Brides's Honey (Miel de la Mariée)

feature

Springtime is the time for weddings and this being the last month of Spring, I do realise that I'm a little late to offer up any suggestions for wedding favours or bombonierre for a special touch for a bride so please excuse my tardiness-let's call it fashionably late if you will.

![Brides's Honey (http://images.notquitenigella.com/images/bridess-honey-miel-de-la-mariee/a-brides_honey1.jpg)

This is Bride's Honey or Miel de la Mariée, prepared in Moroccan custom for engagements and weddings where guests are offered honey before the wedding. Honey plays a significant part in many cultures during weddings, its innate sweetness and seductiveness is not lost on many. It is a common sign of fruitfulness and fertility and along with Moroccan culture, Jewish, Croation, Balkan, Indian and German cultures also use honey in their rituals.The history is long with ancient Babylonian families including a standard 32-pound gift of honey in bridal dowries.

![Brides's Honey (http://images.notquitenigella.com/images/bridess-honey-miel-de-la-mariee/a-brides_honey6.jpg)

If you didn't know about the origins of the word Honeymoon, one of the most often repeated stories is one where mead, which is a mixture of honey and water, was drunk before the Champagne toast. Also after the wedding a married couple were said to drink a cup of mead every night for one month. As time was recorded by the cycles of the moon, this period became known as the "honeymoon". Whether this is truly the origin of the word is unclear but it's great folklore nevertheless.

![Brides's Honey (http://images.notquitenigella.com/images/bridess-honey-miel-de-la-mariee/a-brides_honey3.jpg)

Taking this further, you could offer this in little pots to give as bombonierre (although honey is not offered during the ceremony in Moroccan custom as it is reserved for the cult of the dead and is associated with death in Egyptian and Russian culture). But the idea of a flavoured honey is no doubt a sweet, yet practical notion. Guests can use the honey with their tea and think of the bride and groom. This spiced honey imparts a Chai like spice to the tea. I love it so much that I've made it over and over again (it's fantastic on toast with peanut butter, over natural yogurt and in cakes). I confess I've even microwaved it successfully on very low heat (30% of the power) for 2-3 minutes when I was feeling particularly lazy.

![Brides's Honey (http://images.notquitenigella.com/images/bridess-honey-miel-de-la-mariee/a-brides_honey7.jpg)

Almonds are the usual accompaniment with the Bride's Honey and in the styling I've taken a few cross cultural liberties and used some Greek sugared almonds which are traditionally given as bombonierre. The heart shaped tea strainer shown was actually the wedding favour that we gave our wedding guests (and yes I spent hours tying the personalised ribbon just so so that our names and  the dates would show correctly). I wanted people to think back to our wedding with some fond memories at a time where they would be cherishing a cup of sweet tea.

Brides's Honey (Miel de la Mariée)

  • 1 kg honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried rosebuds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of saffron

Step 1 - Stir all of the ingredients in a pan and infuse without allowing it to come to the boil (use a double boiler if you have one).

Step 2 - Leave to cool and serve with almonds and/or some sesame seeds.

![Brides's Honey (http://images.notquitenigella.com/images/bridess-honey-miel-de-la-mariee/a-brides_honey5.jpg)