For the past two centuries people have had to overcome all kinds of tremendous obstacles to get to the grave site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, which is located in Uman, Ukraine, for Rosh Hashana. They’ve braved the threat of pogroms, actual arrest, being followed by Soviet spies, no food, no indoor plumbing, sickness and major discomfort. I have no right to complain the jar of raw honey I packed for my husband to use in Uman was confiscated.
The conversation went something like this:
Airline Security Agent What iss ziss?
Husband: Honey. For a sweet New Year.
Airline Security Agent: But. No. Ziss looks like a paste. Ziss iss a paste!*
Airline Security Agent: Pastes are not permitted.
Husband: Okay, keep it. And please, enjoy it. It’s delicious.
Airline Security Agent: Yess? Okay. Zank you.
*Why didn’t they take his toothpaste?
Meanwhile, while the husband was getting interrogated (I’m kidding, I’m KIDDING), I was at the NYC Union Square Farmer’s Market (better than ever) picking up the last of the summer tomatoes. Gorgeous day for it.
Apples had a rough season, it was too hot and too wet. My favorites were not available. (Cox’s Orange Pippins, Newton Pippins, or any of the russets such as Baldwins. The non-hybrid Jonathans and Stayman Winesaps are also terrific and all those luscious old varieties I ate in England.)
Most varieties that you see everywhere are either cloyingly sweet (Delicious, Gala, Fuji) or insipid (Cortland, Golden Delicious). Or both (Delicious). Empires aren’t bad and the best Macintoshes are very good.
More variety suggestions and a neat apple pie recipe, here.
I bought some raw, organic honey from the famous Andrew’s Local Honey. Why is it called local? Because much of the honey that Andrew (a Fulbright scholar and English professor, among other things) sells comes from bees kept on “rooftops, balconies, and community gardens in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens!”
Andrews is also the founder of Bees Without Borders.
I got the buckwheat honey because it is very healing (I always try to have it in the house during the winter), and blueberry honey because it goes well with everything. It isn’t particularly sophisticated but it has a nostalgic hint of berry which reminds me of those soft honey throat lozenges which they don’t make anymore. That and eucalyptus honey remind me of childhood tastes.
Anyway, for a sweet New Year we don’t need sophisticated. We need sincerity, simple reflection, and pure joy. Brotherly and sisterly love also required.
Kesiva Vchasima Tova and a Sweet 5773 to all HJC readers and everyone else, too. Gut Gebentched Yar.
P.S. That’s the back of a blech I used as a backdrop for the apples. The apples are Gravenstein, some kind of unknown Pippin, and I don’t know what the red ones are, some rare variety and I lost the name I took down.