have kept them under control with smoking areas outside. And then there are all the dead bees drowned in honey too. I guess it's not a bad way to die.

"Now, the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of is because you're a bee. And the only reason for being a bee is to make honey, and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it."

Filling the net with honey

Watching the honey drip through!

So what do cheese and honey have to do with each other? It's brilliant, really. I can use the beeswax to coat my cheeses. At least I hope I will figure out how to do it! But in the meantime it's time for a cheese sandwich ... or perhaps some honey toast!

1 comment:

  1. the cheese sounds loverleeee, well done team ��


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