A few weeks ago Howard and I are having lunch at a restaurant in Carlsbad, New Mexico. We had been to this restaurant before and wanted to go again, because we enjoyed the food. The Red Chimney Pit Bar-B-Q has great food, service and atmosphere! It also has fish for me, the non-meat eater in the family.
When the waiter brings our food, he sets down a clear squeeze bottle filled with honey; its golden color was gorgeous. He stated, “This will be very good on your hot rolls.” We noticed the bottle of honey didn’t have a label or any other identification as to where it was bottled.
Of course we tried the honey on our hot rolls and enjoyed its delightful, mild and not-too-sweet taste. We later asked the waiter if the honey was bottled locally and he told us that it came from Roswell, NM.
Leaving the restaurant, after our delicious meal, we stopped at Albertsons (grocery) to pick up a couple gallon jugs of water. I decided to see what types of honey they sold. I found the isle where the honey was stored, but noticed all the bottles and jars were located on the very top shelf, which was too high for this 5’2” gal.
Howard and I tried to looked at the labels, but didn’t spot any that looked like it was bottled in New Mexico. I noticed a store clerk on the next isle over, so I when to ask him a few questions about the honey they sold.
I told him our story of eating the honey at the Red Chimney. He followed us back to the isle where the honey was and noticed the same situation, the bottles and jars were too high up to read the labels.
He then went to the back storage area and came out with a stool. He places the stool in front of the honey, climbs up and proceeds to read the labels. He tells us where each one is produced. He picks up one and states, “From New York, that won’t do!” Too funny, like the Picante Salsa ad!
Needless to say he couldn’t find a single honey product made in New Mexico. He seemed very interested in our honey treasure hunt. We thanked him and left the store with our jugs of water. When traveling I like to notice grocery items that are from the local area. Buy local the signs read!
The following day the weather at Brantley Lake State Park in Carlsbad was stormy so we decided to hang out in the warm coach. Howard’s interest was peeked, after our honey tasting at the restaurant, so he spend a few hours on the web reading all about Honey! Who knew there were so many different types of honey. However, he couldn’t find anything in reference to honey being bottled in Roswell.
We spent two nights at Brantley Lake State Park and early on the third morning we headed to Bottomless Lakes State Park in Roswell. We had a short ride! It turned out to be a nice day so we decided to take a ride out to Bitter National Wildlife Refuge (BWLR) to see what was going on out there. Here is their web-site: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=22510 (A great birding place.)
Before we headed out to the BNWF we stopped for lunch. I told Howard I was going to ask the waiter if he knew of any honey produced here in Roswell. Howard stated, “He won’t know anything about honey.” Boy was Howard wrong. I asked the waiter about the honey and he immediately smiled and stated, “Yes, I buy my honey from a local family here in Roswell.” He told us exactly where the place was located and all about the benefits of honey.
That morning arriving in Roswell, as we were traveling out to the state park, we passed a sign that had just the word Honey written on it. The sign was very old, faded in color and sat in front of a small stone building that was crumbling to the ground. We surmised this used to be the place where honey was sold.
Back at the restaurant our waiter told us exactly where we could purchase the honey. He then described the location and sign that we had seen. “No way” I said. I told him that can’t be the place, because the building is abandoned and falling down. He then said, “Look for a house near the sign, this is where you need to go.”
After our visit to the BNWR we knew we would pass the sign and decided to slowly drive by and look for the house. As we were passing we saw the house and an elderly man out in the yard; he was watering what looked like tomato plants.
I said, “Oh what the heck, lets stop and talk with him.” We pulled into the multi-car driveway just off the highway. Howard got out of the car and began a conversation with the grey-haired man. Howard then turned toward the car and waved me to come. The man stated, “Yes, I make and sell the honey, come inside and I will show you.”
We followed him inside his neat home, passing a guitar in the living room and headed to the kitchen. I could picture him sitting in his living room playing his guitar. He did look like an old hippy! He went to a big closet and came out with a quart jar of honey. He told us he only sells it by the quart for $12.00.
Howard with his newly acquired knowledge of honey asked him a few questions. No, it is not pasteurized; yes, it is 100% pure honey; yes it was bottled recently. Howard states, “Okay, we will buy a quart.”
The old, hippy, farmer stated, “Be sure to store your honey in a dark, cool place never putting it in the refrigerator and it will last a very long time.” He was so sweet and kind, shaking our hands when we left. I did find, on the web, a Roswell local Farmer’s Market that sells his honey. Here is the web-site: http://gravesfarmandgarden.com
We are now back at home, arriving Tuesday, and enjoying a teaspoon of honey in our morning coffee and afternoon hot tea! We have decided that the honey we purchased from this very nice elderly man is not the same honey we tasted in Carlsbad, but it is just as good.
How long does it take to use a quart jar of 100% pure honey?