In the end I decided that the reason I'd gone vegan in the first place was because of the environmental implications of high-density, large-scale, chemically-intensive, agriculture. I didn't want my food coming from factory farms that were trashing this planet I love so much (not to mention need in order for survival). I didn't want my money going to the pockets of those that would allow such practices. So I was a vegan. But, though most people would still consider me one today I do not. Honey would be a case in point.
Purchasing honey from down the road makes so much more ecological sense than shipping in cane sugar or agave from south of the equator. Bees are needed pollinators and I want to support people who are raising them. The apiary we use actually considers the honey a sort of by-product business. They make most of their money renting the bees out to farmers. Honey also helps on sore throats and burns and has lots of good healing properties. So, Matt and I bought the bucket and started eating honey again. And we've never looked back.
I don't want to follow anyone's party line blindly. Not the vegans. Not the politicians. Not the church's. Not anyone. I want to puzzle it all out for myself. What makes sense for me? What makes sense for Montana? What make sense for the future? I want to come up with my own answers. I will listen to what they all have to say, but in the end I will make the call.
So, now I am a so-called vegan that wears wool, eats honey, dreams of backyard chickens, and wears leather boots. I've got peace with all that.
In the process of all this we did learn a thing or two about baking with honey and I thought maybe I'd share.
1. Substitute 2/3 - 3/4 cup of honey for every cup of sugar called for. I tend towards the lower measurement.
3. Decrease the amount of liquid called for by about 1/4 cup per cup of honey used.
Place the container in a pan of hot water and let it sit until the honey is liquid again. Don't let the water boil though because I am told, by the local apiary, that it is bad for the flavor of the honey.
The bucket has been empty for a while now....I need to call up the bee keepers because I don't want to wait for farmer's market season! I have sure grown to love my honey!