Bumblebees, Best Foods mayonnaise, and lemon juice

Today went pretty much as expected, which means that we are all bone tired. It was a slog sort of day, except that Ben managed to disturb a nest of bumblebees when he was getting me some wood chips, got stung once, and appeared a little white-faced from his adventure when he arrived back at the garden.

We all like bumblebees. Bumblebees are our main pollinators right now with the shortage of honey bees. They are generally friendly, not aggressive, and so clumsy looking that you can’t help but enjoy watching them. An engineer once proved, I’ve heard, that bumblebees cannot possibly fly, so there is also an element of magic in watching them bumbling around from flower to flower.

But as with any animal, if you disturb its nest, it’s “Katie, bar the door.” Ben managed to get back in the RTV and close all the windows before the 200 or so angry little insects could focus on the enemy, so he escaped relatively unscathed and managed to get me woodchips from another pile that wasn’t concealing a bumblebee nest. When you have a wood chipper, wood chips are not generally rare.

But Rabbit commented that my posts make her hungry, so I’m going to shift narratives here. I happen to think that being hungry is a very good thing, with one caveat: If you’re not in a position to fix the problem, hunger is an extremely evil condition.

A sad fact of life in our rather traditional household is that after working outside all day, I have the responsibility most evenings of finding something to put on the table. This is actually OK with me, because Ben makes sure I have firewood to cook it with, that the necessary stoves are going, the generator full, and dozens of related tasks.

But since cooking a four-course meal is not something I want to do when I’ve dragged myself back to the house (nor something Ben wants to wait for), I’ve accumulated a fair number of quick-to-fix meals. I do prefer real food and don’t use a microwave, so if that’s your standard of food preparation, there’s not much here for you.

There are two condiments in my experience that rarely negatively affect anything to which you apply them. These are Best Foods mayonnaise (Hellman’s brand east of the Mississippi) and fresh lemon juice. There’s a great recipe currently on the back of the Best Foods jar for chicken breasts baked in a covering of mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. It is terrific, and the total prep and cooking time is about 30 minutes.

So that’s what we had for dinner tonight, along with some mashed potatoes and a tossed green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing. It was quick, yummy, and relatively healthy.

If you want to try it and can’t find the recipe, let me know and I’ll post it. It makes a perfect spring dinner.


10 Responses to “Bumblebees, Best Foods mayonnaise, and lemon juice”

  1. Philip Ferris Says:

    I am never without olive oil, oregano (riganni to some) and lemon juice.

    Salads particularly seem to like a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

  2. Philip Ferris Says:

    PS could I have the recipe please.

  3. Lisa Hostick Says:

    I’ve seen bumble bees appear either “drunk” or “dead”, while hanging around the dahlia bed.

  4. mklekacz Says:

    Lisa, I warned you about watering your dahlias with vodka. . .


  5. mklekacz Says:

    Phil, here’s the recipe on a per chickenbreast basis so you can make it in just about any quantity.

    Use boneless skinless chicken half breasts. For each chicken breast, mix about 2 tablespoons of good mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese. Smear this mixture on all sides of the chicken breast, place in a baking dish, sprinkle with a light covering of Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and bake in a moderately hot oven (425 degrees Fahrenheit, which I think translates to about 215 degrees Centigrade). The baking time will be between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and how well done you like your chicken.

    This last time I experimented by adding a sprinkling of Chalula powder (mixed ground chiles and roasted garlic) to the mayo sauce before covering the chicken with it. It was good and added a little zip to the dish.

  6. whitishrabbit Says:

    So what happened to the honeybees? People have mentioned that they’re endangered but I haven’t heard what’s going on. I suppose I could look it up.

    But now I’m too hungry.

  7. mklekacz Says:

    Rabbit, no one really knows what has happened. There are lots of theories, but it seems as if the mature worker bees simply “forget” to come back to the colony. Disease (some form of bee Alzheimer’s perhaps), environmental issues, or–who knows? But it has the potential to endanger many types of agriculture.

    This spring we had a whole bunch of very small bees early on, then suddenly none. Now I see one accasionally, but not in the fruit-tree-covering quantities we’ve always had. So I’m pretty grateful to the little bumblers.

  8. Lisa Hostick Says:


  9. wally Says:

    can I get my dick sucked please?

  10. objedyday Says:

    Many of people write about this issue but you said some true words.

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