Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Holiday

Tonight's a full moon, too! Enjoy a moon cake and consider the rabbit's tale.

"Long ago," said the rabbit, "three sages disguised as beggars set out to test the generosity of the Fox, the Monkey, and myself. They asked the Fox for some of his food, and the Fox gave grapes to each of them. They asked the Monkey for some of his food, and he gave each a piece of melon. But when they came to me purporting to be starving, I had only grass to eat, which cannot sustain beggars. Feeling pity for them, I told them to skin and dress me and have me for their meal. As reward, my spirit was made immortal."


Blogger Management said...

Mid-Autumn Moon Cake Recipes

By Yan Can Cook, Inc

Makes 2 dozen
1 can (17-1/2 ounces) lotus seed paste
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2-cup non-fat dried milk powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup solid shortening, melted and cooled
1 egg yolk , lightly beaten

1. Mix lotus seed paste and walnuts together in a bowl; set aside.

2. Sift flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs on medium speed until light and lemon colored. Add sugar; beat for 10 minutes or until mixture falls in a thick ribbon. Add melted shortening; mix lightly. With a spatula, fold in flour mixture. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board; knead for 1 minute or until smooth and satiny. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a log. Cut each log into 12 equal pieces.

3. To shape each moon cake, roll a piece of dough into a ball. Roll out on a lightly floured board to make a 4-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Place 1 tablespoon of lotus seed paste mixture in center of dough circle. Fold in sides of dough to completely enclose filling; press edges to seal. Lightly flour inside of moon cake press with 2-1/2 inch diameter cups. Place moon cake, seam side up, in mold; flatten dough to conform to shape of mold. Bang one end of mold lightly on work surface to dislodge moon cake. Place cake on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat to shape remaining cakes. Brush tops with egg yolk.

4. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

Copyright Yan Can Cook, Inc. 1991.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Management said...

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake
Like the light aroma of green tea to the bitter-sweet taste of chocolates, snowskin mooncakes can be as varied as you like. And it’s easy to make – just use edible cooked flour (no more baking!), add your favourite paste, and voila – you are set to impress your friends!

Snowskin Mooncake Ingredients:
400gm Premix Flour
50gm Vegetable Shortening
155ml Water and green tea essence
5ml Green tea essence
466gm Green Tea Paste

D.I.Y Snowskin Mooncake Step by Step:

1. Pour all the premix flour into the baking blender or mixer. Add shortening, water and green tea essence.

2. Stir to ensure consistency of the dough.

3. Spread a little flour on a clean table. Put dough on table, and knead it thoroughly.

4. Roll the dough into a long, cylindrical shape.

5. Cut the dough up into small pieces, measuring about 3 cm long, and weighing about 30g depending on mould size.

6. Flatten the dough – this is the snowskin of one mooncake.

7. Roll the green tea paste into a round ball, weighing about 35g. Put the paste in the middle of the snowskin.

8. Fold in the dough slowly so as to envelope the green tea paste filling.

9. Coat the traditional wooden mould with a bit of flour (to prevent sticking). Put the mooncake in one of the moulds.

10. Press the dough in firmly but gently and take away the access dough.

11. Then knock the mould on all sides until a perfectly shaped mooncake slides out, voila you just make yourself a tea flavour Snowskin mooncakes.

Store the Snowskin mooncakes in the fridge for a cold, refreshing bite. Snowskin mooncakes can keep for 10 days, as compared to the traditional baked mooncakes, which can keep for up to 3 months.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Fortunately Lady Chang Er does not have to live for all eternity alone in her Moon Palace. In another legend, three magical wise men decided to test the character of a fox, a monkey, and a rabbit. The men turned themselves into desperate old beggars, and asked the fox, monkey, and rabbit for food. While the fox and the monkey did have food, they refused to share. But the helpful rabbit, who had nothing to give the old men, volunteered his own tasty self by leaping into a burning campfire to roast himself for dinner. The three men, who weren’t really starving, were overwhelmed by the rabbit’s self sacrifice, and gave him immortal life, sending him to live in the Moon Palace as Jade Rabbit. Today, eating Moon Cakes is a way of commemorating the Jade Rabbit.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Once dwelling in Savatthi, the Buddha extolled the virtue of charity by way of the popular tale, which narrates the traditional account of the mark of the hare on the moon.

In one of his pervious births the Bodhisatta was born as a hare in Varanasi. He had three friends - a monkey, a jackal and an otter. Together they resolved to practise charity on the Uposatha day (the day of fast), that was to occur on the following day. In the tradition it was believed that one who stood fast in moral practice and alms-giving on that day would earn a great reward.

Next day, the otter brought seven red fishes abandoned on the bank of the Ganga river. The jackal wrongfully pilfered a lizard and a pot of milk-curd from somebody’s house. The monkey brought a bunch of mangoes. All these three were willing to offer their gifts to some beggar as act of charity. But the hare, when browsing the grass, felt that the grass would not be a good item for alms-giving. He, therefore, decided to offer his entire body in charity.

The hare’s resolve disturbed Lord Sakka (Indra), the king of the deva-s. To examine the hare’s virtue he came down on the earth in the guise of an ascetic and accosted the hare for food. The hare was delighted, because this provided him an opportunity to exemplify his highest act of sacrifice, which a mortal could ever perform. So, he asked the ascetic to pile the logs of wood and kindle the fire, where he would jump to offer his roasted meat to the latter.

When Sakka caused the heap of burning coals to appear, the hare shook himself thrice lest there were any insect in his fur. Thus, offering his whole body he fell on the heap of the burning twigs.

The fire, however, did not burn him. Impressed with the act, Sakka revealed his identity and applauded the hare’s virtue. He said `O wise hare! Be thy virtue known through out this whole aeon!” He then by squeezing the mountain daubed the sign of hare on the orb of the moon with its extracted essence.

We thus see the mark of the hare still visible on the moon to tell the saga of the Great Sacrifice.

7:02 PM  

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