Oyster-Ception Pizza

A threefold style pizza with foraged oyster mushrooms, oysters, and oyster sauce, topped with romano cheese and pepperoni.

The crust – sourdough and kombucha quick-fermented dough

The sauce – fresh butcher boy, stewed canned, and tomato paste

The toppings – sauteed oyster mushrooms and tinned oysters in lemon butter and oyster-infused olive oil, and packaged pepperoni

The cheese – layer of mozzarella underneath, with two layers of light romano cheese both under and over

The result –

It’s great. My tired self needed this tonight. Copy me or improv, just take care of you!

-Serenity Bee Products

Mountaneer Lye Soap//Women’s Blue Tansy & Jasmine Lye Soap

Men and women’s soaps are now available on my Etsy shop.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SerenityBeeProducts?ref=profile_header

In 2022, we get to clean up and make ourselves presentable inside and out once again with the final push to make it through winter and into a young, budding spring.  Going up for sale straight away in my shop are two kinds of men’s soap, and one delicate feminine soap.  If you want to lather in musk, leather, blue spruce, and bergamot and smell good all over, try the new men’s soap, made with all natural grapeseed and sweet almond oil.  If you want a lighter scent, try our feminine soap made skin-calming blue tansy, refreshing green tea, and balancing jasmine and infused with mango seed butter for extra moisture.
Support Iowa small businesses like me by visiting my Etsy and follow me on Instagram! Link in bio.

I make my soaps as a form of therapy. It is soothing to me to make things that I believe will help others. Although I spend money to buy organic ingredients that I believe in my experience will benefit your skin, I do this not for money alone but also because I believe it will bring others joy. I keep my prices low and make enough profit to keep it worth the time and cost for myself. I love science, health, and herbalism, and I think you will find my products are a cut above the rest. I don’t skimp because I don’t want my customers to ever feel they didn’t get their money’s worth. Every cent you spend brings me closer to my goal of producing my own products from ingredients that my garden and kitchen supply, instead of relying on big-name companies that profit because they are widely available. I love my work and I hope that you find it worthy, too.

Thanks.

Melissa from Serenity Bee Products

Making Fermented Apple Cider

Hi guys, there’s something that’s been brewing for quite a while that I’d like to share with you, and that’s this…

I’ve been fermenting both apple peels and whole apples that I bought or picked for a few months, and today I finally decided it was the right time to strain the juice and save it in jars for drinking. I fermented these apples after getting interested in saving the parts of fruit that couldn’t be eaten or used, like peels, bruised parts, or apples I wouldn’t eat because they weren’t as perfect as I wanted.

I used only water, apples, sugar, and honey to ferment these, and I regularly let my corked ciders “breathe” so they wouldnt be volitile and blow up or overflow because of the natural yeasts. I wholeheartedly believe that, if done right, natural fermentation using natural yeasts and fermented fruit/sugars is very beneficial for the digestion, so I set out to doctor these and check them often, adjusting the sugars and water until I had a taste I liked, then I bottled them and stored them in my refrigerator. The taste of each was unique, bubbly, and fermented in just the right ways, and I didn’t have a bad batch because of my hard work.

What you can learn from this is – keep things bad bacteria-free by sanitizing, using clean tools, not double-dipping, and taste testing each brew to feel out what you want to see in each ferment. I used bottles with corks so they could breathe, yet they were closed off enough to develop natural gasses that carbonated the cider, which is so delicious. Then you are free, once done, to close off the jars with lids and let them stop fermentation in your fridge. Easy, but requires a little patience. You can enjoy this healthy science experiment and learn about the way fermentation and yeasts work.

Always label your hard work, so later you don’t forget what your ferments are or when they were made. Knowing what fruits and sugars you used is important to knowing what they are, so you don’t consume something unknown, as that can feel chaotic and wrong.

Be a student and learn what you can, even from your failures. I failed many times, creating vinegars, cheesy yeasty brews, and a lot of unusable ferments that ended up going into my compost pile to be worm food. But it remains worth it for the sake of your crafting skills and for you to get good at what you do. Try apples, pears, lemons, guava fruit, anything that makes you happy. Always strain your ferment halfway through, once you’ve tasted it and the flavor comes through, but it seems not fermented enough. It’s a happy medium kind of thing. So it’s important to test bi-monthly and then use a cheesecloth to strain and ferment a few more weeks to get the carbonation and ferment right. Do this using your own inclinations and learn as you go, and Google anything you don’t know.

Happy fermenting, and don’t forget to share your creations with family and friends if things turn out well! Making fermented cider is not the same as making alcohol. This is closer to kombucha, and has little or no alcohol content. Enjoy learning and growing!

Melissa – Serenity Bee Products

Festive BBQ Sauce Recipe

This barbeque sauce slaps. Hands-down, the best I’ve made. It features fresh pomegranate juice for its festive additive. Figs, cranberry, or some other holiday fruit would be just as good too, so feel free to substitute.

Recipe:

  • Juice of 2 pomegranates, strained
  • 2 T Brown sugar
  • 2 T Raw honey
  • 2 T Butter
  • 2 T Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh sweet kombucha (optional, it will blend the salt, smokiness, and the sweetness together)

Spice Blend

  • 1 T fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 T smoked salt or regular salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

On a stovetop, combine all ingredients and spice blend on a stovetop and heat to a medium-high heat, letting it bubble while stirring often. Bring down to a simmer on low-medium heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup natural ketchup and simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Taste and see if it needs anything. Take off heat and let cool, to thicken. Serve with ribs to glaze and dip, or use for other chicken or pork dishes.

Use this bbq sauce however you please, and store the rest in a mason jar for up to a week and a half or longer depending on how the texture and smell is. This sauce is great for a festive kick in the pants and will impress anyone you serve. Cook with love always.

Here’s my push to make your own kombucha. You can make it easily. Simply add raw honey to water, and any fruit juices you wish to make it complex. Let sit in a bottle with a cork for a few weeks up to a few months, checking for taste regularly and adding sugars and flavors as you please. Merry Christmas!