“Honey is like a magic carpet ride. It takes you wherever the bees will go.” Andrea Paternoster is a nomadic beekeeper in Italy. Almost two years ago, I met Andrea in a honey class. Wine glasses sat in front of me, each with a spoon nestled in golden nectar that casually ran down the side of the glass and pooled at the bottom. He spoke of the specific flowers of the field, the curiosities of the flying insect, and a calm gentle hand required in robbing the bees. We all sat, captivated, as we pondered dropping out of school and traveling the Italian countryside pursuing the season.
Lately, my head is filled with memories like these. Why? The restaurant is less than two months away from being just a dream. In between picking plates, renting forklifts, and imputing invoices into Quickbooks, my husband and I taste. With each bite of a potential menu candidate, we analyze. After ten years of tasting and discussing together, we have woven our food memories into the same culinary fruition. As different as we are, when it comes to food it is hard sometimes to know where the idea was born.
He stands over the pot stirring gently as the aroma of honey fills the room. The scent is intoxicating. I know this dish. He has made it many times. It evokes memories of restaurant wine dinners, shared moments with friends and one particular memory that is uniquely mine. A memory of a magic carpet ride and a wine glass full of honey.
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 c Honey (You can use any honey, I prefer a bitter honey like chestnut or buckwheat but a light and aromatic honey is great too)
1/4 c Water
1 T Baking Soda
Streusel (Well any topping. We used streusel made from leftover germ from the emmer we milled for pasta. It was combined with a bit of cinnamon and coupled with toasted oat groats)
Coat a 12 x 17 baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, honey and water to a boil. Stir constantly and reduce the heat to medium high, Cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 300.
Remove from heat and add the baking soda. It will double in size so be careful. Stir as little as possible. The best part about this candy is that it has a light and airy texture. You want to have a tender hand so you do not collapse the structure. Gently pour mixture onto baking sheet. Top with streusel.
Let cool and break into pieces.