better with butter
Honeybees! Aren’t they marvelous? It’s very fashionable right now to admire bees, but my relationship with the honeybee goes deeper than fashion. When I was very young, my best friend and I kept dead bumblebees in a little jewelry box; we’d carefully touch its bristly-soft fur. (Don’t look at me like that. We didn’t kill the bees. Just collected them.) Later on I wore a pewter pendant of a honeybee, every day, for most of a decade.
Wasps were far more common around my childhood house than bees were, for whatever reason; no summer went past without a few papery nests hanging from the porch. Terrifying. Bee stings are painful, but honeybees are sensible creatures who won’t attack without cause (and they inevitably die in the process.) Wasps are far more aggressive, stinging and swarming for any perceived threat. And their venom is far more painful.
Bees make wax, and beeswax is great stuff. This weekend I whipped up a batch of wood butter. I’d never made the recipe before and it was dead simple.
Just melt —
and let cool
and rub all over your unvarnished woods. Cutting boards, mixing spoons — even a worn-out nightstand, fifty years old.
My wood things — they’re all golden now. And they smell like sunshine and honey.