Day 6: Hot Honey
I love to give handmade gifts, especially the edible kind. They don’t tend to take up a lot of space in people’s houses and the same thing can be given year after year and people are still happy to get them. This may not be so true about many other things that people tend to give.
One of the most memorable edible gifts I ever got was a giant Hershey’s kiss. I must have been only eight years old and a friend of my mother’s gave it to me. It was especially precious to me because I think that might have been one of those years that my mother decided not to “do” Christmas. Christmas didn’t mean anything to her, so there were many years that she grudgingly celebrated, if at all. It made sense to her to be that way since she did not grow up celebrating Christmas, but it was challenging for me growing up in a place where everyone, even those who did not go to church, celebrated Christmas. Most years, I put up the artificial tree by myself (which she really only bought under the influence of another friend who insisted that we needed to celebrate Christmas, if only for me; that Christmas was one of the good ones) and I spent many a Christmas morning watching all the various special Christmas programs on tv by myself. It was just another day off for my mother, not a day to do anything special. Because of those times, I think I really treasure this time of year and this freedom that I have as an adult to create traditions and celebrate freely in the ways that are meaningful to me. It’s also why I love to give gifts.
Unfortunately, today’s easy gift idea did not totally turn out the way I had hoped. I got the idea for this Hot Honey on the internet, but now I can’t find the link–sorry! It’s basically honey that is infused with chili papers to make it a little spicy. It sounded like a great idea because anything sweet and spicy always sounds like a good idea to me, but those directions said to just mix together and steep for a week. However, I am an impatient sort and I did not want to wait that long, so I went with another recipe that I found which involved heating the honey in a double boiler and cooking the mixture together for a bit.
Well, I guess I didn’t add enough chili peppers because it does not have the kick that I was hoping it would have. There is a little warmth, but barely noticeable. Sometimes there was a little heat and sometimes there wasn’t. The good news is that it didn’t stop anyone here from enjoying it on our biscuits, fried chicken, and waffles, so I guess it wasn’t too bad.
However, I recommend that if you make this, double the number of chilis I used. There really is no set recipe here. I used about 12 ounces of honey and five chinese chili peppers broken in half as well as a teaspoon of Szechuan peppercorns. It spent about fifteen minutes cooking in the double boiler. Next time, I would use double the amount of chilis. Chilis vary in intensity, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that resulted in a super hot honey, ha! If you get a good mix of flavors that you like, it would make a super gift.
Unfortunately, I can’t include a sample in the fun gifts box for you to try. I am afraid that the honey would spill out of the container, so you’ll have to try it yourself to have a taste. Leave me a comment and tell me about how you like to spend your Christmas mornings. We always open our stockings first thing and then have a nice breakfast of homemade bread and various other treats. After we are well fed, we then open our gifts one at a time so we can really enjoy each one. We play Christmas music and always have the Christmas pyramid lit up, which is my favorite Christmas decoration by far.