Monday, October 21, 2013

Pooh Bear


Once a year I drive to an old church in the middle of Oregon farm country to buy my winter pantry in bulk directly from the growers. These events are less like farmers markets with their well-groomed displays and valued-added products than they are traditional farm stands.  Family's sell apples at twenty-five cents a pound out the back of their pickups and tiny old women offer fifty pound hand-milled flour in home-sewn sacks. There are great, long braids of onions and garlic and piles and piles of squash nestled next to buckets of wild rice.  There is also the last of the season's honey. Every year I buy honey, a pint or two, maybe even a well-priced quart, but always, I stand and long for the giant gallon jars. They are beautiful; a whole winter's bounty of honey-sweetened tea, sauces, oatmeal, and muffins in a single jar. Even knowing that I will use it, such an investment has never seemed reasonable. Until, for some reason, this year when I finally toddled down a gravel country road with a fat, golden jar hugged to my belly; the sweets of winter, secured.


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