Bestowing the gift of honey on Rosh Hashanah

RNS () — The theme of life and death is at the heart of Rosh Hashanah, celebrated with a drizzle … Continued

RNS () — The theme of life and death is at the heart of Rosh Hashanah, celebrated with a drizzle of honey to signify hopes for sweet New Year.

You can watch this drama unfold in miniature in a beehive. A single honeybee makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime; a pound of honey is the life’s work of 325 bees. As we celebrate the New Year, we celebrate a life’s work and focus on the sweet results.

“To see the bees work in the hive and then extract the honey and see it in a jar is like having your child bring home (his or her) first drawing from school and hang it on the fridge,” says Laurey Masterton, the author of “The Fresh Honey Cookbook: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen” (Storey, $14.95). “You are just so full of pride that your bees made that.”

Masterton grew up in Vermont at the Blueberry Hill Inn, the daughter of the Newark-raised chef Elsie Masterton nÃ5/8e Lipstein.

Her mother’s influence guided her to become a chef and cafÃ5/8 owner in Asheville, N.C., and her interest in honey began with an event she catered for a local honeybee education organization. She only served foods pollinated by bees — nuts, avocados, strawberries, and apples, among them — to draw attention to how vital they are to our food supply. She took a beekeeping course and, after a few mishaps and quite a lot of dead bees, took more classes and became a certified beekeeper.

Though Masterton was not raised Jewish, her cookbook is full of ideas for incorporating honey into every course.

Her mother’s honey-stewed apples, cooked with a touch of white wine and fresh sage, would be a lovely compliment to brisket. The recipe for an apple-honey-nut “thing” was given to the family by a guest at Blueberry Hill. Not quite cake or pie, the mixture of apples, honey and pecans is baked in a pie tin and served with honey cream. Masterton’s easy tarte tatin promises exemplary results for even those who are not known as bakers.

Endive, another vegetable that requires honeybees for pollination, is sprinkled with shaved Parmesan and pomegranates — eating the fruit’s myriad seeds signifies the desire for a new year full of mitzvot, or good deeds — and drizzled with a vinaigrette made from cranberry honey, apple cider vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.

“Adding an aged cheese like Parmesan will give your dish sweet, salty and bitter notes,” Masterton says. “Have all those three tastes in one bite and you are doing really well.”

And for the traditional apples-and-honey opener to the festive meal, Masteron suggests seeks out a darker, more bitter honey variety, such as buckwheat or chestnut.

Masterton is a proponent of buying local. If a recipe calls for a particular honey variety and it is not local, she encourages readers to forge relationships with a local beekeeper. Ask them to help you match the flavor you are looking for with the taste of local honey.

(Rachel Weston, the chef at A Better World CafÃ5/8 in Highland Park, N.J., writes “The Gutsy Gourmet,” a monthly column in The Star-Ledger.)

YS END WESTON

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

More on: ,
Comments are closed.

Read More Articles

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

concert
Why I Want to Be Culturally Evangelical

I’ve lost my faith. Do I have to lose my heritage, too?

shutterstock_37148347
What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.