A food blog that turns ranty - Tactical Ninja
Aug. 30th, 2011
01:09 pm - A food blog that turns ranty
In China and some other Asian countries, instead of celebrating the equinox, they have a festival called the mid-autumn festival, and (as far as I can tell) it's held on the nearest full moon to the equinox.
Aside for those who think astronomical festivals are exotic to let you know that Easter is held on the Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox too. In fact for those in New Zealand, the mid-autumn festival would be kind of similar to Easter except without the religious overtones and the whole "We killed Jesus! Yay!" thing on the Friday.
Anyway, the festival comes with a special food known as moon cakes. LIke hot cross buns, they are made with ingredients that make them an acquired taste - traditionally, lotus seed paste and egg yolks in a pastry outer sort of like a pie:
The deal is that you give these cakes to people - it originally started out as close friends and family but now it seems anyone you respect should get them - and the number of yolks in the cake indicates the esteem you hold them in. Apparently 4 yolks is considered appropriate for your mother in law. If you read the article up there, it talks a bit about the way the tradition has been usurped into this business of using moon cakes to oblige people to you. There's a bit about a construction company manager who gives them to people like building consent inspectors and council reps for example.
And apparently it's also been commercialised somewhat, with companies making 'more prestigious' moon cakes which are pre-ordered and sold out well before the season starts. And these days you can get frozen ones made of ice cream as well.
So this is all happening here right now. The festival's on the 12th of Sept and there are ads for these cakes throughout the MTR and all over the walls in shops and malls. And the supermarkets are full of them. We bought some without really knowing what they were about, and yes they are expensive. Ours have two yolks and were $140 for four - that's about $27NZ. We haven't tried them yet so I'll keep you posted on what they taste like.
Also, it seems that all cultures have a point where they get sick of eating the traditional holiday food. This thread is a bunch of people in Shanghai having novel ideas about what to do with leftover moon cakes. Oh and one Austrian who seems to have issues about the definition of cake.
Also, this morning as I cruised around the internet traps I noticed a theme, starting with this tweet from InjusticeFacts:
This isn't exactly news.
Nor is it news that only 15 Americans died of terrorist acts in 2010 (none within the US) whereas 34 died of dog bites. Worldwide, 13,186 died in terrorist attacks all year, whereas 18,000 children died every DAY from hunger.
It's not news that Florida is drug testing those who apply for welfare, and that other states are wanting to follow suit despite evidence that it's a pointless policy. And yeah, hello Welfare Working Group recommendations in NZ.
None of this is news - and that's a bit scary. The theme I'm detecting isn't news either - the rich and powerful crapping on the less powerful just because they can. Human rights being eroded for the sake of security. I ask, whose security? Not that of those 18,000 children a day, that's for sure.
So yesterday, when as part of my reading on Anonymous, I found my way to What Is The Plan.org, I was quite excited. On the front page there's a 10-minute video on why someone might become Anonymous. This site and everything that goes with it is quite exciting, academic-essay-wise. For me personally, it's also exciting because since I started to study crimes of globalisation, I have been thinking about how to withdraw consent.
You know how I talked about social contract theory the other day? How does one withdraw their consent from the social contract without resorting to burning down cities? I don't know, but that site up there is growing and it'll be interesting to see what pops out of such a gathering of like-minded people. I am not alone, and even if nothing comes of the idea, it's good to see so many other people who look at the world and also want to withdraw consent.
Go on, laugh at me.
And because that was all a bit heavy, have a thing: field journal of a group of teenagers stymied by the changes to supermarket display of alcohol.