Sunday, 4 October 2015
Ted gets moon-eyed
… we had a lunar eclipse last week, a very special one, as the Harvest Moon also became a “blood” moon. If you were lucky enough to be in a place with little or no light pollution, like Scotland, and you’d been geeky enough to take your high powered telescope with you then you would have had a spectacular view that would have made it well worth getting up at 3am (you know who you are Mandy).
So what makes it a blood moon Ted? Well for a start it glows red, and the reason for this complicated, but in a nutshell, dispersed light from all the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets falls on the face of the moon at mid-eclipse when we are between it and the sun and bingo 40 watt red light-bulb effect.
Making (or nowadays buying them from the shop ready-made and nicely packaged) and sharing mooncakes is one of the traditions of the festival. The Chinese believe that the round shape of the cakes signifies completeness and unity, and thus sharing them with friends and family during the festival completes the circle and unifies us all for another year.
The Doll loves mooncakes and so she took no convincing at all to hotfoot it down to Chinatown and return with the goods. There are 2 main types of filling, the red bean paste and lotus paste with egg yolks. I am not so keen on the lotus paste and egg ones as I think it reminds me of my rather unsuccessful attempt to eat another stalwart of Chinese cuisine, a 1000 year old egg … erg …
The red bean paste one was delicious, the pastry is soft and biscuit like, the filling sweet and earthy and nutty all at the same time – the overall package is what I think we’d describe as “toothsome” … and it was reddish … so hence it kinda sorta looked like a blood moon.