On Saturday, August 12, we had the pleasure of welcoming Alyson and Douglas Harrold to B-Haven Apiary. They had never participated in a honey harvest before, so this day was a new adventure for them.
Alyson and Douglas both suited up and helped harvest hive number three. I guess they brought good fortune, since the yield from this hive is definitely greater than each of the other two hives that were already harvested.
Proper Honey Harvest Meal
We of course decided to celebrate this improved honey harvest yield by engaging in a proper meal:
1) Pork tenderloins.
Brined (overnight) in apple cider, salt, oregano, sage, and peppercorns. Grilled to perfection by Douglas and then finished with a prosciutto love wrap.
2) Apple cider reduction.
Apple cider, peppercorns, oregano, sage, and balsamic vinegar.
Greens, apricots, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and avocado. The tomatoes were from Alyson’s garden – so yes you could say they were fresh. And Alyson provided her own secret salad dressing made with B-Haven honey. A very nice salad, yes indeed.
4) Grilled vegetables.
Spring onions and red bell peppers. Douglas did a fine job here.
5) Gluten free crackers.
This is becoming a standard hit by Evelyn. She bakes them with parmesan cheese and garnishes some of them with my California Chili Love Powder.
6) Corn on the Cob.
Alyson rubbed the corn with herbs and some of my California Love Powder. Douglas was nice enough to grill it to perfection.
This is essentially a type of ice cream made with just fruit and no cream. This version consisted of bananas, blueberries, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Cheese & Wine Pairings
I must say that I was quite pleased that Douglas brought his manly grilling skills to the party and that Alyson performed wonderfully with her salad and veggies. It goes without saying that such a menu needs a proper cheese accompaniment:
Cambozola is a cow’s milk cheese that is a combination of a French triple cream and Italian Gorgonzola. This cheese was lovely with the pork.
2) Sevre Et Belle – Carre Du Berry
Carre du Berry is a soft goat cheese made in the Berry region of Poitou, France. It is rindless and covered in herbs, peppercorn, and juniper berries.
3) Jacquin – Crottin De Champcol
Crottin de Champcol is made in the Loire around Sancerre and Berry, and is named for the tiny village of Champcol. Crottin in French means horse or mule dung. Not a particularly appetizing description (even if it is due to the shape, not the taste of the cheese!), but nonetheless a rich and flavorful goat cheese that is sprinkled with truffels.
4) Alta Langa – Castelbelbo
A triple cream made from cow’, goat, and sheep milk. Alta Langa is situated in Northern Italy’s Piedmont region.
5) Pascal Beillevaire – Tomme Brulee
This raw sheep’s milk hails from the Basque Region of France. Somewhat related to a Spanish Manchego.
6) Guilloteau – Fromager d’Affinois Blue
Fromager d’Affinois Blue is a double cream from France that is made with pasteurized cow’s milk.
And top it all off, check out the wine list:
1) Marie-Courtin Extra Brut NV Champagne
This French Champagne is made from Pinot Noir grapes, so it had a wonderful hint of pinot color and the pinot came through on the palate. We opened it to kick of the evenings cooking activities. Douglas especially needed it to maintain his grilling edge. This wine worked well with all of the cheeses. It also worked with the salad.
2) Dominus 2004 Napa Valley Estate Bottled Red Wine
Alyson is a red wine girl (born and raised in Northern California), so we opened this wine to properly fortify the chefs. This is a wonderful wine. Never had it before. Great nostrils, very good Cab fruit, and a nice jammy taste. This wine went well with the pork and the blue cheeses.
3) Sbragia 2009 Home Ranch Chardonnay
We decided to open this wine with the meal, since pork goes well with Chardonnay and Cabernet. A great contrast and a pleasant surprise. Nice oak and fruit on the nose and taste. This wine went very well with the pork and all of the cheeses.
4) J Russian River Valley Vintage Late Disgorged Champagne
We decided to kick things up a bit with this awesome late disgorged 1998 Champagne from the Russian River Valley. This wine is left to lie of the lees for over 10 years and the result is a smooth, light, caramel nose and taste. Very refined and elegant – a huge hit with Douglas (he is a Champagne stud). This wine worked well with everything, even the pork.
5) Lewis 2005 Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
When the Dominus was killed off, we raised the bar by opening this fine Napa Valley Cab. Nice nose, nice flavor, very smooth, and it even had enough tannins left to last another year or so. This wine was great with the pork and blue cheeses.
So all in all, the honey harvest and evening was a resounding success.