“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
~ A.A. Milne
Tasting this, I was Winnie the Pooh in Wonderland.
I am sure I am not the only J. Friend and Co. honey consumer who has thought about sticking a human paw into one of their jars…
Before we moved to New Zealand, I was a stranger to the wide honey world. If anyone said “honey”, I’d think of couples or of a sticky bright yellow substance glooping down Pooh Bear’s rotund tummy. Over the last few years, I have really loved getting acquainted with the beautiful honey made right here in this country – especially the unique manuka honey which NZ is so rightfully well known for.
While I like honey, though, I have seldom enjoyed it neat. I can be persuaded to try raw cookie dough, or lick my butter knife after using it to spread PB on toast, and once or twice I have even been seen to lick a plate (ungraceful, I know)… but I am mostly NOT a honey-spoon-licker. I’ll drizzle honey on my crumpets or stir honey into warm water, then toss the honey-coated spoon straight into the sink.
So yesterday, while trying to choose a honey (of my three jars*, of which I had only tried one) for R’s salmon, I took a TINY sample of each one… before Winnie the Pooh unexpectedly whooshed into my brain. He nearly took over. Instead, I took out teaspoons and insisted that everyone try some honey. I think I may have looked frighteningly excited, because they all looked a little shocked and just obeyed silently.
I am happy to say that after everyone had a taste of some honey, no one questioned my sanity. It spoke for itself…
We used a few spoonfuls of the Beechwood Honeydew honey to make a honey-balsamic glaze which greatly enhanced our main course of seared salmon fillet; baby spinach and blanched asparagus tossed with lemon zest; portobello mushrooms baked with halloumi; and couscous with parsley.
This honey tasted of forests and fairies… it was a total surprise, and it was wonderful to place a full teaspoon of this into my mouth and shut my eyes for a minute… I thought of Enid Blyton’s “The Wishing Chair” (still so fun to think about, years later). What can I say? If you were to use a liquid to describe imagination and abundance, this honey would come pretty close.
We ate very well last night. R and K thoroughly spoiled us with this dinner, and their company! (Thank you R and K!)
In addition to that crazily delicious salmon dish above (which the photo does not do justice to), we also had prosciutto draped over cantaloupe… a combination I have often heard great things about but never ventured to try. I was certainly not disappointed!
For dessert, I just assembled two platters:
Havarti with grapes and crackers, and fresh strawberries with crème fraîche and brown sugar. Not that we really fit much dessert in after the preceding courses!
* Thank you so much, kind Sharyn, for sending me two jars of your precious honey to try! I can’t wait to try the Viper’s Bugloss honey in a dish. :-)
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