Happy Autumn Moon Festival, All!
Today we are celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival with a little pomelo, Asian pears and apple slices under the moonlight. The paper lanterns are lit and glowing softly and our stone garden lantern is aglow with the flames of a tea light candle. Oh, it is a beautiful night. My love is gearing up to take some nibbles of his two-yolk moon cakes (Sadly, moon cakes are not gluten free. I’m glad I got to try one in my previous gluten-filled life. But right now? I’m completely satisfied by the Asian pear and apple slices.)
Autumn Moon Festival is a harvest festival that is especially enjoyed by children. My mother-in-law told me fun stories about her childhood when the adults would bring the kids to the park at night with paper lanterns that hung from a stick on a string. Each lantern was a unique shape (her favorites were a rabbit and a butterfly). And into each lantern, they would place a small candle. The kids would then run and chase each other around the park with the glow of the lantern as their guide – and give away! I asked her if the lanterns often caught fire as it seemed rather dangerous to me. She laughed and said that yes, she remembers feeling mighty remorseful over a couple of her lanterns catching fire and quickly burning out. (And she quickly reminded me that they were only allowed to play with these lanterns on THIS particular night and OUTSIDE only. LOL) Today you can still buy lanterns in a wide variety of fabulous shapes, but you are more likely to find them with LED lights that hang from a flashlight grip. A tad more Smokey-The-Bear friendly, if you ask me!
Autumn Moon Festival has quite a wide variety of legends woven in to it. The first thing you need to know is that Chinese people talk about a GIRL on the moon – not a man. And she often has a rabbit (or hare) with her. In my mother-in-law’s case, she remembers a version of the legend in which the girl has to run away to the moon to escape an excellent hunter/archer who also happened to be an emperor. (You can read the legends here on Wikipedia. My mother-in-law relates the legend found labeled as #5.)
We searched through several Chinese markets today but failed to find a rabbit lantern for the house. I’m a little bummed, to be honest. It was fun to hear the memories and joy that my mother-in-law had of this holiday as a child. I guess my search for a rabbit lantern will have to continue a bit longer.
We’re also on the look out for a dragon’s gate – but that’s another story all together and you guys came here for the food, huh? LOL Ok ok… here’s the plan:
- Lunch: Nori-wraps with smoked turkey, avocado, cucumber and a salad.
- Dinner: Baked tostones and taco salad
- Lunch: Crab & Cucumber salad
- Dinner: Roasted organic chicken with gingered-carrots
- Lunch: Cherry & Almond salad with banana chips, carrots and hummus
- Dinner: Grilled chicken breasts, caesar salad
- Lunch: Chicken salad wraps, Asian pear slices, almonds
- Dinner: Roast pork loin with apples and fennel, rice and black bean salad
- Lunch: Nori-wrapped crab salad sandwiches, salad, cantalopue
- Dinner: Plantain empanadas, grilled flank steak and shredded napa cabbage slaw with apples
Thank you, Asparagus Thin, for hosting the GF Menu Swap this week! The chosen item for this week is plantain. It’s a perfect excuse for me to make the plantain empanadas again – this time I will bake them. Oh MAN they were so good! I’ve been thinking about them lately too. And the tostones are an easy plantain goodie that we enjoy frequently too.
And it is with thanks to Seamaiden that I found OrgJunkie who also has a FABULOUS menu swap!
Be sure to check them both out.
Happy Moon Festival, All!
And may you have many happy Gluten-free meals to share with your loved ones this year as well -