- Every now and again Nancy and Ned come to visit. They are not my favorites, but we indulge them when they come, hoping their stay will be brief. On Thursday I had a wonderful day tinkering about in my kitchen with honey. Remember I was going to burn it, which I did. I'd never tasted burnt honey before so I had absolutely no idea what it was supposed to taste like. All I know is my Foodie Hero's were raving about it which inspired me to give it a go. Thanks must go to The Kate Tin where I first read about it in her exceptional book simply and aptly titled "Chocolate". She's a South African so I wanted to support her too. That's how we roll here. Remember my 2020 cooking book splurge, well this one was bought by me to me, I had had a covid year and I needed to spoil myself. I also needed a good reason to buy another cooking book without my Brian looking to check me into some sort of rehab for people addicted to buying, having, storing, hoarding cooking books. Christmas gave me THAT reason. Gosh, now I have to read up to remind myself where I was going with this story. Oh yes, Negative Ned and Burnt Honey ... I continue, so after thinking I had nailed the burnt honey, I left it on the counter and went about my other chores.
- Later, back in my kitchen to get a start on dinner, it's amazing how the dog, cat and husband have radar for these things, they suddenly all appear. I hadn't noticed Negative Ned yet, he's sneaky, you never know he's there until he shows up in your face announcing himself as the All-knowing guru. Spying my jar of back gold, he, this would be Brian asks nonchalantly, oh how did it turn out? I protectively pulled it closer to me, popped the lid and grabbed a teaspoon. "Here, try it", I generously offered, secretly unsure myself of what it's supposed to taste like, but knowing I'd invested a perfectly great bottle of honey gifted to me and 4 x the amount of time to actually make it, I needed a second opinion. I have to pause you here, I'm like doggie in the house, I'll eat anything (pretty much), Brian is like kitty cat, he pretends to have a more discerning palate. Meanwhile, his taste buds get confused and have to be told what they are tasting half the time. But Doggie can't tell me, so I can't get her second opinion when she thinks it may need a peck more pickle or pepper. Unpause - resume. Right, so I put the spoon of burnt honey into Brian's tentative, half pulling away, nervous mouth. Crikey, you'd swear I was giving him medicine or he thought I was Daisy de Melker. I'm not sure what he was thinking because I was too busy looking for all the silent nuances that would tell me what he ACTUALLY thought about the burnt honey as apposed to what he told me he thought about it. I needn't have bothered because guess who showed up in my face? Okay, not all hot breath and bossy in my face, more like "innocently". You guessed it (or you didn't and I'll tell you anyway), Negative Ned. Like I said he's sneaky. "Oh (pretend innocence), it tastes like molasses". "Really!!!!" I shrilly protested, not what I WANTED to hear. I was looking for "Oh, my Darling this is absolutely delicious give me some more just to be sure " kind of response. I felt like punching Neds nose, but I restrained myself, I was sure he'd be gone soon. Then he finished off with "Oh and it's cheaper too". I had to restrain myself from roundhousing him with my twitchy right fist. Dissatisfied and disappointed I turned my back to Negative Ned and busied myself at the stove making dinner.
- I go quiet and contemplative when dealing with negative feedback. What I'm actually doing is going over the process in its entirety. Picking through the finer points to see what needs to be repaired, plastered or plugged. It can come across as sulky and petulant and 3 year old ish but it's a lick-my-wounds reaction. It's my learning process. It confirms my thoughts mostly. Negative Ned is necessary to keep me focused and grounded. I wasn't sure about the burnt honey because I didn't have a previous experience to measure my success or failure against. When I'm unsure about something I put a bit of space and time between me and the whatever I'm unsure about thing is. That's a life hack I highly recommend for free. The next morning, determined to know what all the burnt honey rage is about I swirled it into fresh whipped cream and oh my goodness it was like a choir of angelics singing their very best choral hymns, showing off actually. I was elated, it turns out not only did I need time but so did the burnt honey. This morning was a spectacular morning for homemade Muesli and a dollop of double fat yogurt. Still slightly smarting from Negative Ned's comments previously, I decided to do a taste test. I lined up the competitors on rivaling teaspoons equally pouring molasses in one and burnt honey in the other and summoned Brian and secretly Negative Ned too. Bring him, I thought I'm prepared this time. First up was Mighty Molasses, dark,strong and medicinal. All my bets were on Burnt Honey, sweet and smooth with a don't mess with me touch of bitter for balance. Negative Ned knew when he was beat. The overwhelming winner was silky smooth and sweet burnt honey.
- I asked Brian if I should swirl some molasses in his yogurt? He looked at me like I was an alien with five heads, not sure which one to respond to but needed his choice to be categorically heard, "I want the burnt honey please " Ned was nowhere to be heard
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