Is it Spring or not? I’m afraid not. Up here in the Catskill mountains in the last weekend in April, winter has still not left us. Listen to our first podcast, a spring walk recorded over the weekend of April 25th and 26th, 2020. Saturday was filled with birdsong. However, Sunday we had snow, hail, and freezing rain, but your editor, narrator J.N. Urbanski still walked through the forest and waded through a stream to a waterfall to capture some ambient sounds of the countryside for those listeners stuck in quarantine in the city.
Click on the Sound Cloud link here to listen to the 21-minute podcast. Kick back and pretend your walking with Jenny and Alfie, the black lab mix.
As we enter month two of New York State’s Corona Virus Shelter-in-Place order, the two most important subjects here at the magazine have been the focus of the national consciousness: our food supply and the natural world.
Upstate Dispatch highlights the local farmers, producers and makers of these mountains who do back-breaking work to bring us our food, the farmers who drive every week into the city to sell in places like Union Square Farmers’ Market. Here in the Catskills we enjoy some of the most healthful food in the country. Never has it been so apparent that farming is one of the world’s most meaningful professions. Second, we are watching – some of us from afar – the gradual healing of parts of our environment as man stays home across the globe. It’s fascinating time in this fascinating part of the world: New York State.
Bee update: the bees left. They must have swarmed last winter because they left a honey super with seven frames of capped honey that had to be processed by hand this week. This took two days with one muslin bag and a sieve. It took four hours to clean up the kitchen. Sticky. We’re all in a sticky situation, so no change here. In fact, the empty frames are still outside in a big plastic tub waiting to be scrubbed.
This is Covid honey, not having been processed in a commercial kitchen and because of the all the finger-licking, probably will have to be eaten by me alone because I’ve no idea if I’m Corona-free or not.
I’ve produced about six mason jars of honey and about five pounds of wax and thinking of ways to eat all this sweet stuff. Breakfast every day is toast with honey using Bread Alone’s health bread – I have few loaves of this in the freezer. What else? Tea with honey, plus if you put a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and stir, this makes a healthful and tasty beverage. Well, maybe not tasty, but definitely makes you feel fantastic. Hold your nose and chug it down.
Recipe ideas welcome in the comments section. Please! Meanwhile, here’s what I did with some carrots. And then I ate the whole lot with a pint of Ommegang Rare Vos. Drink local!
Honey-Glazed Julienne Carrots
This recipe is really easy. Put two cups of julienned carrots in a skillet with a knob of butter and salt/pepper to taste. Personally, I don’t use either. I just don’t find it necessary because I use local vegetables and they taste great on their own. Stir over a medium-to-high heat for about seven minutes. If the carrots dry out, add a splash of cold water and then put the lid on so they steam for a minute. This adds water. If you do this twice in the first seven minutes, you’ll get a half-inch of buttery glaze that the carrots can steam in. After seven minutes, stir in a quarter-cup of honey over the carrots, wait a few seconds for the honey to liquify, and then stir well over the heat for the remaining three minutes. The carrots will be crunchy and sweet.