Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shy Harvest Moon

Tsukimi Dango (Dumplings offered to the moon)

If I'm not mistaken, the full moon tonight is supposed to be the "harvest moon," the most beautiful moon of the year. And we have a traditional custom to celebrate the night -- to admire the beauty of the nature and be grateful for the harvest. Dumplings and susuki (Japanese pampas grass) are the "must haves" for the celebration. ;)


Every year, my Japanese DNA tells me to do something special for tsuikimi (moon viewing), but usually I'm busy with work. There were some years that I did try shooting some photos, at least, but I have never made the dumplings myself. Fortunately this year, the special night fell on a Sunday night and I had plenty of time to search for a dumpling recipe, make dumplings and steal pick the pampas grass and a couple of autumn flowers. ;)



The dumplings are enjoyed with various sauces and toppings such as an (sweetened bean paste), sweet and salty sauce, soybean flour, sesame sauce and so on. Today I made sweet-n-salty sauce with chopped walnuts and white miso.



I thought the sauce was alright when I tasted it, but after I had a couple of dumplings with it, I thought that my nose was going to bleed. LOL



And I took this shot when the shy harvest moon briefly showed itself between the clouds. Unfortunately I couldn't get the clouds in this photo. Too bad... It must have looked much more interesting with the clouds.
(I might give it a try again later tonight...)


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13 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What wonderful pictures! I especially love the one of the harvest moon! A delicious looking dish!

Cheers,

Rosa

My Bento Diet said...

The dango are wonderful looking! I'm a little wierd I think, but of all the Japanese foods I've tried, dango (any kind), are my fav!

I ment to obeserve the moon view again this year (last year my neice and I did a chinese version with mooncakes), but I completely forgot about it! opps :D

Marcela said...

I just looked to the moon a few moments ago and I remembered this post... The moon was beautiful indeed, as are your photos and your dish.
For me, in the southern hemisphere, is seedtime, and I was actually preparing the vases on the terrace for this purpose. Is a joyous time as well. And the full moon is the perfect moment to seed, traditionally...
Best wishes,
Marcela

Anonymous said...

Hi obachan! I am still enjoying your blog.
The moon looked beautiful!! I have seen a reddish color moon before when I visited Matsumoto. Unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph it.
The dango looked very delicious! I had a sudden craving for it when I saw the pics.

Kyle

vb said...

It is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and we hv the traditional mooncakes as well as the snowskin ones with all sorts of crazy/exotic fillings!

gabriel said...

My Chinese friends were celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, I think it is similar? Happy Mid-Autumn Festival~

Megumi's Mumblings said...

I was watching "Ando Natsu", a 1-hr drama program about Japanese sweets... I was suddenly reminded of your blog (coz you always post those lovely Japanese sweets) and I gotta invite you to watch it too. It airs every Monday, 8 - 9 pm. Here's the link: http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Ando_Natsu.

christine said...

I tried to go moon viewing also, but it was raining all night, so just clouds for me. The sad part is I didn't get any mooncakes from my relatives this year. Maybe I should go buy some discounted ones for myself :p

zakux5 said...

i love your moon picture!

unfortunately it was too cloudy here on the equator to see the moon on Sep 14... *sigh*

obachan said...

Rosa
I like this photo of the moon, too. :)

My Bento Diet
No, I don't think you're wierd. I think there's something in the shape and size of dango that stimulates our appetite.

Mooncakes are great, too. I wish I could buy my favorite kind of mooncakes around here. They have really tasty fillings which are different from Japanese an (sweetened bean pastes).

Marcela
I do believe that the full moon has some magical effect on the seeds, because I've heard that the birth of the babies is related to the rythm of the tides and the rythm of the tides is closely related to the moon.

Kyle
Hi! I've seen a reddish moon, too. It looked almost scary, but there must be a non-scary scientific reason for a reddish moon, I suppose.

The dango looks nice in the photo, but... they turned rock hard next morning. :P

Vb
I L-O-V-E mooncakes with lotus filling more than anything else! Mmmmm...

Gabriel
We imported the custom from China and changed it a little bit. But I guess the spirit of the celebration is similar.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you, too. :)

Megumi's Mumblings
I read the original manga story of that drama every month. Yeah, it's pretty informative...we can learn a lot about wagashi from that manga/drama.

Christine
Oh, how sad. BTW, do they give a discount on mooncakes after the festival day, just like they do for Christmas cakes here? Interesting! :D

obachan said...

Zakux5
Too bad. I guess your harvest moon over there was extra shy. ;);)

pixen said...

hello Obachan,

You have such wonderful food blog and photographs! I always visit you when I have the time.

This year, I bought some mooncakes for my new japanese neighbour and they love it so much because it's not only different from Japan but also the container that goes with the cakes are beautiful too.

cocogirl said...

Obachan,

Hi! sorry to post late. My mother's in Uwajima now but will be coming home in couple days. When I saw your dango. It reminded me of my mother's dango. She always made it with anko paste... missed her so...