Is anything sweeter on the palate than apples or challah dipped in honey? Indeed, it is the defining taste that sets an optimistic tone for the year to come. Out come the honey dishes, welcome the honey wands, and hooray for all paraphernalia dedicated to beautifying our special tradition. Until…the little drips of honey across your tablecloth stick to your sleeve and you try to ignore it. Someone else’s challah crumbs are now making a permanent home in the honey dish, and that’s not so appealing either.
We accept that along with unbridled sweetness comes the price of unavoidable stickiness, but there are some practical honey serving choices that may just be better than others.
In our home, we’ve troubleshooted the honey serving conundrum with individual honey dishes. We found this to be a great solution for “double dipping” (an especially big no-no in the COVID era), and a game changer that prevents drips across the table as people impatiently wait for you to pass the honey (bonus: no more waiting either!). A fun and decorative choice of place setting, individual honey dishes can double as place cards, too, if you want to get minimally crafty with the kids.
There are many unconventional and inexpensive items that can serve this purpose. Let’s take a look at some favorites below!
1. Check out these combo spoon rest/chopstick holders – simply fill the spoon rest with honey and use the chopstick rest for your honey wand instead!
2. These hexagonal mini jars come in bulk and would be easy to label with a cute reusable/erasable label or a pretty decorative label, thereby doubling their use as a name place for seating and an individual honey dish. With their sealable covers, these would also make a cute favor to give away for the holiday.
3. In my family, creating these personalized dishes became a fun family craft project on erev Yom Tov (a great way to keep the kids busy!). We simply ordered plain tea light holders and affixed them with super glue to cute decorative gold bases (see below). Paint markers were all that was needed to personalize and decorate each one. They wash well and the family relishes using their own each year!
4. If you like this idea, but are shooting for a more rustic (and less craft-oriented) look, these wooden tea light holders might just do the trick as well.
5. In our home, we love having a variety of special assorted honeys to sample on Rosh Hashanah, offering varieties of different colors and flavors each year. What better way to plate their rainbow assortment of tastings than on an actual palette? This palette even has room for sliced apples!
6. Hole-y challah honey bowls! For the challah home bakers out there: if you make round challah for the holiday, consider making a challah honey bowl (this can also be made as individual roll bowls). Shape your dough into a braided ring and insert a small heatproof bowl/ramekin (spray the bowl’s outside with non-stick spray first) in the center of the dough ring. Place on a baking sheet and bake with bowl set in to keep the shape. Before serving, fill the bowl with honey – guests can tear off pieces and dip right in.
A little creativity and forethought will go a long way to enhance your holiday table and make it a sweeter experience for everyone! Don’t forget to wipe the honey bottle, too.