Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review of Honey Cookbooks, Part III

I acquired two more honey-based cookbooks recently and am happy to say that I can recommend one of them--in fact, it's among the best of the bunch.  That's not surprising, since it's a fairly recently published book--2009--with recipes from The National Honey Board.  The Honey Board is my first go-to source when I'm looking for honey recipes, so it's nice to have a volume on my book shelf, too.  Read on for my reviews of both books!

Honey for Health & Beauty: Over 75 Recipes, Remedies and Natural Treatments.  Introduction by Lauren Feder, MD, Foreward by Marie-Annick Courtier, and recipes from The National Honey Board.  It was published in 2009 by Hatherleigh Press as part of their "cooking well" series.  This book has the most up-to-date information (in book form, at least) on health-related studies involving honey, including a discussion of honey as a prebiotic, which promotes healthy bacteria in our digestive tracts.  There's also a chapter on honey-based beauty treatments, including a foaming vanilla honey bath that I'll try once the weather gets colder. It includes nice array of interesting recipes, too, such as honey hummus, couscous salad and upside down peach berry pie (a recipe I'll try when McConnells' Farm peaches come in--which should be any day now!).

Lonik, Larry.  The Healthy Taste of Honey:  Recipes, Anecdotes & Lore. 2nd edition. (Chelsea, MI:  RKT Publishing) 2001 (originally published in 1981).   I borrowed this from the BF Jones Memorial Library in Aliquippa, which has a fantastic bee and beekeeping collection if you're ever in town.  (Our library is one of Aliquippa's best kept secrets!)  Where was I?  Oh! Right! Reviewing Larry Lonik's honey cookbook:
This is a quirky little book, filled with odd ball pop culture references sprinkled in among the recipes, like  "The Beach Boys have a recording called 'Wild Honey'" (p. 44).  "The television series Saturday Night Live has a semi-regular skit that follows a gang of human-size bees on various escapades"  (p. 59).  It also has a wild selection of black and white photos, including lots of guys with bee beards, "1978 Honey Bees" cheer leading squad and a rather risque photo of the outer sleeve of the Ohio Players' "Honey" phonogram.  Lonik, it would seem, is a bit of a renaissance man, having worked in the film, TV and music industries (which might explain the pop culture references) and is billed as an expert  in morel mushrooms.

The recipes range from beverages to pickles to meats and vegetables and candies.  The beverage recipes include a number of alcoholic mixed drinks and an interesting "carrot-top tea" (4 cups hot water, 6 medium size carrot tops, 1 small piece of orange peel.  Pour water over carrot tops and orange peel and steep.  Sweeten with honey  Haven't tried it--but if I do, I'll let you know what I think!)   I don't get the impression that these recipes have been tested, though.  Most of the baked goods call for 100% whole wheat flour and seem to reflect a kind of 1980s health food approach--one I can appreciate, but doesn't quite hold up to the test of time.

I think this book is out of print, but you can find it on-line for less than $5, so if you'd like to add a quirky honey cookbook to your collection, this would be it! :)

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