Celebrating Moon Festival

English: Moon

Usagi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thursday, in honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival, we attended the family barbeque of the co-owners of my favorite local coffee shop and pasta restaurant. It was quite exciting to celebrate this holiday with a Taiwanese family. Traditionally, the moon festival barbeque happens in the evening so that you can eat great food and enjoy the view of the moon. This year, however, Typhoon Usagi was threatening southern Taiwan on its path toward Hong Kong. As a result, we could expect overcast skies, wind, and plenty of rain.

Since it was unlikely we’d see the moon anyway, the plan was to begin the barbequing festivities at 3:00. As we walked over to the shop, the sky grew overcast. On the porch in front of the building, the first of the coals were burning in preparation for the cooking that would start soon. Luckily, there  is a nice awning over this porch, because by 3:30, it was pouring rain. Luckily, the young people manning the barbeque area persevered and outlasted the worst of the rain. Chicken wings, sausages, mushrooms, and various types of seafood were threaded onto wooden skewers for cooking, while corn on the cob was wrapped in foil before being placed on the barbeque.

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Rotating crews throughout the afternoon and early evening kept moving food from the prep table to the hot coals.In addition to the barbecued food, bowls of pineapple and other fruit was available, as were a couple of salads. We brought along banana chocolate bread and tapioca pudding, two of David’s specialties that he’s known for among our friends. So much great food!

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Above you can see how pieces of corn on the cob and various items from the skewers are then piled on plates. The baby corn on the cob was cooked with its husks and then shucked while still hot.

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The afternoon was filled with great food and enjoying one another’s company. Just after 5:30, glasses of wine were brought around. Since I can’t have alcohol, Mina offered to make me a coffee. It was wonderful. So cold and delicious. I didn’t even miss the wine.

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A picture of me with my Taiwanese friends.

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The Moon Festival is truly an event about food and people. The most fascinating part of the evening is that we all had a wonderful time in spite of the fact that my Chinese is quite limited, as is their English. But we’ve learned to communicate over time with our best efforts and our body language. Besides, food, laughter, and friendship are part of an international language that often doesn’t need words.

As Dave and I walked home, we looked for the moon, but the overcast skies kept it hidden. We didn’t even get a partial view as the picture at the beginning of this post, but it was a great Moon Festival anyway.

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