Tales from the Hives of the Big Island, Dove Shaped Easter Cakes from Italy - chefshop.com/enews

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In this issue:
Big Island Bees


fennel pollen

colomba apricot dove

albertengo classic dove
colomba cake

italian cake delice primavera
just plain cake

fruit colomba fabulous filled frutti
colomba dove cake

lemon colomba sorrento lemon
our standard to judge all others

colomba About Albertengo
Do NOT hesitate to purchase this Lemon Panettone!!! I LOVE Lemon Panettone and Sorrento Lemon Panettone-Albertengo is THE BEST!! The luscious flavor is so lemony, the texture is soft and moist and the candied fruit is soft and chewey. I will buy no other Lemon Panettone as I've found the best! I've ordered 4 this year (2010). I intended to give a couple as hostess gifts but I'm re-thinking that idea, ha ha ha. nancy

Shop Now for easter italian dove cakes!

Big Island Bees honey Big Island Bees
Tales from the Hives

As we take a walk amongst the mac nut trees in search of the perfect bee picture on the Big Island, we also learn about the life and times of bees and beekeeping on modern-day Hawai'i. Here are our Tales From the Hives.

Walking in the macadamia nut groves in hawaii grove of nuts we forget how great our jobs can be. As the holiday season passed, and as we prepped for the unknown of the year to come, we were able to take a quick trip to The Big Island of Hawai'i.

This is where our friends, who make Big Island Bees buzz, Garnett the beekeeper and Whendi, the artist, who fills the jars with island wonder, reside.

The Drive:

With typical Island graciousness, they took a day out of their busy lives to take us out to the hives, where the bees were pollinating the great Macadamia Nut Orchards for the big nut farms of Hawai'i. It was wonderful! To see the trees and to see the hives was a very special experience. We met up with Garnett and Whendi early one morning at their warehouse, in the Capitan Cook area just south of Kona.

We loaded up into two vehicles, children and all, and headed north towards Volcano National Park. Garnett and Eliza in the lead truck, Whendi and I not far behind in our rental van.

Although we were headed for the Mac Nut trees, as we rounded a bend in the road, we spotted Garnett and Eliza driving back towards us with lights flashing. A quick text back and forth told us that Garnett had spotted some early blooming O'hia Le'hua along the side of the road. We quickly turned around and doubled back - pulling over to the side of the road.

Though Garnett's bees weren't going to feast on Le'hua trees for another few months, we got to see them in their early stage of bloom. To understand the Magic of the O'hia Le'hua tree, Garnett pulled a flower off an O'hia tree and shook it gently over his hand. (See the photos here) I had never seen anything like it before! ohia-lehua-blossoms-nectar A few stamens fell onto his hand - along with giant drops of nectar. These drops of sweet liquid are the nectar that the bees will soon turn into honey. Eliza put her hand out to catch a drop or two, and she ended up with a huge hand full! Which she quickly licked up - so sweet!

Pélé turned the warrior, O'hia, into a tree when he refused to marry her because he was in love with Le'hua. Le'hua was so sad at the loss of her lover, that the gods turned her into the blossom of the O'hia tree so that O'hia and Le'hua would be together forever.

The legend states that if you pick a flower from the O'hia tree, it will rain - the tears of the lovers. Most interpret the legend to mean that rain will fall from the sky. But from the amount of nectar that fell from that blossom that day, I wonder if the legend really is referring to the copious drops of nectar falling from the blossom - like sweet tears.

Soon after we picked that blossom, it started to rain….

In Search of a Little Bee Action:

After the quick stop and a few pictures, we continued on to our intended destination - a town that was originally a "sugar cane town." As we approached, the weather turned from bright and sunny to cloudy and rainy. It was very Harry Potter-esque - like driving through a portal into another world - as a rain cloud enveloped us and the visibility dropped to just a few hundred feet.

VOG Whendi casually mentioned that this must be VOG - volcanic fog from the local volcano created when sulfur dioxide reacts with oxygen, sunlight, dust particles, etc. - a highly toxic mix .... VOG.

Moments later, we turned into the town post office and parked our van. We all piled into Garnett's truck and headed for the mac nut groves. Off road we went - bumping and rocking, down dirt trails, over edges where no road would go. The kids thought it was great!

big island bees beehives Garnett somehow knew where he was at all times - and where all his hives where placed. He showed us many different hive locations scattered out amongst the vast reaches of the mac "forests." The whole time, Garnett would feed us interesting facts about the bees and the cycles of the plants they feed off of. It was so interesting!

In the process of cruising around, we also drove through a grove of Eucalyptus trees. Garnett explained to us that the Eucalyptus forest was a "man-made" forest - planted to create OSB for the island. Alexander, our then 6-year-old son, was listening intently and when he heard Garnett say "man-made" he asked the obvious, "So, all those trees are made out of plastic?" Garnett, without missing a beat, explained that "man-made" meant that the trees were planted by man, and in this case, the trees are planted in straight rows for easy harvesting.

We continued looking for the beehives perfect hive picture . Our desire was to see the "bees in action." The weather when we left Kona was sunny with a few clouds. However, as we arrived at the orchards, the sky disappeared into a cloud bank and a light rain began to fall. Although overcast skies are good for electric pictures, it's not so good for seeing the bees.

beehives in the macadmia nut orchard in hawaii When it rains, bees head indoors and don't take well to visitors. In fact, they can get down-right ornery, so we had to keep our distance and didn't get to look inside a hive. But, we did get to see the hives from a distance - and the orchards.

It was really beautiful - and much better than the usual island "site seeing"! Plus, we learned so much about bees and trees, plants, and the politics of being a beekeeper these days. Spending time with Whendi and Garnett is always so calming and pleasant.

whendi and garnett It is hard to explain in words, but Whendi and Garnett are "one" with the bees and the island, and the bees are "one" with them. Although not everyone gets to take a quick trip to Hawai'i and rub elbows with Garnett and Whendi, you can meet them any time through their wonderful honey.

Shop now for honey from the hives of Hawai'i!

Italian fennel pollen

fennel pollen
Shop Now at gourmet ChefShop.com
Wild Fennel Pollen
is made from fennel flowers picked at full bloom.
The plants are then dried and the pollen is sifted out, creating a seasoning that has the flavor and aroma of fennel, but with far greater intensity. Nothing is added to this beautiful golden-green dust - its incredible flavor stands on its own!

Unlike fennel seeds (very, very different), you don't have to grind it - simply sprinkle straight from the package. We use it often, and all year-round. Think of it whenever you find yourself reaching for salt and pepper! It adds a wonderful touch to chicken, fish, and pork, as well as on grilled vegetables atop a sprinkling of good olive oil and coarse salt.

Shop now for fennel pollen fairy dust!

  banyuls vinegar
Banyuls Vinegar
To those who know its qualities - aromas of walnut, spice, vanilla, and licorice - Vinaigre de Banyuls is a rival to both balsamico and sherry vinegar. Its distinct nut-like qualities make it the perfect companion for vinaigrettes made with hazelnut or walnut oils, or high quality all-purpose Provençal oil. Try it for deglazing sautéed duck or mushrooms.


This classic concoction is the perfect blend of chocolate and roasted hazelnuts. Called Gianduia couverture, it is from a traditional recipe. I have been told you can make incredible pastries with this "chocolate". I wouldn't know, to me this is one of the ultimate "candies" on the planet. It would be in my kit for the dessert island, but it would melt in the sun, like it melts in your mouth!

chocolate buy me

Cooking Class!

Cooking Classes with Chef Pam - Small Plates and Appetizers Class
Be prepared for any pot-luck or holiday meal, or throw an appetizer party this year -- after all, "small plates" are all the rage. Add to your repertoire with five easy recipes from Pam's list of quick and easy, go-to hors d'ouevres. She will show you how to make some of the recipes she uses when catering for others or throwing a party at home. Five fool-proof winners that are simple to make and guaranteed to please.

There are just a few pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano left in the store.

This Weeks Recipes

Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde Recipe

Almond Pound Cake Recipe

Angel Food Cake with Elderflower Syrup Recipe

Split Pea and Ham Recipe

Orange Brownies with Pistachios, Cranberries, candied Ginger Recipe

See what you missed in previous Newsletters

Okinawa Kokuto, Leatherwood, Rhus Coriana

Chef's Pick, Springtime Panettone, Easter Ham

The Year is 1984, Botanical, Raspberry

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