Sunday Suppers (Monday Edition): Baked Eggs. And Bees. But Not Together.

Yesterday, our neighbor Thomas got his bees!  He raised bees last year, but then sent them Elsewhere for the winter because he wanted to start fresh with a cool new Top Bar Hive.  No more white boxy boxes for him, no sir.  He has a very cool Mt. Ararat-looking Bee Ark. And now, he has new bees to go in it.

The day before, The Beloved agreed to go with him to pick up the bees.  We're all very excited about having local honey.  Very local honey.  I was the Official Photographer (because their camera was full), so I thought I'd share some of them with you.  Enjoy the following Photo Essay:

bees and baked eggs 024The Beloved sprays the new bees with sugar water to give them a snack so they won't sting us all when Thomas transfers them to The Ark.

bees and baked eggs 029Thomas empties the 3 pounds of bees into the hive. This is not a delicate process. It involves much banging to get the bees to come out. Prior to this, the small container housing the queen is stapled into the hive. If she's not in there first, there would be no reason for the others to stay.

bees and baked eggs 034When most of the bees have been transferred, The Beloved puts the top slats back in place. He uses a brush to gently sweep any Bees In Peril out of the way.

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To make sure all the stragglers make it into their new home, the case is left in easy reach of the hive entrance.

bees and baked eggs 074Thomas encourages them to come inside by spraying some sugar water on the landing pad in front of the entrance.

bees and baked eggs 089These are Italian bees. If you look closely, you can tell that they're all wearing wee sun glasses. They also drive Vespas.

bees and baked eggs 104The interior of the hive with some sugar water for food (it supplements their diet of nectar when flowers aren't in bloom). You can see all the bees clumped around the queen's container which is closed with a plug made of sugar. Once they eat their way through the sugar plug, the queen can get out and start ordering them around.

bees and baked eggs 098Thomas's hive has a plexiglass viewing window covered with a wooden shutter. This lets him see what the bees are doing without disturbing them too much. The window is pretty reflective, so the grass you see is on the ground. As is my foot. But I think you can also see the bees clumping together in there.

bees and baked eggs 077

Caio, bees.

After a day of Bee Wrangling, we wanted a light supper.  I, as per usual on Sunday evenings, was not feeling overly motivated to stand and Stir an Item, so I came up with a very simple baked egg dish, added a few Mexican flavors, and served it with flour tortillas.  And it pretty much took care of itself while I was in the shower getting de-beed.  As with lots of simple ideas, variations are only limited by your palate and imagination.

bees and baked eggs 112For baked egg perfection, add cheese now.

Baked Eggs

  • 1 14.5 oz (or close) can of diced tomatoes (I had Muir Glen Organics)
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ground cumin and Mexican oregano, to taste
  • some of your favorite hot sauce--my current smoky favorite is Virginia Gentleman Bourbon Chipotle Hot Sauce--to taste
  • juice of one lime
  • 4 large eggs
  • a little salt and pepper for sprinkling on the eggs
  • shredded pepper jack cheese

Dump the can of tomatoes directly in an oven safe, shallow dish.  Add salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, hot sauce and lime juice, to taste.  Stir it all up, right in the dish.

bees and baked eggs 110Crack 4 eggs onto the top of the tomatoes.  You can try to make little wells in the tomatoes, but that works better if you make this in individual ramekins--which you could certainly do.

Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top of your eggs.  Bake in the center of the oven until set on the edges but still runny and jiggly in the center, about 25 minutes or so.

Sprinkle on some cheese and bake for another 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted and the eggs are as set as you like them.  If you want to brown the cheese, you can run a torch over this or put it under the broiler for another minute or so.

bees and baked eggs 112 And that's really it.  Serve with tortillas or with whatever strikes your fancy.  I really loved the lime-tomato combination.  It was very bright and spring-like.  Should you feel so inclined, this would be perfect as a part of an Easter brunch.

I am More Than looking forward to making this same dish, but with homemade corned beef hash (made with home-corned beef, thankyouverymuch) as the base.  Mmmm.  Spanish rice would be an amazing base for this as well.  Or stick with tomatoes but go Italian.  Or Moroccan.  Or Indian.  Oooh--how about starting with a base of curried chick peas and potatoes?!  However you make them, make them.  Baked eggs Rock.

bees and baked eggs 119

Purchase here to help feed the kittens.


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