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Herbal Harvest: Autumnal Equinox Recipes

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<p>Fall has finally descended on the Northern Hemisphere. Not only have temperatures cooled, leaves changed color and daylight hours shortened, but last Tuesday marked the <a href=”http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/09/090922-autumnal-equinox-2009-fall-equinox.html” target=”_blank”>autumnal equinox</a>. Although it’s not true that the day and night were exactly equal in length, the sun did rise due east and set due west.</p>
<p>Although you can’t actually witness this phenomenon, you can still celebrate its significance. Around the world, festivities honoring the onset of winter are held this time of year to reap the rewards of hard-earned harvests. </p>
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Photo by Rubber Slippers in Italy/Courtesy Flickr<br />
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/rubber_slippers_in_italy/” target=”_blank”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/rubber_slippers_in_italy/</a>
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<p>In East Asia, the Chinese bake moon cakes made from lotus and sesame seeds as part of a 3,000-year old tradition called the <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival” target=”_blank”>Mid-Autumn</a> or <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival” target=”_blank”>Moon Festival</a>. The ritual of eating moon cakes symbolizes, among other things, greeting cooler weather and celebrating the end of the harvest season. If you’d like to celebrate the autumnal equinox moon cake-style, try your hand at this impressive <a href=”http://www.asianrecipesonline.com/desserts/lotus-seed-paste-moon-cake.php” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>moon cake recipe</font>
</a>. The recipe mixes ingredients, which include lotus seed paste and finely chopped walnuts, to create the traditional delicacy.</p>
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Photo by focus on aperture/Courtesy Flickr<br />
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdzl/” target=”_blank”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdzl/</a>
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<p>Before the industrial era shifted us away from farming and seasonal work, the fall season was itself referred to as “<a href=”http://hea-www.harvard.edu/ECT/Words/index.html#fall” target=”_blank”>harvest</a>” in England. And around the time of the autumnal equinox in Western Europe, harvest home festivals featured feasts of wheat, corn and seeds. This recipe for <a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/rosetta-clarksons-gingerbread-with-coriander-seeds.aspx”>
<font color=”#800080″>Rosetta Clarkson’s Gingerbread with Coriander Seeds</font>
</a> is a delicious example of harvest feasting. It mixes coriander, ginger and cinnamon to create a tasty dessert.</p>
<p>In ancient Greece, <a href=”http://www.richeast.org/htwm/gods/festival.html” target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>Oschophoria</font>
</a> was a celebration devoted to the grape harvest, but if you’re not up for Dionysian drinking, try this recipe for <a href=”http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2008/06/recipe_detail.html?id=7006″ target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>harvest grape cake</font>
</a> instead.</p>
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Photo by JimmyY2K/Courtesy Flickr<br />
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmy2k/” target=”_blank”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmy2k/</a>
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<p>Also, make sure to check out more great harvest recipes from Kris Wetherbee’s latest article, <a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/thanksgiving-recipes.aspx”>
<font color=”#800080″>
<em>10 Thanksgiving Day Recipes</em>
</font>
</a>. </p>
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<p>Did you do anything special for the autumnal equinox or do you have any favorite harvest recipes? Leave me a comment and let me know.</p>

Published on Sep 24, 2009

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