Sunday, September 22, 2013

On the Homefront: Chinese Moon Festival Table

Harvest Moon (from EarthSky)

This past Thursday was the day of the Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival, a harvest celebration popular in China and other Asian countries.  Unfortunately, I did not realize this until the night before, so I had very little time to prepare, but I did my best with what we had.  My husband owned a set of Fitz and Floyd dishes called "Sea Dragon" in Glaze Blue before I even met him, and it is still a favorite for both of us, so this was the dishware I chose for our table.  A simple table setting and some Chinese takeout food, and we were ready to celebrate!


Threshold table runner from Target; dark brown wooden bead placemat from Target; "Sea Dragon" dinner plate and soup bowl by Fitz and Floyd; faux bamboo flatware; blue and white striped napkin from Cafe Pasqual's Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; blue and white shrimp chopstick holder; blue goblet.


Close-up look at the Sea Dragon soup bowl.

Shrimp-shaped chopstick holders.

A simple centerpiece.

Full moon-shaped candles resting on top of a dragonfly plate
(made in Japan and purchased, I think, at East-West Imports
in Fort Collins, CO -- a great store, BTW, and not to be missed
if you are in the area).


For this rather impromptu dinner, we simply purchased Chinese takeout food, since I had no time to cook.  It is traditional to eat mooncakes, beautiful molded Chinese pastries usually filled with lotus seed or red bean paste, as part of the Moon Festival celebration, but they are difficult to find here, especially at the last minute, so I ordered sesame balls from the restaurant instead.  These fried dough pastries contain a similar filling and are quite good, plus their round shape reminded me of a full moon!

Delicious sesame balls.

Chinese Moon Festival Menu:

Sizzling Rice Soup
Mu Shoo Chicken
Shrimp with Broccoli
Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
Steamed Rice
Fortune Cookies
Sesame Balls

This was obviously quite a feast, but we always order way more food than we need when we get Chinese takeout so that we have lots of leftovers to eat for a few more days.

Lanterns are another Moon Festival tradition, but we had none and I had no time to shop for them.  Fortunately, our dining room light fixture bears an uncanny resemblance to a full moon:


We so enjoyed our last-minute Moon Festival celebration that next year I intend to do it again, only this time I will try to remember far enough in advance so that I can track down some mooncakes and lanterns!

Mooncakes (from Gourmet by Kat)
                

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