Honey Journal #28 — Hudson’s Sweeties Pure Honey
Name: Hudson’s Sweeties Pure Honey
You can buy it: In Southern New Jersey or you can call 856-468-1367 and order some.
Country: New Jersey, USA
Color: Maple Syrup
Flavor: A sweet, buttery malt taste with hints of dark chocolate. Very clean, fresh follow through.
Consistency: Thick, but with an easy flow.
Fragrance: Light wildflower scent
Notes: I really liked this honey. Susie, my wife, went crazy for it. It has an unusual taste and it took me longer than usual to lock in to what that taste was, but I liked it instantly.
This honey also provoked a strong food association — pancakes. I asked Susie if she would whip up her wonderful cottage cheese variety and she graciously obliged. Honey met pancakes and bliss was achieved. This honey comes in a cute Buddha bear container, so you can squeeze it over pancakes as if it were syrup. Of course, you can also just hold it over your mouth and squeeze, something I’ve been doing a lot of lately.
Prager listener Helen O’Connor has been buying this honey, she writes, for “a couple of decades” from a local family of beekeepers. The bees work the wild flowers of the fabled New Jersey Pine Barrens. One doesn’t tend to associate New Jersey with vast forest, lakes and streams, but that would be a mistake. Southern New Jersey and the Pine Barrens are an enormous area of unspoiled wilderness, the largest, in fact, east of the Mississippi. You can see this by looking at this Google Map . You can find out more about the Pine Barrens here.
John McPhee, the Pultizer Prize winning essayist and non-fiction writer, made the Pine Barrens the subject of one of his early books. My beloved late brother, Mark, the inspiration behind the Honey Journal was a big fan of McPhee’s and read everything he wrote. Usually, whatever Mark read, I read, but somehow McPhee escaped that pattern. Now as result of getting a Buddha honey bear from a Southern New Jersey listener, I’m inspired to read McPhee. Life is one long chain of associations, often unexpected ones.
Let me give you a good example. Last year, Dennis, his wife, Sue, and I drove from the Democratic convention in Denver to the Republican convention in Minneapolis. It was a out of our way, but we drove through North Dakota because it was one state that Dennis hadn’t been to. When we crossed the border, we pulled over next to the Welcome to North Dakota sign. Dennis got down on his knees and kissed the ground — a great moment. I have pictures and video. That night we stopped in Jamestown, North Dakota. There wasn’t any plan to do so. It just happened.
Jamestown, it turned out, is famous (sort of) for two things: it has the world’s largest buffalo statue and is the birthplace of Louis L’Amour, who along with Agatha Christie, is probably the most widely read writer of fiction in the twentieth century. L’Amour’s specialty was Westerns. Being an English literature snob, I had never read one. But now after this random stop in Jamestown and a visit to the Louis L’Amour house, I became interested. So far I’ve read four of his books from the Sackett series and I think they’re terrific — and timeless.
If you’re having a tough time getting your teenage son, grandson or nephew to read anything beside comic books, give them a Louis L’Amour novel. Not only are they fast-paced and full of great values, they’re very well written. Academics may turn up their noses at L’Amour, but you don’t sell millions of books if you don’t write well.
A final note on Jamestown and L’Amour: while we were there, the wind blew like a hurricane, almost non stop. I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to live there in the winter. L’Amour didn’t wonder. He knew. He left Jamestown as soon as he could and spent most of his life, living and writing his great American novels from his home in Bel Air, California.
This unusual honey is not easy to come by since it’s not available on the Internet. But it’s worth a phone call. Your mood will improve when you taste what’s in the Honey Buddha. And who knows what associations it will inspire in you.
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