A by-product of the honey harvest we've recently had is beeswax. Now beeswax can be put to many good uses, one of which is making beeswax candles. We have planned to make beeswax candles after each of our honey harvests (we've been keeping bees for about four years) but so far have never got round to it. In fact, we still had the beeswax from last year still waiting to be used. This year we were determined to make the candles.
As it turned out, the husband was off on Bank Holiday Monday (25th August) but I had to work. So the husband made the beeswax candles all on his own. They turned out really well. The colour is natural and when they burn they have a beautiful honey scent.
As well as the candles, some of the beeswax was used to make a few beeswax polish bars. Look, it even says BEESWAX on the bar! Isn't that rather nifty?
Here they are together - candles and polish. He did a good job.
Not to be outdone, I also made something nice for dinner. This isn't really a recipe but more a method for making a tasty meal.
First I cut up a selection of vegetables, mostly from the garden. On this occasion I used two onions, five cloves of garlic (we love garlic but you don't have to use any if you don't want to), three small courgettes, a red pepper, an orange pepper and 250g of chestnut mushrooms. A small pineapple was also cut into chunks and added to the mix. Not everyone likes fruit with meat but it isn't necessary to add any if you don't like it. Sometimes I use a mango instead of pineapple.
The whole lot was fried gently in olive oil until well softened but not completely cooked. Then I added five chicken breast fillets that had been cubed. That was cooked until the outside of the chicken cubes were done and had turned white instead of pink. For vegetarians you can leave out the chicken and it is still really yummy; I've tried it this way too.
Now two tubs of soft cheese were added. Mine were 250g tubs but you don't have to be too exact. Mine were also Extra Light but you can use Full Fat just as well. Sometimes I use crème fraiche, soured cream or even quark. At this stage I also added a jar of mango chutney. Any sort of chutney will do; just use your favourite. I should have used pineapple chutney, I suppose, but I only had mango. Anyway, a really good stir and the juices from the vegetables and chicken combine with the soft cheese and chutney to make a lovely, creamy sauce. Simmer the whole lot until the vegetables and chicken are completely cooked through. To hurry things along I did mine for about 20 minutes in the Aga roasting oven but it could be done for a bit longer at a lower temperature, say in the simmering oven. If you don't have an Aga then just simmer it in your usual way.
Serve with rice, pasta, quinoa or whatever you fancy. Simple but tasty. This amount would serve at least ten people, by the way!
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