Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wolf Moon

Saturday there was the full moon. Wolf Moon. It rained all night, but sometime late (or early) most of those clouds dispersed and out shone the perigee moon, the largest-looking moon of the whole year. And I saw it.

I went outside, breathed, and looked for the moon. To the west there were clouds lit from behind, but there was no moon. Ten minutes later I walked outside again, and there she was-- huge and low to the horizon, and the color of...what?

Orange curd cream.

There are storm chasers; there are skirt chasers; I am a moon chaser. I ran west as I always do, towards the Wolf Moon. I then I chased her north, the opposite direction of my usual route. I lost her behind some oak trees after a mile and never saw her again.

I have seen the moon so large only one other time. It was two summers ago, June. I was visiting family here and mildly obsessed with Mary Oliver's Twelve Moons, a book of poetry that contains a series of poems with twelve moons in them (lovely, magical, poignant). My family and I went for a walk on the levy around 8:30 pm. I insisted we do this because that night Strawberry Moon was to rise full and potentially gorgeous near the time the sun was to set. It was all that I had hoped for, a huge light spectacle, orange-pink and reinforcing centuries of people being all too enamored with the full moon.

The moon is not only beautiful. It is practical. It is spiritual. It is another way to watch and witness rhythm.

A few days ago a friend of mine was telling me how she decided she needed to go to church once a week and hopefully regularly for many reasons, one being that otherwise the weeks turn into months and then years without her awareness. She wanted, among other things, to have a weekly rhythm with spiritual focus. Isn't this why people celebrate the calendar--the holidays, the spring festivals, the moon cycles. I've decided that I too, need a little more rhythm to my endless unmarked days.

Orange Curd Cream
This recipe began as a Martha Stewart meets Diddi Emmons Lemon Curd. But neither of them uses a mixture of whole and partial eggs. I had only 4 egg yolks leftover from my mother's breakfasts, and I felt a little lazy. Ms. Emmons uses 4 whole eggs, Ms. Stewart uses six yolks. This is a lesson in cooking...there are a few different paths to the world of curd. Some are a little more sophisticated, others more utilitarian. It sounds spiritual, trendy, and consummeristic, but choose the path that suits your whim!

4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup sugar
juice of two oranges (or about 1/2 a cup)
zest of 2 oranges (or about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup butter, cut in small pieces

2/3 cup whipping cream

Combine egg mixture, sugar, and orange juice in a small-medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens a little and coats the back of a wooden spoon (10-12 minutes). Take off heat and stir in butter and zest. Transfer curd to another container and refrigerate until completely cold.

Whip cream and fold into the curd. Serve over a chocolate torte, waffles, or chocolate angel food cake. Enjoy!


  1. I too was startled by the size of the moon on the weekend. It was huge yet enigmatic, all-enveloping yet other-worldly.

    So beautiful.

  2. i love having your sweet voice here on the internets for me to interact with. it certainly makes me miss you.

  3. Tales of a Moon-Chaser. On the Tail of the Moon. On the Tail of a Moon Chaser. I guess that last one describes us readers...
    A gorgeous post and a gorgeous, mooney, organge cream curd.