Eighth Sunday of Pentecost

As Delicious as Wafers Made with Honey

Exodus 16: 31

The manna the Israelites found in the desert was probably the excretion of a scale insect parasite on the tamarisk tree.

The same substance is found today in Palestine and is still called manna.

In this story, one more time we struggle to describe something we have never seen or tasted before.

"Wafer" is a Northern European word for cookie (think of vanilla wafers), a food the Israelites probably did not bake. But even in those early times they may have baked baklava, soaked in syrup or honey.

Many modern children do not know the taste of honey - see if you can find some true honeycomb to bring to class.

If you can find baklava in a Middle Eastern bakery or deli (it is widely available now in larger cities), or bake it (there's a recipe in the Joy of Cooking), bring it to class so the children can taste a Middle Eastern treat.

Or you could make Honey Butter, by mixing 1 cup of creme or spun honey with 1/2 pound of softened butter, to serve on crackers.

Or make Honey and Yogurt Dip (both Bible foods) for pieces of slice fruit.

Mix 2 cups unflavored, unsweetened yogurt with 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons orange juice (another Bible food), and 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel.

Especially in this story, we see the Israelites as cranky people, as well as proud and stiff-necked. But how many days could we go, three meals a day, seven days a week, with only baklava or honey butter with crackers - or boxes and boxes of vanilla wafers.

This food experience should lead to a great class discussion.

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