Did you know there was once a molasses flood in Boston? A five-story high molasses tank exploded on an unusually hot day in 1919 and surged through the North End, destroying a fire station and leaving a path of sticky destruction in its wake. Some say that when the weather is really warm, you can still smell the molasses on the city streets almost 100 years later.
I was fascinated by the molasses flood as a kid and did a report on it in elementary school. I think that was the last time I thought about molasses, though, because I almost never cook with it. But, while making a failed batch of pumpkin bread over the weekend, I ran out of honey and needed another sweetener. The molasses in the back of my cupboard seemed like just the thing, and it was (the pumpkin bread only failed because I asked Ben to watch it for me, and it ended up baking for almost three hours). Molasses has a spicy flavor that goes really well with pumpkin, and contributes to this ice cream’s rich orange color. I did a little research and there seems to be some debate as to whether molasses is truly paleo, but I’m sure that this ice cream would still be delicious if you added more honey instead, or even tried maple syrup.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined,
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic paste
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of cayenne
Grill or broil for about 3 minutes per side, or longer as necessary, until charred in spots and opaque throughout. Serve hot.
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Have you heard of colony collapse disorder? My friend Jesi, an artist based in Vermont, is working on a participatory project with a large installation about colony collapse disorder and the plight of the honeybee. The coolest part is that she’s creating a canvas for each person who sponsors her project, in different sizes depending on the amount you donate, and sending them out to her supporters after the show! Her art is amazing and I can’t wait to see what she creates for this show.
Jesi asked me to post a honey cookie recipe that she could bake to show her thanks to supporters who pledge $25 or more. Her project only has one more day left on Kickstarter! You can read about the project and donate here. You should consider giving! Even if you don’t have $25 to give, give any amount and then make yourself these cookies! Jesi and the honeybees will thank you.
Note: I hadn’t used my honey in a while and it was totally crystallized! Don’t worry if that happens to you. Just spoon out your honey into a glass jar and heat it in a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until it’s clear and liquefied. If you do this, let the honey cool down a little before you add it to the dough.
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cold salted butter, cubed (or use unsalted and add 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons honey, plus extra for brushing
Flaky sea salt (I use Maldon), optional
Add the honey and vanilla bean seeds and pulse just until combined. Use your hands to pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for half an hour or so. Try not to eat all the dough at this point. It’s delicious!
Preheat the oven to 325.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or round jar, cut out cookies about 2 inches across. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are starting to brown around the edges.
Brush the cookies with honey while they’re still warm, and sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt if desired. I love the salty and sweet combo, so I highly recommend it!