Sweet talk:

SHEPHERDSTOWN – As Amy Williams offered up cookies and cakes at Shepherdstown Farmers Market last weekend, many customers also wanted to know about the containers of raw honey she had for sale.

Honey is a hot topic.
Advocates point to a variety of benefits to using honey in recipes, from the fact that it’s a natural sweetener and not highly processed to the way it can extend the shelf life of baked goods to the natural antioxidants it contains.
Williams, who lives in Harpers Ferry, started her bakery, Peace of Cake, in 2000. She has a network of fresh, local sources for eggs, fruit and other ingredients, including a friend in Martinsburg who is a beekeeper.
At the West Virginia Department of Agriculture in Charleston, honey remains in the spotlight. Officials there recently published a recipe booklet, “Cooking with West Virginia Honey.”
Put together with help from Ann Baker, Kirsten Traynor and Susanne Behling of the Eastern Panhandle Beekeepers Association and others, the 38-page book contains dozens of recipes for desserts, side dishes, breads and meats.
To request to have a free copy of it mailed or to download it, go to the ag department’s website at www.wvagriculture.org.
Combing through the honey recipe collection, we found several worth sharing here:
Honey Glazed Carrots
4 large carrots, cut in strips
2/3 cups water
1½ teaspoon lemon juice
3 Tablespoons margarine
3 Tablespoons honey
Chives and parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine carrots and water in pan. Cover and cook over medium to high heat until water evaporates. Remove from heat and toss slightly with margarine, honey and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper. Garnish with chives and parsley.
Honey Lime Grilled Chicken
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
In a resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container, combine the honey, soy sauce and lime juice; mix well. Add chicken and turn to coat.
Seal to cover and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, uncovered, over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.
Spicy Honey Ribs
1 large onion, sliced
4 pounds beef or pork ribs
For sauce:
2/3 cup honey
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke (optional)
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup catsup
1/2 cup water
Mix sauce ingredients and bring to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer about 15 minutes. In a large baking pan, top ribs with sliced onion and bake at 450°F degrees for 30 minutes. Coat ribs with sauce. Bake at 350°F for another 1½ to 2 hours, basting every 20 minutes and turning ribs halfway through. Cover for the last 30 minutes of baking.
Apricot Bread
3 cups sifted flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
½ cup honey
½ cup chopped pecans
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in apricots and pecans. Combine beaten eggs, milk, honey and butter. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture, stirring until flour is well moistened. Bake in greased 5 x 8 bread pan at 350°F for one hour.


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