The Secret Life of Bees: Cooking Your Way Through College
Finnish Dutch Babies“There is nothing perfect,” August said from the doorway. “There is only life.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~A queen is the largest bee in the hive. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day, twice her own body weight per day.~
Honey Chicken Stir-fry“It's your time to live, don't mess it up.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~Honey is comprised of fructose, glucose, water, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.~
Barbecued Spare Ribs“People can start out one way, and by the time life gets through with them they end up completely different.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~A queen is the largest bee in the hive. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day, twice her own body weight per day.~
Honey Mustard Teriyaki Chicken"They know what matters, but they don't choose it... The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~To make one pound of honey, the bees in the colony must visit 2 million flowers, fly over 55,000 miles and will be the lifetime work of approximately 768 bees.~
Honey-Glazed Chicken Wings“People can start out one way, and by the time life gets through with them they end up completely different.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~A single honeybee will only produce approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.~
May's Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes“In the kitchen May and Rosaleen were working on pancake batter. … The trashcan was full of banana peels, and the electric percolator bubbled into the tiny glass nozzle on top of it. Bloop, bloop. I loved the way it sounded, the way it smelled. … May drizzled batter on the griddle in the shape of a big L. ‘This one’s yours,’ she said. L for Lily." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~A single honey bee will visit 50-100 flowers on a single trip out of the hive.~
Honey Glazed Carrots--Microwave Style“We ate standing in the kitchen holding paper plates, saying how much May would have liked everything." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~Honey is the ONLY food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water.~
Honey Granola with Raisins“When we were so full that we needed was a nap, we went to the parlor and sat with May. The Daughters passed around a wooden bowl full of something they called manna. A salted mixture of sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, and pomegranate seeds drizzled with honey and baked to perfection. They ate it by the handfuls, saying they wouldn’t dream of sitting with the dead without eating seeds. Seeds kept the living from despair, they explained." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~Honey never spoils.~
Apple Honey Chutney“You have to know when to prod and when to be quiet, when to let things take their course.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~It would take about 1 ounce of honey to fuel a honeybee's flight around the world.~
Apple Honey Custard Pie“Drifting off to sleep, I thought about her. How nobody is perfect. How you just have to close your eyes and breathe out and let the puzzle of the human heart be what it is.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~Out of 20,000 species of bees, only 4 make honey.~
Carrot Cake“You have to know when to prod and when to be quiet, when to let things take their course.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~Bacteria will never grow in honey — Because of its high concentration of sugar, its high acidity, and because it actually contains a very small amount of naturally-occurring hydrogen peroxide, honey is hostile to bacteria growth. Therefore, honey will never spoil.~
Delicious Corn Bread"May was simpleminded. I don't mean retarded, because she was smart in some ways and read cookbooks nonstop. I mean she was naive and unassuming, a grown-up and a child at the same time." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~The average pH of honey is 3.91, but it can range from 3.42 - 6.10.~
Apple Krisp“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~A honey bee can fly up to 15 miles per hour.~
Honey Cream Cheese Sandwiches“We sat in the ladder-back chairs around the kitchen table, except for Rosaleen, who poured glasses of tea and set a plate of pimiento-cheese sandwiches on the table, as if anybody could eat." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Honey Roasted Nuts“When we’d finished the food, August produced four bottles of ice-cold Coca-Cola from the refrigerator, along with four little packages of salted peanuts. We watched her pop the tops off the Cokes. ‘What the heck is this?’ said June. ‘It’s Lily’s and my favorite dessert,’ August told her, smiling over at me. ‘we like to pour our peanuts straight into the bottle, but you can eat yours separately if you prefer.'" -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Honey-Glazed Red Peppers with Goat Cheese"I go back to that one moment when I stood in the driveway with small rocks and clumps of dirt around my feet and looked back at the porch. And there they were. All these mothers. I have more mothers than any eight girls off the street. They are the moons shining over me." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Honey Almond Shortbread“We lived for honey. We swallowed a spoonful in the morning to wake us up and one at night to put us to sleep. We took it with every meal to calm the mind, give us stamina, and prevent fatal disease. We swabbed ourselves in it to disinfect cuts or heal chapped lips. It went in our baths, our skin cream, our raspberry tea and biscuits. Nothing was safe from honey. In one week my skinny arms and legs began to plump out and the frizz in my hair turned to silken waves. August said honey was the ambrosia of the gods and the shampoo of the goddesses.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees.
Honey Lemonade“I hadn't been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson in what she called 'bee yard etiquette'. She reminded me that the world was really one bee yard, and the same rules work fine in both places. Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don't be an idiot; wear long sleeves and pants. Don't swat. Don't even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates while whistling melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Soothing Honey Tea“Honeybees depend not only on physical contact with the colony, but also require it's social companionship and support. Isolate a honeybee from her sisters and she will soon die.” -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~Honey is known to be a very effective and safe solution to coughs, even more so than over-the-counter medicines.~
Honey Butter“Drifting off to sleep, I thought about her. How nobody is perfect. How you just have to close your eyes and breathe out and let the puzzle of the human heart be what it is.” - Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees ~A typical beehive can make up to 400 pounds of honey per year.~
May's Mary Day Honey Cake“I hope this softens you toward the world. I hope it brings you a tender feeling." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
I’ve been learning a whole lot from August, June, and Rosaleen. Zach and I are learning a lot at school, too. Living here brings sweetness to my life like the warm summer breeze feeling I get when eating honey cakes. I forgive you, Momma, and I forgive me too. I forgive me for the things I did, for taking you away from me when you are all I ever wanted. August said that you can’t focus on what’s scratched you. That when you’re hurt, you just have to patch it up and move forward with deliberation. August said that getting hurt is just like drinking bitter tea. When you taste bitterness, all you gotta do is add some honey to sweeten that tea right up. Oh, August. She always brings things back to honey and bees—but it works like magic. Bees, she says, are the wisest creatures on Earth. Honey and Bees are the secrets that go unnoticed until you stop, listen, and let them teach you. Bees have taught me patience, love, forgiveness, and loyalty.
Next year, I’ll be going off to Virginia for college. I won’t be able to hold onto the bees or to the Calendar sisters or to the Boatwright’s peptodismal house for much longer. I’ll be taking the grassgreen notebook Zach gave me that one perfect summer day and will continue filling my thoughts with it. Only this time, someone will be assisting me. Momma, I got a scholarship at a writing school. Mrs. Henry would be proud. She always said that I was smart. It was up to me to believe her. I wish you could see how much I’ve grown since then.
I was in the kitchen the other day while Rosaleen was making May’s favorite banana pancakes. As she flipped the cake over, and the sizzling of the uncooked batter hit the pan, Rosaleen told me that I wouldn’t be able to eat as well next year. It got me thinking that I should keep a book, a book filled with the smells of those banana pancakes, the tastes of sweet honey, the love of May’s graham cracker trails. And so I got the idea of making a cookbook to carry the memories of Tiburon with me wherever I go. I could write a story, but since I’ll be writing all my life, Rosaleen told me I also needed to learn how to cook. With June, August, and Rosaleen’s help, I put together the next few pages to remind me of my sweet, honey-filled life in Tiburon. I’ll be taking three boxes of the Black Madonna Honey with me next year just like you took the label with you. I hope that you’re up there somewhere, Momma, laughing with May, and eating honey too.
This is a cookbook inspired by Sue Monk Kidd's "The Secret Life of Bees". The recipes' central ingredient is honey, as the novel is set on a beekeeping farm. The cookbook is written from the perspective of Lily, the protagonist of the novel. The recipes are supposed to be accessible to any college student living in a dorm with access to a dorm kitchen. None of the recipes were found online, as I was trying to replicate the experience that Lily would have had looking through home cookbook recipes. All the recipes are either taken from cookbooks or concocted from my mother and my imagination. The true pleasure of cooking is the simplicity that can come along with it, while all the while producing a scrumptious result. I hope this cookbook does just that for you, dear readers and fellow bakers/cooks.