For the Love of Honey

Recently, we bought some Dutch Gold Orange Blossom Honey because it was on sale.

The subtle orange flavor and the sweetness of honey was enough to turn me into a bit of a honey snob.

During the kids’ chess club meeting at the library, I was perusing the food section and came across the book Honey: From Flower to Table by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

Beginning with famous instances of honey use and ending with a helpful list of resources, this well-written book was a delightful, easy read. Its pages are filled with everything from the history of honey to beekeeping to flavor-crafting your hive’s honey with different flowers to recipes (both edible and inedible!) using honey.

The photographs are beautiful. (It was a library book, otherwise I may have tried to lick the pages.) They inspired me to want to find vintage honey jars with impressions of bees and honeycombs just so that honey will hold a more prominent place in my kitchen.

Below is one of the recipes from the book I’d like to try.

Doesn’t it sounds perfectly soothing on a sore-throat day?

Hot Honey Lemonade

2 lemons
3-4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1 cup boiling water
1 cinnamon stick

Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a large mug. Slice the second lemon very thin. Poke cloves into a lemon slice and drop slices into the mug. Add the honey. Fill cup with hot water and stir with cinnamon stick until the honey has dissolved. Taste for sweetness and add more honey as necessary.

Baklava, an Ottomon Turkish puffed-pastry filled with nuts and honey, has always been a favorite dessert of mine. The last time I ate it, savoring each bite, was at a progressive Christmas dinner in 2005. Thankfully, the dinner came with a recipe list from everyone’s offerings and I was excited to discover today that I still have the binder! All this thinking about honey has made me want to make my own. Stay tuned.

Will you share your favorite honey recipe with me?

PS: You may have noticed that the disappearance of honeybees has been in the news, with things like cell phone usage and climate change cited as the culprits.

According to FastCompany.com it was discovered that the EPA knowingly allowed approval of a pesticide toxic to the natural plant pollinator, honeybees.
In other words, the bees have been unwittingly dying from just doing their thing — pollinating crops. As this pollination process is important to farmers, it would seem that such a thing would be counter-productive at the very least.

Can’t Be Tamed : Truth for Parents About Miley Cyrus’ New Video

Danger: Raven by Giant Ginkgo (via Flickr)

Mommy-blogosphere is a twitter today with the release of Miley Cyrus’ new music video, “Can’t Be Tamed”.

In it, Cyrus looks like a raven who forgot to get dressed for the day. (Do ravens even wear pants?) She sings about her intentions while dancing on the poles of her birdcage.

Many parents have daughters who have grown up with Cyrus’ alter-ego, Hannah Montana. Perplexed over how to explain this change to their daughters, they are afraid they may have to tell them that they are no longer permitted to listen to their beloved singer because she is not who she used to be.

In the words of Soraya Roberts of the NYDailyNews,

“Writhing in a large nest within a giant birdcage, the 17-year-old pop star, wearing S&M-style gear, looks provocatively at the camera complaining that she feels like a specimen.

She proceeds to engage in some raunchy pole dancing, her plunging body-hugging black bodice, complete with expansive bird wings (the curator in the video says she is a member of the extinct species Avian Cyrus), leaving little to the imagination.”

The article is accompanied by this poll:

“Do you think Miley Cyrus’ new video is too saucy for a 17-year-old?

Yes, where are her parents?!
No, she’s almost an adult.
Who’s Hannah Montana?

The emphasized concern, of course, is that feathered Cyrus is not legally an adult.

As a millionaire who makes her own decisions about most of her life, however, she is essentially living as an adult, proving that Americans still hold age as a standard for maturity vs. self-reliance or life experience.

It is an especially interesting double standard, given that many Americans are at peace with sending 18 year old men off to war. Teens shooting “bad guys” in the head is okay, but it is shocking when Cyrus wears a black corset that provides more coverage than most women wear at the beach.

Frankly, Cyrus’ video portrays exactly the kind of behavior I’d expect from a woman struggling to handle the massive amount of attention from strange men in her life. She is trying express her own sexuality, but is attempting (poorly) to tell them they can’t touch her unless it is on her terms.

It’s easy to do our part by clicking on,”Where are her parents?” to vote our outrage. How often, though, with our own children do we discuss sex? This video is just one more example of why we must discuss it with our daughters, while they are still young. Should we allow just any man to touch us? How does Cyrus’ message mesh with her actions? Are her words consistent with her suggestive behavior? Why do we wear modest swimsuits, anyway?

When we think that people under 21 (yes, even Christians) do not have sexual desires, we kid ourselves. Realistically, it is parents who are embarrassed to talk to anyone younger than 21 about sex. Kids talk about sex all the time, at the level that they understand. Even young children know something’s going on between their parents, which is why they get flustered when their parents are kissing or holding hands in public. They have a feeling that it is somehow connected to things private.

The truth is, “Should a 17 year old express sexual feelings?” is the wrong question to be asking. Instead, we need to broaden our perspective and ask, “What should people, including adults and teens, do with sexual feelings?”

For starters, sex is a good thing; a gift from God.

However, it is for people who are married.

Instead of pretending sexuality and birdcages don’t exist, parents who have seen Cyrus’ new video have an opportunity to talk to their children about it in the context of thinking critically about everything they do.

From the food we eat to the entertainment we buy, we need to constantly be challenging ourselves and our children to check our hearts and actions against the true standard, God’s Holy Word.