Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How-to: Make a DIY Honey Stick, If It's Really Important To You

My kids loooooove honey sticks! Whenever we go to the farmer's market, they always ask to buy 1) kettle corn and 2) honey sticks. I sometimes say yes to the kettle corn (it's spendy), but I always say yes to the honey sticks, because they're cheap. The honey stand at the farmer's market is actually the first place that the kids shopped at independently when they were just preschoolers, standing in line with a quarter each in their hot little hands (they've since gone up a bit, but are still less than a buck), picking out a honey stick and paying all by themselves, the woman running the cash box utterly thrilled, I'm sure, to receive damp and sweaty coins from the filthy hands of small children.

The kids just suck their honey sticks right down, of course, but I've long had the idea that a honey stick would also make an excellent single-serving container for the little cartons of Greek yogurt that we sometimes like to take out and about. So I tried my hand at making my own honey stick, and it's actually not hard, just tedious and annoying.

You will need:

  • a clear plastic straw
  • honey. I toyed with the idea of warming raw honey so I could pour it, but instead I simply used our regular container of honey with its little squeezey opening.
  • needle nose pliers and lighter
1. Use the pliers to hold one end of the straw, maybe a centimeter from the end:

My photos are kind of crap, because clear straws are hard to focus on, and also I needed both of my hands for this project.

2. Burn the end of the straw with the lighter, then drop the lighter in the dirt and slide the pliers to the end of the straw, pressing to seal it well. Repeat if you need to, because it just needs to be sealed; it doesn't need to look pretty!

This part took me a few tries, because you do have to move quickly in order to get your hand off of the lighter and onto the straw so you can move the pliers before the melted plastic hardens. I halfway thought about setting up my blowtorch for this, but I probably don't need to burn down my neighborhood just to make a honey straw.

3. Slowly pour honey into the straw. The opening of our bottle was just a smidge larger than the width of the straw, so I just held both steady and poured the honey in at a trickle. When you've got it full to your satisfaction, repeat the sealing process on the other side of the straw.

You can test it by squeezing the bottom end very, very gently--if you see a small bubble of honey come out, then reseal it. Flip it over and test the other side. I had to do this a couple of times for both sides, and it was a huge pain in the butt, but it did work in the end.

Verdict: do-able, in that I now have a honey stick to eat while out and about. It didn't even take *that* long to do. BUT it was super annoying, and hella frustrating, although to be fair that sealing part would surely come much easier with practice. So while I *can* DIY my own honey sticks, and it would probably be worth it if I had my own hive, or to do in smaller containers if I wanted to take little packets of raw honey camping, say, to use as an antibiotic ointment (which I don't, because Neosporin doesn't attract bugs to my cuts), but when I can buy a whole honey straw of local honey from the farmer's market for less than a dollar?

Well, I'll still probably make my own, because I AM that cheap, but I won't insist to the children that we have to make our own instead of letting them buy one each at the farmer's market, how about that?

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