A while back, in late December, I read a blog post over at Irish Gumbo. It was mostly about the declining numbers of the honey bee, though Irish also talked about his favorite honey...Tupelo.
I love honey. Not only because of the health benefits, but also the astounding variety of flavors that come from such tiny little creatures. So, I read the post and wonder how I can taste a honey that comes from the blossoms of a tree that grows clear across the country from me, the Tupelo Sweet Gum. I spent a few days scouting around my little town, but as I expected, no wonderfully exotic honey to be found.
The holidays come...and go. On the first Sunday of the new year, I'm talking to the BFF on our usual weekly phone call and in the course of this and that, I ask her if she's ever tasted Tupelo honey. (Back in the day, she was married to a guy who originally came from the South). She tells me no, but then when they were together, they lived in Seattle and never traveled back to his southern roots.
Now. I have to tell you, dear readers, about something inexplicably, beautifully strange...and the reason why the two of us have been the best of friends for most of our adult lives. If you read my post yesterday, you know I sent her two of Fran's Gold Bars as a surprise.
Late Friday afternoon, it's getting dark, I'm just back from walking the boys to the mail box and ready to settle in with my glass of Lambrusco, when there's a knock at the door. FedEx guy, though I'm not expecting anything and don't recognize the address.
I open the small box...
Inside is a note. My BFF called her ex-mother-in-law, asked her about the honey, then had her send me a bottle. Which I received on the same day I mailed her the surprise chocolates. How much do I love this kind of Vulcan mind-meld?
And in case you're wondering: the bottle was full when I got it. I've had toast--twice--a peanut butter/honey/banana sandwich for lunch, and sweetened two cups of tea. At the rate I'm going, I'll have to move to the South because this stuff is seriously, deliciously addicting and I'm already worried about how to get more.
I can't actually describe the flavor. It's...sweetly robust?...hearty?...a manly honey? Totally unique, for sure, and I love it.
So, I have Irish to thank for his post on Tupelo honey, my BFF for the great surprise, her ex-mother-in-law for being so kind...but especially those industrious, miraculous little bees who turned a flower blossom into the sweetest treat ever.
And we sang all the way down to Tupelo
Love struck right on the money
Heartbeats a beating to the radio
Kisses sweet as the honey down in Tupelo
-- Tupelo by Lauren Alaina