Friday, April 3, 2015

pollen and pussy willows

It's been a nasty few days around Moscow, with icy wind and rainy snow and general unpleasantness, but I've still managed to get out and about thanks to persistent friends and neighbors who don't mind the weather as much as I do.

Here's something new:


Bee pollen. The lady who sells me honey finally convinced me to try this stuff out. It's a thing in the world of natural health and homeopathy, though depending upon whom you ask, it's either the Best Supplement Ever or a complete waste of money. It's high in protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals. But also? It can kill you if you're allergic. So don't buy it based on my say-so, please.

Note on the honey lady: there is a whole row of honey vendors in one section of the market. I tend to go to the same lady each time, and each time, we sample all the different kinds before I settle on the same creamy white honey, every single time. She keeps trying to get me to like another kind better, but this stuff is the best. Some of it is fruitier, or nuttier, or tastes just exactly like it was harvested from a field of cow manure, yuck. Apparently I like the mild stuff best. Shopping for honey is great fun, but it's an exercise in language frustration. Every kind is harvested from a different plant, in a different place, at a different time of year. I know the words for "clover" and "barley" and a few other random ones, but there are so many types of honey that I just can't figure out where they're all from. I believe the kind I buy is harvested from linden trees. But who knows, exactly? So much is still lost in translation.

...

It's almost Easter, in the States at least. In Russia, Easter is one week later.

The babushki are out in full force, selling eggs and wildflowers, pickles and pussy willows by the side of the road.


I bought these pussy willows from the cutest little old babushka today. She was all bundled up against the cold, but there was frost clinging to her knit cap and eyebrows. While we picked our favorite plants, she and her babushka friend chatted with us about our upcoming Easter celebration as compared to theirs.  She seemed surprised that I spoke Russian. "Where are you from?" she asked, and I explained that we're American, but we live here in Moscow. She turned to her friend and said in wonder, "They are from America! But we can talk to them!" They waved goodbye to us and wished us a happy holiday as we walked off into the sleet.

Now I am home, where it is freezing, because I forgot to turn on the heat. It's Friday, which means sleepovers and diner food tonight. Tomorrow we will color eggs, and perhaps it will start to feel festive and springy in here. Right now it still feels like winter.

4 comments:

Popster said... [Reply]

What in the heck is bee pollen vis-a-vis honey?

JWJones said... [Reply]

I have a bee lady at our local farmer's Market. She says the same about honey and allergies.

JWJones said... [Reply]

I have a bee lady at our local farmer's Market. She says the same about honey and allergies.

Nomads By Nature said... [Reply]

The pussywillows just shout springtime, so I am sure it will be a great start to the decorative, edible, and celebratory events for Easter. I may have to go and try and get some now. It snowed here this morning.

Please. Write your own stuff.