He continues, "In some areas the honeybees have a hard time as our mountains have been cut so close that we have few basswood (linden) trees left. Goldenrod makes the difference. The honeybee is the most awesome creature that God ever made. I was out watching my bees a day or so ago, and the little worker bees were coming in with their legs so loaded they could hardly make the landing board. Their legs were golden with goldenrod pollen."
The wild asters are now blooming, and I've always thought that the white ones smelled like honey. I wonder if honeybees work on them? We keep a couple of hives of honeybees mostly for pollinating the garden, but the honey is an added bonus.
Marilene Bibb wants to know a good way to harvest chinquapins. I hadn't heard of these nuts for years. Daddy used to have relatives at Blue Jay (Fayette County?) that we visited occasionally. There were chinquapins growing there, and I remember the gougy burrs and tail on the hull. I thought they were like our hazel nuts, but I discovered that they are a shrubby chestnut of the beech family.
Marilene said she tried to peel one with a knife, but knows there must be a better way. They don't grow around here, but I do remember that they were a sweet, delicious nut. It will soon be time to harvest our own black walnuts and hickory nuts. Sometimes a person is lucky enough to find a thin-hulled hickory nut that resembles a pecan. They are unsurpassed for candy and cookie making. Andy has a butternut (or white walnut) growing in his yard.
These nuts are quite oily, and have to be harvested quickly after maturing, as they soon become rancid. They are good for baking also. American Indians made them into oil for many uses, including ceremonial anointing of the head. I think I'd rather use ours for baking.
We have some requests for recipes this week. Ray McCune of Fort Wayne, Ind., is looking for a salt risin' bread recipe that doesn't use potatoes. He says that it contains cornmeal, salt, and an egg. Anyone have it? By the way, I have a couple of salt rising bread recipes that are lengthy, but if anyone wants one, I will mail it. This last one is from Betty Banks of Charleston.
Rene Fletch wants a good recipe for stuffed sweet peppers, and Betty Mace of St. Albans is looking for a recipe for Whoopie Pies. And... a big "thank you" to Arianna Merchant of Frontier who made my day!
May God bless my readers.
Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycef...@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.