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Thursday, November 10, 2011

[AlternativeAnswers] Recipes: Food To Honor The Full Moon

 

Good Morning!

Recipes: Food To Honor The Full Moon

The Moon is associated with a person's emotional make-up, unconscious habits, rhythms, memories and moods, and their ability to react and adapt to those around them. It is also associated with the mother, maternal instincts or the urge to nurture, the home, the need for security, and the past, especially early experiences and childhood.

Food has been used all over the world to help celebrate rituals and festivals and food associated with the moon is no different. Enjoy these wonderful ideas for your moon ceremony.

Moon Cakes

Living my life in New York City and being an acupuncturist, I was introduced to The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, as a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese people. The celebration became popular during the early Tang Dynasty. A written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty describes this festival from 3,000 years ago. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the Autumnal equinox. The "Moon Festival" is celebrated yearly and is a time to share stories, read and write poetry and eat moon cakes.

These are round cakes made of flour, brown sugar and stuffed with sweets. Depending on the location, different kinds of filling were used. The north would use white sugar paste and brown date paste, where in the south they would use ham, dates or preserved apricots, walnuts, lard or watermelon seeds.

Moon Cake Recipe

This recipe for Mooncakes comes from Shanghai. Originally made in moon cake molds with imprints such as chrysanthemum pattern or other traditional Chinese characters. They should be about three inches in diameter. Before baking - invent and draw your own "traditional patterns".

Ingredients:

4 cups flour
4 tbsp. brown sugar
half tsp. salt
4oz margarine
1 egg
1 tsp. sesame oil

For the filling:
2 tbsp. peanuts
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. walnuts or pine nuts
2 tbsp. chestnuts, boiled until tender, or blanched almonds
2 tbsp. sultanas or other dried fruit, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped dried apricots
4 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. Margarine
2 tbsp. rice flour or poppy seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F or 200C - Recipe makes about 15 cakes. Sift the flout, sugar and salt together.

2. Chop the margarine into pieces and rub into the flour until crumbs form.

3. Add enough hot water (about half a cup) to make a pastry dough. Cover with a cloth.

4. Roast the peanuts in a hot pan for two minutes. Add the sesame seeds, then put a lid on to stop them from jumping out of the pan. Roast for a further two minutes. Put the peanuts and seeds in a food processor or blender and grind with the other nuts.

5. Add to the rest of the filling ingredients and mix together.

6. Roll out the pastry on a floured board. Cut rounds with a pastry cutter to fill the mold - if you have one - or make little pie cases. Rub the mold with margarine and spread pastry over the bottom and sides of the mold.

7. Put in a tablespoon of filling. Press down gently. Wet the edges of the pastry and cover with another round to make a lid. Seal together, and remove from the mold if you are using one.

8. Put all the cakes on a greased baking sheet. Beat the eggs and sesame oil together and brush each cake with this mixture. Bake about thirty minutes until the cakes are golden brown.

Moon Pies

The most famous of all the moon treats Moon Pie is even a trademarked cookie. An American favorite for over 75 years.

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
21/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Marshmallow Filling:
2 egg whites
Pinch cream of tartar
Pinch salt
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

For the Chocolate Coating:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. To Make the Cookies: With a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, add the egg and the vanilla extract, and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and the salt, and mix just until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough in two, shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line at least two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside. Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch diameter round cutter, cut out the rounds and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 1/2 an inch apart. Refrigerate the cookies (on the baking sheets) for 10 minutes.

3. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for a couple of minutes, and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

4. To Make the Marshmallow Filling: Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the the egg whites with the cream of tartar and the salt until firm peaks form, gradually increasing from medium-low speed to medium-high speed as the egg whites gain volume. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, boil the corn syrup over high heat without stirring until it registers 230 to 235 degrees F on a candy thermometer (thread ball stage). Slowly drizzle the hot corn syrup into the egg whites and beat at high speed until glossy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, beat in the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar.

5. Using either a pastry bag or a spoon, mound about 1½ tablespoons of marshmallow filling into the center of a cookie. Top with another cookie and press lightly to spread the marshmallow to the edges. Add another mound on top of the second cookie, and top with another cookie, again pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.

6. To Make the Chocolate Coating: Using a double boiler or in the microwave on 50% power and in 30 second increments, melt the chocolate and vegetable oil together until completely smooth. Place the assembled cookies on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax paper. Spoon the melted chocolate over each cookie so that it runs down the sides and covers most of the cookie. Allow to set at room temperature for about 2 hours (or refrigerate to speed up the process). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 18 double decker cookies

Moon Tonic Water

Moon Tonic water containing the energies of the moon embody very powerful healing benefits that bring about integral balance and wholeness throughout the body, mind and soul. Clear quartz crystal catalyzes the absorption of lunar energies as well as amplifies the healing benefits.

To Prepare Moon Water

1. Wait for a clear night, preferably on or right before the full moon. put your crystal in a clear glass and cover with one cup of purified water.

2. Check this page for the exact time of sundown on the day you have chosen. At sundown, place the glass out of doors in a moonlit place (cover the glass with clear plastic wrap).

3. Remove the glass at dawn. The water is now filled with lunar (and quartz crystal) potency. Drink the moon water every morning to prepare your body, mind and spirit for the stress of the day.

Enjoy your celebration!

Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac
http://www.peacefulmind.com/moonsigns.htm
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit

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