Spring, is that you?

By Adriana Del Grosso

Since we’re based out of Ithaca, New York, the members of South Hill Forest Products are used to around seven long months of winter weather a year. Even today, the day the calendar marks as the first day of spring, temperatures are below freezing. There's snow lingering on the ground from a few days of winter weather last week. Although we are appreciative of winter, we're looking forward to seeing signs of spring soon. 

We experienced some especially unseasonably warm weather around the time of our boil a few weeks ago. While running errands to get ready for the boil one day, we noticed some activity around our bee hives. The warm weather had caused the bees to awaken from their overwintering state and we were excited to see that they were out and about.  

Because winter is an important part of the lifecycle of all creatures, we realize that there is no need to rush spring. It’s colder again now, and we hope that our bees rest well until the official spring thaw. 

However, we’re looking forward to warmer temperatures and to honey in our future. 

 Some of last year's honey harvest.

Some of last year's honey harvest.

To celebrate our bees and their perseverance through this winter, here’s a delicious, warm recipe using honey that you can make at home! 

HONEY GLAZED TWICE-ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

INGREDIENTS

3 medium sweet potatoes or garnet yams, scrubbed 

1 Fresno or other red chiles, thinly sliced

¼ cup honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke holes all over skin of sweet potatoes and wrap each in foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until potatoes are tender, 45-60 minutes. Unwrap and let sit until cool enough to handle. Combine chile, honey, and butter or oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

Cut or tear cooled potatoes into bite-sized pieces (including skin), the more irregular, the better. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with half of honey mixture (do not include chile as it will burn); season with salt. Arrange pieces, skin side down, in a single layer on an unlined rimmed baking sheet and roast until browned and crisp around the edges, 20–25 minutes. Drizzle with remaining honey mixture and serve.

Happy Spring Equinox!