Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In which we make a sauce of Some Deliciousness


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.


Simona is co-hosting another round of Novel Food.

Read something delicious lately? Entries close on the 21st of June.


Christina said...

You got me at the chili. Red chili with sweet and salt is one of my favorite flavor combinations ever. This will grace my table as soon as the fresh chilis come in. Can't wait.

By the way, I didn't comment on the solstice cake, but I did want to tell you that reading about it made me very, very hungry.

You are awesome, my friend.

shula said...

AA Milne. My all-time, no.1 desert island favourite.


As is that sauce.

Another Outspoken Female said...

"Now we are six" is my favourite and I can still recount far too many of the poems. Sadly, we didn't stay 6 for ever and ever.

L Vanel said...

When I was 7 I played the part of Roo in a community theater musical production of Winnie the Pooh. My mother sewed me an over the shoulder sack that just fit my script. Every afternoon for months we rehearsed. Mothers sewed costumes, we had lots of colorful makeup, and we lived and breathed this production. I know all of the songs. The children I sing them to are amazed and a little bit frightened when I sing them aloud at the slightest provocation. Today I'll be singing in circles all day long. Thanks!

Little Min said...

Snap!I've been reading A.A Milne poetry over the last week - a library book my daughter took out. I am well aware that i've been enjoying it infinitely more than she has, but then she does ask for the Christopher Robin song at bedtime.And she is only two. I thoughti'd start her early.

Simona said...

I love Pooh and his friends. Milne's writing is just lovely. I find it very soothing, reassuring. I am sure Pooh would love to come by your house and have some of your sauce of Some Deliciousness, social bear that he is. Thank you for the sweet (in more ways than one) entry.

Kristen said...

You have such a great writing style!

Ricki said...

I'm one of those who came to Pooh later in life (never read it as a kid) and have been enchanted. But what do you mean, a dog is not an audience??!!

The sauce sounds amazing. . .the mix of sweet, toasty and spicy--another one I must try.

Wendy said...

Adore Pooh. Piglet has my heart though. :)
As for the sauce, yum! A definite book mark for the coming summer weeks.

neil said...

Such deliciousness from the hundred acre wood. Who would have thought there was a chile plant or two growing there, perhaps tigger, who always moves as if he's just nibbled on some.

Johanna said...

I still have a soft spot for that funny old bear with his honey tummy! And I quite understand his love of honey - in fact I baked muffins with it last night so it will feature on my blog soon - but it was sticky indulgent and sweet rather than judiciously savoury as in your lovely sauce!

Anonymous said...

I just love Winnie the Pooh, and also Christopher Robin. WOW. They were both long term residents in our house as my daughter was growing up. Wonderful wonderful stories. I must dig them out again. And your sauce of wonderful deliciousness? I certainly will try it.

The Yummy Mummy said...

A beautiful post, love. Sometimes your writing just transports me.

bee said...

i love this dressing. and i'm an incurable pooh fan. this was a smile-inducing post.

Holler said...

I enjoyed that post tremendously. Winie the pooh is comfort as is the honey. Lovely tasty sauce!

Lisa said...

I must reread Winnie the Pooh! Thanks for the inspiration.

Miso sauce. Yes, this I will be trying.

By the way, I will respond to your last email. Busy, very busy, and going away for part of the weekend too. My apologies.

Anonymous said...

In this age of non-ingenuity and excess, I am so pleased to be reminded of the uses for a not so slender bear. Hanging the washing at the south end was a masterstroke. The thing about hunny is that it is sweetness but with personality; unlike some refined sugars I have known. Pooh was on the munny. Jo

Jeena said...

Sounds wonderful. My kids love pooh bear. :-)

frances said...

great idea for sauce, lucy - cant wait to try it out. and honey is so good in many things, a strangely warming and nourishing sweetness too. hooray for another great idea - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Terrific entry, Lucy. This sauce sounds so yummy. On crispy tofu, you say? yummm. I have been into the roasted sesame lately. My current favourite is freshly ground roasted sesame seeds tossed with pinch of pink salt and in some steamed green beans.

As for honey, I love trying different types, I am more partial to stringer flavoured ones such as those from the eucalyptus trees.

take care,
x Nora

Rosa said...

I've started to appreciate honey since moving to Nice - particularly darker, slightly bitter honeys such as chestnut or pine. As a child I ate far too much clover honey, Pooh-style!

kale for sale said...

It so happens I was eating a bowl of yogurt and honey while reading this and despite pooh getting caught in the door after his delicious morning I would not put it down. I do feel a bit plump now however. But also quite lovely which is the case when I read your words and imagine your recipes.

Anh said...

Just so yummy, Lucy! It looks like I have missed out a couple of your delicious posts.

Worked my way back to blogging now. but perhaps no update yet until the blog bug bites me again.

Are you coming to the Melb bloggers' veg out? Hope to meet u there!

Nora B. said...

Dear Lucy,
Comments take 2 ;-)

The combination of flavours in this sauce certainly sounds delicious, esp with some crispy tofu as you suggested.

What types of honey do you like? I like the creamed ones for toast and also the stronger flavoured ones such as those produced on eucalyptus trees.

Have a wonderful weekend ahead!

x Nora

Lucy said...

I'm thrilled - THRILLED - that there are so many A.A. Milne fans out there! I'm insanely busy at the moment, but each of your comments has cheered me no end.

There's a theory that all of us, in our own, small way, can be descibed as one of the characters in Winne-The-Pooh. If you haven't already done so, go, grab a copy and start thinking - apparently, I'm a little like Kanga. Lucy V - you made my day with your Roo tale (or should that be tail?).

Anh - oh, yes, I'll be there. Can't wait to meet, finally!

Nora - ;-) Honey? I like the raw stuff - unheated, for my tastebud s, is deal, but I do like those dark eucalyptus ones, too.

winedeb said...

Pooh bear is such an all time favorite! Great post Lucy, as always:)

Lisa said...

Lucy, this is gorgeous. The sauce sounds divine, and I can't wait to try it myself. I can almost taste it on crispy tofu already!

I LOVE Winnie the Pooh. Thank you for the reminder -- and the illustration at the end of your post -- too wonderful. My dad used to read the Pooh books to me, taking on all the voices (I'll always remember his very funny Piglet voice).

Thanks a million for enriching our Novel Food event with Such Deliciousness.

Susan said...

Poor dear Pooh. I don't know what is worse, an enforced diet or enduring Rabbit's fretting for a week!

We appear to have a thing for each other's spoons. I suggest an exchange via airmail. Those tiny seeds of sesame...

adele said...

Winnie-the-Pooh is one of my favorite characters in children's literature, and this sauce sounds marvelous.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Steamed greens and a sauce of some deliciousness...