The Togami Honey Harvest Party

On Sunday, July 29, we kicked off the 2012 B-Haven Honey Harvest with a visit from the Togamis. Our youngest daughter (Desiree) is married to Mathew Togami. Mathew’s parents (Nancy and Kenji Togami) had never been involved in a honey harvest so we invited them to get check it out.

I like to limit a particular honey harvest day to a single hive. We can then take our time and enjoy ourselves. Kenji, Mathew, and I all suited up, so we were adequately staffed. Nancy and Evelyn supervised from the wings.

The hive in question had three honey supers. We pulled 16 frames that were capped. The left the remaining uncapped frames to be harvested at a later time. We were able to harvest honey and honeycomb.

During the extraction process, Nancy was nice enough to keep us fortified with some excellent teas – all oolongs:Phoenic Mountain, Buddha’s Hand, and Bachong Premium.

They honey definitely had a different flavor this year. And most of the frames held darker honey, probably due to a lot more pollen. This seems to indicate a higher ratio of pollen to nectar this year.

To properly celebrate the harvest, we enjoyed a sumptuous seafood, cheese, and vino feast.  Scallops (sauteed in Italian Red Vermouth). Grilled prawns. Baked halibut. Dungeness crab. I did not use butter in any of these preparations, using olive oil instead. Of course infused with herbs and spices. The result was outstanding. The seafood was served with Romain Spears, bread, and glutton free crackers.
The cheese selection consisted of:

*) Roth Käse Buttermilk Blue

A raw cheese from Jersey and Holstein cows produced in Wisconsin.
A nice, sharp blue cheese.

*) Herve Mons Affinage

A pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees.

*) Uniekaas Aged Gouda

A 3 year old goat cheese from Holland.
A classic Gouda, but made from goat’s milk.

*) Igorcreme Blue Gorgonzola Dolce

A cow’s milk cheese from Milan, Italy.
A somewhat, mild double cream blue cheese.

*) Seal Bay Triple Crème King Island

An outstanding brie from Australia.

*) Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Heart

The heart of an Italian classic.

*) Cypress Grove Humbolt Fog

A goat cheese made from two milkings, separated by ash.

*) Roth Kase Havarti Dill

A pasteurized cow’s milk cheese.

*) Mitica Garroxta

Garroxta is a goat’s milk cheese produced in the Catalonia region in northern Spain.

*) Somerdale Tintern

A Welsh cheddar made with chives and shallots.

The wine selection consisted of:

*) Egly-Ouriet Les Vignes de Vrigny

This French Champagne has a nice yeasty nose with wedding cuvee type of flavor.
An interesting sparkler. It went well with the brie and herb-ed cheeses and the seafood.

*) Merry Edwards 2011 Russin River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Great wine.
Merry always does well with her Sauvignon Blanc.
Crisp, refreshing, nice fruit tones.
Paired very well with halibut and the milder cheeses.

*) Sbragia 2008 Gamble Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay

Very oakky and buttery.
Nice job Ed and Adam Sbragia.
Tasted very well with all of the cheeses and the seafood.

*) Merry Edwards 2009 Klop Ranch Pinot Noir 2009

This is a very highly rated wine and I can see why. Awesome nostrils on this Pinot. The body was tight since it is young, but it did start to open up a bit. It would be very interesting to see how this wine ages. The pairing was excellent with the blue and herb-ed cheeses.

All in all, we all had a bang up good time. Probably more fun that humans should be allowed to have.