Don't care too much about all my yap yap? Scroll right down to the bottom for a few delicious recipes that'll keep you satiated, won't induce sugar/carb cravings, and will make you feel fan-freaking-tastic inside and out!
Howdy! This time of year is my absolute favorite. As I sit here typing I can hear the slow and steady drip drip drip of the snow melting off my roof from the above 32F temp. I'm sure we're in for a few more weeks of snow showers, wintery winds and bitter cold (although Phil predicted Spring will come sooner than later), but until the Equinox graces us with a day and night of equal length and tips the scale toward longer days, the quiet stirring inside of us reflects the quiet stirring inside the burrows and underneath the soil. Is there anything better than the time period right before Spring? All the seasons bring something new and exciting, I suppose, but there's something so promising and exciting about being right on the brink. This is the time of year where the first animals to be born in spring start to make their first movements in utero (Quickening), the seeds start to warm up a bit and get ready to sprout, and us creatures here on Earth with a highly developed cortex start to scheme up big plans for Spring and Summer. In this post, I'll share some of my own personal plans I'm cooking up for Spring debut (always food-related, of course!), and of course I've also included the recipes for the meal I've planned for next Tuesday's Full "Moon Meal".
Each month I plan 1 symbolic meal as a "ritual" of sorts, to attune to whatever's happening in nature around me. I use the full moon as my template, because people throughout history have been using the full-moon's monthly appearance to help them track the seasons, and I think staying in tune with this tradition is important to feeling connected with nature. For me, it brings about a sense of inner peace and harmony, and honestly, it's a lot of fun. My 4 year old daughter loves helping me make our "moon meals" and it's an awesome opportunity to teach her all about the plants and animals around us (Upstate NY) and what they're up to each month. I try to include locally foraged foods in each meal, although in the winter it's slim-pickings.
So what's up with this month's moon? What's happening in nature? "Traditionally, the Moon we see in February is called the Snow Moon due to the typically heavy snowfall of February. On average, February is the USA’s snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service...Other Full Moon names include: the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (from the Wishram people of the Pacific Northwest), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni, of the Southwest), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee, of the Southeast). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup." (The Farmer's Almanac). Similar to "Bone Moon", I've also heard it referred to as the "Hunger Moon". I've been reading a bit into the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting, so I thought what better time to try my first fast than on the Hunger Moon? I'm new to this and I'm still breastfeeding, so I'm going to start small - starting the fast at 6pm and ending at 9am (15 hours total). I'm breaking the fast with a nutrient-rich breakfast that I'm hoping will help me gear up for all the planning and spring cleaning I have ahead of me the next few weeks. Just for the sake of sharing, and because I love making lists, some goals I have for Spring include:
Prepping and planning my garden with veggies I can ferment with salt;
BEER MAKING with my husband;
Hunter safety course/duck and turkey hunting;
Continue exploration of foraging with the emergence of spring plants.
What seeds will you sow this Spring?
February "Snow/Hunger" Moon Meal Recipes:
Blood Orange Green Smoothie (serving for 2 adults)
Put together in a blender:
2 peeled blood oranges (symbolizing the days getting longer/strengthening sun)
1 cup raw baby spinach (symbolizing the first plants to grow in early Spring)
1 tbsp of my homemade Elderberry Syrup, or your own (optional) (high in nutrients, especially vitamin C and antiviral - very good to have on hand this time of year!)
1/2 cup beet juice (optional - I just happen to love beet juice)
2 cups fresh snow (symbolizing the Snow Moon. optional - can just use ice)
Approximately 1 cup spring water (more or less depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
A touch of maple syrup for sweetness (I'm hoping to make this again in the Spring with some homemade Black Walnut Syrup!)
Blend until all the spinach is blended up - it takes a little longer to chop it all up. Enjoy!
Quinoa Porridge with Dates, Coconut Milk, and Pecans
Combine in a medium saucepan:
Stir all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low 15-20 minutes, until desired consistency. Top with fresh chopped pecans.