Honey from the comb

There is nothing my mother loves better than good honey straight from the comb. She first found it in her Christmas stocking, toted up north from Wellfleet, the year I brought it from Rich's farm stand down the road.

This year, she sought it out, pulling in to check Sheila's carefully stocked shelves each time she passed the stand on her way out for a visit. "No luck," she'd say; Rich's was out of honey.

She found some finally at the Common Ground Fair, combs packed tightly into a small plastic box. She tried a box from the local coop, too, and a farm nearby, but when she spooned it out onto her fork, it was never the same. They were all too waxy, less delicate, and not quite so sweet.

So when I spotted the comb honey at Crow's Farm in Sandwich the other day, I had to pick some up. I packed two boxes into my brimming paper bag, and tucked one away for safe keeping. At home, I opened the other at breakfast. Popping in a piece of bread, I pulled out the butter and settled in to wait.

When the slice emerged toast, I carried it to the table and began to spread. First butter then honey melted into the grains, salty yet sweet and lingering long on the tongue. I can't say for sure, but I think it's as good as Sheila's honey. I'll have to wait for Christmas to get the last word.


Serves 2

Slice 1 Granny Smith apple very thinly. Slice 4 pieces bread, and put in to toast. When hot, spread each with 1 tablespoon blue or other soft cheese and 1 tablespoon honey from the comb. Layer with apple slices and eat warm.


Anonymous said...

Oh my...I think I know what I might be getting for Christmas this year! It's true, I haven't yet found a honey that equals what Elspeth gave me last year. Thank you for looking out for my tummy, Elspeth!
xoxo, Mama

Anonymous said...

have you tried either mel hammond or john portnoy in wellfleet for comb honey? both have very high quality honey products.

Elspeth said...

Hi Irene:

No, I haven't! I've had Mel Hammond's jar honey, but didn't know he offered it in the comb. Any tips on where to find it?


Anonymous said...

hi backatcha,
when i learned beekeeping from mel (maybe 10 yrs ago), he did have comb honey available. also at that time, it was perfectly acceptable to just give him a call to ask for any honey product. comb honey is a bit of a specialty product, and he may not produce it anymore, but it would be worth a phone call, 508.349.9459 (he is an older gentleman and somewhat hard-of-hearing, just so you know). he is a wealth of knowledge, an inspiration to listen to, and should be a great source for a story for you. his honey is sold at the orleans health food store, and perhaps his comb honey is there, too.
also, did you know there is a cape cod beekeepers club that meets in barnstable, and teaches beekeeping--another possible story for you! and certainly a source for comb honey (your mother may be overwhelmed with it!)
by the way, i am the person you procured the ground cherries for. the pie was indeed delicious! seed for these plants is available at johnny's, and, once planted, i believe that it behaves a bit like a weed, maintaining an ongoing patch where it is planted.
thanks for all the great stories and information.

Anonymous said...

elspeth,you are right. comb honey can be special.I envy you being able to find it .hugs, biee

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