Friday, November 14, 2008

Full Moon in Taurus

Did you see the moon last night? Here in Portland it was glorious! We had just endured 48 hours straight of rain (believe it or not, that is unusual. 48 hours of wet and grey, yes, but two days of continual rain is not common) but the clouds had broken early on Thursday morning. By the evening the sky was mostly clear and the moon lit up the fields with that beautiful, silvery glow of moonshine.

The full Death Moon this year was in the astrological sign of Taurus. Taurus is an earth sign and so signifies the pleasures of the earthly things, of the practicalities of life and of blossoming where you are planted. The full moon in Taurus is a time for reassessing your finances, enjoying a fine meal, slowly and with friends or for enjoying other earthly pursuits.

Amazingly, without before I even knew the full moon was in Taurus I was inspired to deal more closely with my finances yesterday. I rewrote my monthly budget and aticulated to myself some longer term goals with my money. I am strongly inspired by Riana of These Days in French Life who has, over the last few years, built a life for herself where she doesn't need to spend money. She allows herself a small budget for eggs and milk, and did some bulk shopping for food in the late summer but mostly lives off foraging, trading and being amazingly resourceful. At the beginning of this month I decided to try to go a year without buying anything new except food. As the full moon rose last night I reaffirmed this into a pledge... I will buy nothing retail until the Death Moon next year. I am doing this to curtail my personal spending, to reduce my impact on the earth's resources and to open myself up to the blessings of the universe. A full cup can not be filled.

Besides money Taurus is also all about that other earthly delight: food. This week I indulged by making a batch of my favorite whole grain, kasha. Kasha is the toasted seeds of the buckwheat plant. It is a seed, not a grain and is gluten free so it is having a bit of a revival among health concious folk. It is a staple food of the peasants of eastern Europe. I was taught to cook it by the granddaughter of a Polish Jew... her name was Slotnick and she knew kasha. The earthyness of kasha goes great with mushrooms, onions, hard boiled eggs and mild cheese. I made a meal out of kasha and feta along with roasted beets in a horseradish sauce. It doesn't get any more indulgently earthy than that.

Traditional Kasha

-1 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat groats.. they're brown, not green)
-1 egg or just egg white
-A little fat for the pan - I used bacon grease but that is sooo not kosher ;)
-some sliced onion and sliced mushroom (canned appears to be traditional, but Rosie always used fresh), or not
-2 cups water, boiling or not, or chicken broth
-Salt and black pepper
-Sliced mozzarella or crumbled feta

*In a small bowl combine the raw egg with the kasha. Stir until all the grains are wet.

*Melt the fat in a cast iron (or other) skillet and cook the onions and mushrooms with salt and pepper until soft and starting to brown.

*Remove the veggies to a plate and add the eggy kasha to the skillet. Cook, stirring and breaking up the mass with a wooden spoon until all the kasha is dry. Add the water or broth and bring to a boil (lots of recipes call for having the water hot before adding to the skillet, I've never noticed much of a difference either way). Turn down to a simmer, stir in the veggies and put a cover on the skillet. Cook until all the water is dissolved and the grains are tender.

*When the grains are cooked and fluffy melt mozzarella cheese over top, or stir in crumbled feta, or serve with bowtie pasta.

This time of year the dark is getting darker, the cold is getting colder and around here the wet is getting wetter. The full moon in Taurus reminds us that there's always warmth at the kitchen table, and always light if you tend to your lamps. What is the Taurus moon talking to you about? What are you doing to grow where you are planted?

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