Food Stories - The Honeycomb
I was 5 years old. I was in Iran for the first time ever, only having traveled with my mom and aunt to meet the family they had not seen since a couple years before the revolution, and me ever. My grandfather had a beautiful home in uptown Tehran, with a yard filled with fruit trees, chickens, and ducks all in the city. Our neighbours were the same from when my mom was a kid, and they had a son about my age, Rameen. We would play together in my grandfather’s yard all day long. Sometimes climbing on the piled mattresses In the room designated as my grandmother’s wardrobe room by the front door, pretending we were climbing Everest. We would play ball, or talk lots. The fun was endless.
In the yard, towards the back, my grandfather had a chicken coop. He had piled my aunt and uncles’ old wooden school desks as shelter for the hens. One day we decide to find the treasures in them that was basically “junk” for everyone. The swollen wood of the desks from the years of snow and rain made it practically IMPOSSIBLE for Rameen and I to open the drawers. But we did it! In it were the notebooks my mom, khales and daies used, with poems and stories all in their little handwriting filling the pages. I couldn’t read Farsi so Rameen read it to me to the best of his 6 year old abilities. My heart swelled with this magical connection I just gained to the past, when my mom and her siblings were around my age. My breath was physically taken from me and my being enamored by my discovery. My skin still buzzes with enchantment as I write you this.
After having fulfilled our expedition, we noticed one of the ducks had a limp. We decided he needed to be cared for so we collected all of the dried leaves around us to make a fluffy bed for him to rest on so his leg could heal. By this time we were exhausted and hungry. I still smell the crunchy, fall leaves. My grandfather had just gotten fresh bread from down the street. He yelled to my grandmother to bring out some plates and some walnuts for us. He proceeded to cut a piece of the honeycomb from his bee hive to give us some fresh honey to go with the warm bread and walnuts. One of my most memorable snacks I have ever had! Rameen and I giggled as the leaves stuck to our sticky little fingers, with our eyes on the duck, making sure it didn’t move while we ate. (For its own safety of course).
Rameen grew up to be a successful businessman in Iran, he sadly passed in a car accident when he was just in his 20’s but forever lives on through my cherished memories of him. Today, I had the same meal after 33 years, and relived the magic of that memorable fall day in Tehran with Rameen in the leaves.