Isn’t it funny
How a bear likes honey?
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
I wonder why he does?
Sung in a small growly voice, by a Bear of Very Little Brain
Winnie-the-Pooh is a stout, greedy sort of bear and honey - dripping, viscous, sweet honey - his infamous weakness. Not that one can blame him, not one bit; in fact it is just that absent-minded greed that endears him to both adult and child alike. I’ve been wandering around the house reading A.A.Milne’s classic Winnie-the-Pooh aloud to myself and the dog, and it’s been hugely, immensely, enjoyable. Read aloud, it matters little that your audience be youthful. Nor, obviously, that one has an audience at all. ‘I can also highly recommend ‘Now We Are Six’; a tour de force of gentle but smart humour wasted on the under 10’s’, said Jo during an exchange of emails. I think she’s on to something significant. Winnie-the-Pooh is far too good to be kept merely for children.
Rotund of middle, Pooh one day finds himself stuck in Rabbit’s narrow doorway after a particularly delicious morning tea of honey and condensed milk. In one of my favourite passages, Christopher Robin, Milne’s real life son, is called upon to solve the rather sticky situation. A week of starvation is his diagnosis; Pooh must live on a diet of words alone if he’s ever to leave Rabbit’s home:
Bear began to sigh, and then found he couldn’t because he was so tightly stuck; and a tear rolled down his eye, as he said:
‘Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?’
So, for a week Christopher Robin read that sort of book at the North end of Pooh, and Rabbit hung his washing on the South end…and in between Bear felt himself getting slenderer and slenderer.
With one almighty pull and a cork-like ‘pop’, Winnie-the-Pooh, I am pleased to report, is finally freed. Silly old Bear.
Simple sugar, which is essentially what honey is, has taken hold of our modern diet and rattled it to the core. Sure, we all like some sweetness, but eating as much honey as Bear does is hardly wise. So, I offer something new for Pooh to try. A sticky miso and honey sauce, just right for dressing up some simple steamed greenery. A much better and more slimming way for a Bear to get his, or indeed her, honey fix.
Honey & miso sauce (of Some Deliciousness)
Honey (or Hunny as per Pooh Bear’s spelling) is one of those things that I have come to, in small amounts, later in life. Better late than never, I say. Sub in agave syrup or rice syrup to make this vegan. Very Good poured over crisp tofu or, better still, a pile of steamed Asian greens. Keeps well, refrigerated.
1 generous tablespoon of sesame seeds
2 ½ tablespoons of miso (dark red in winter; white in the warmer months)
2 teaspoons of pale sesame oil
1 teaspoon of dark, toasted sesame oil
5 tablespoons of warm water
2 tablespoons of raw honey, rice or agave syrup
Dash of rice vinegar
1 red chilli, seeded and very finely chopped
A thumb of ginger, freshly grated
Toast the sesame seeds to a pale shade of gold in a dry frying pan, paying close attention – they can (and do) burn in the blink of an eye. Cool on a plate.
Whisk all but the sesame seeds and ginger together in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger in, discard the pulp and whisk again until smooth, then sprinkle over the sesame seeds. If using white miso, you may like to add a large splash, perhaps a little more, of either tamari or soy sauce to balance things out nicely.
Read something delicious lately? Entries close on the 21st of June.