Since the holidays are upon us, Jazianzza, the star of the upcoming children’s book Bee-coming Strong, thought you might well be using some of her family’s honey for baking or cooking, so she suggested we write about honey.
To begin with, how much honey do scientists think a bee makes in her lifetime? Some say 1/12 of a teaspoon, while others say it’s more like one tablespoon. Whichever it is, when one considers bees visit between 50 and 100 flowers each day, it’s clear that there is a tremendous amount of collective energy (pun intended! ) in each spoonful of honey we use.
Human use of honey can be traced back around 8000 years, as depicted by Stone Age paintings. You and your young ones can check out this incredible rock painting discovered at the Arana Caves in Spain. The honey gatherer is collecting from a wild bee nest using a ladder or ropes. This short video takes us into the cave and gives a good explanation of how our ancient ancestors gathered honey. Fascinating!
So yes, honey has been coveted by humans for millennia. It was placed in the tombs of the dead for their journey into the afterlife, used for everything from embalming the dead to sweetening dishes, and as a medicine to treat burns, rashes, sore throats, and such. It was even used as dowries. Honey has been of great value throughout our history.
I have fond memories of my mother and grandmother making the most delicious baklava during the holiday season. Layers of filo dough were spread out over the cutting board, followed by ground nuts, butter, spices, and yes, honey. Honey was the crowning ingredient in my young mind, the addition of which made the baklava seem to sparkle and shine when it came out of the oven. Even as I write this my mouth is salivating!
Do you have special holiday sweets you make each year? It’s a delightful way to create memories for loved ones. Jazianzza wanted to include a variety of tasty recipes specially designed to be made with young ones for the holidays. Here they are. Enjoy!
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Wishing you a holiday season filled with deep peace, much joy, sweetness for the taste buds as well as the heart, and a great interest in the little beings on our planet. We’ll bee seeing you next month!
Jazianzza and Anandamayi (her translator)