The Littlest Bee

IMG_7640Michelle and I are proud to introduce Zevin Rolihlahla Schwartz, born Nov 16th, 2008 at 10:22 pm, 6 lbs even, 20 inches long. Happy, healthy, wise beyond his hours.

Z’ev means “wolf” in Hebrew, which is where we found his first name. Rolihlahla was Nelson Mandela‘s given name (he was named “Nelson” by his schoolteachers, who forbade African names). It means “treeshaker” or “bender of branches” in Xhusa.

Or, as Nelson tells it, “troublemaker”.

My middle name is “Luther King” (my father marched at Selma), and that has been a big influence on my life. It was something to live up to, a challenge to make right and strong decisions. Any time I considered the low road, I felt it would dishonor Dr. King’s memory if I did.

I hope Zevin feels the same.

More photos…


Pickled Green TomatoesAlmost forgot to mention: after I’d jarred some honey on Sunday, I figured it was time to do something with all those green tomatoes that failed to ripen over Seattle’s weird 2008 summer. I remember from growing up in Connecticut that my mother always made pickled tomatoes with her greenies and they were total heaven, so I rang her up for the recipe. Here’s it is:

Into each sterilized quart jar, put:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 clove
  • 1 flower of dill
  • Tightly packed green tomatoes

Boil the following and then pour over the top:

  • 2 quarts white or cider vinegar
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup coarse (Kosher) salt

I used cider vinegar, as I’m a believer that it has health benefits.

After that, let it sit for a week in a cool, dark place, after which point, eat. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Light and Dark

I began jarring some of this year’s honey harvest today, partially in anticipation of the upcoming holidays, and partially to make good on a barter deal I’ve made with a local restaurant, SutraSutra. They specialize in local, organic ingredients. What with my hives being less than a mile from Sutra, you can’t get much more local than Hive Mind Honey. When I explained that bees travel a mile or more to collect food, so any of their customers that live in the neighborhood will likely have nectar and pollen from their own gardens in the honey, their delight lit the room.

Sutra’s menu changes daily, offering a prix fixe format with several options for each course, so they can perfectly accomodate (and, I hope, feature) a small batch of locally produced golden yumminess.

Right across the street from Sutra is Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, also specializing in organic, locally-sourced ingredients for their amazing and unique flavors (e.g., Balsamic Strawberry, Honey Lavender). Molly said she was willing to barter, but asked how much 10 gallons would be.

I guess when producing lots of ice cream, you need lots of ingredients, but 10 gallons is 2/3 of my yearly harvest, and, if I were to trade for it, it would be somewhere around $300 – $500 worth of ice cream, which would be a burden on my belly, to say the least. So I’m still noodling on that one.

It was interesting to see the contrast between this year’s honey and last year’s. They both have a strong, spicy taste to them, but check out the difference in color (that’s 2008 on the left and 2007 on the right). Same place, different weather, different flowers, I reckon.

Light and Dark