26 September 2007

Tuesday Teatime

We're continuing our 2007 theme of celebrating major Chinese holidays. This week brings us the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

As usual, my main reference was Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, and the Children's Museum of Boston.

Of course, you can't have an Autumn Moon Festival without moon cakes. I made my own based on the recipe in the book, which is quite similar to this recipe:

I didn't have a moon cake mold, obviously. I started out putting various Chinese symbols on them with a knife, but ended up just making random designs. Also, instead of making my own filling I just used coconut-covered date rolls, which can be purchased at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.

The moon cakes are to be eaten by the light of the moon, but out weather forecast was for clouds and rain. Our compromise was to have tea time after supper. We used a red tablecloth for good luck, and brought out many of our Chinese knick knacks. We also had grapes on the table (because they're round like the moon), and lit many candles:

Our beverage was choice of decaf tea or blackberry juice (the blackberry juice was in honor of upcoming Michaelmas -- sometimes we mix our holidays, especially when there are so many interesting ones all in the same week).

We read the story of Chang E and Hou Yi, and we read about hiding notes in the moon cakes to overthrow the mongols.

Later that night, after the kids were ready for bed, we realized that the moon had magically appeared from behind the clouds. We all ran outside to see it hanging so bright and round and heavy. We looked for and found the Jade Rabbit in the moon. We looked for Chang E, but didn't see her -- perhaps Hou Yi had already come to visit, and they had retired to the jade palace?

1 comment:

Tara, Walkabout said...

I love your teatime tradition. The table looks beautiful!