Here is a delicious autumn meal to celebrate the Full Corn Moon and Harvest Moon, which took place a few days ago.
On Sept. 29, 30, and Oct. 1, did you happen to notice a much brighter moon? In my childhood I would hear adults talking about the Harvest Moon, and occasionally my grandfather would mention the Full Corn Moon, but I was young and didn’t really pay much attention. Though this was a small farm where we had only 6 acres of corn and potatoes, “bringing in the harvest” was a common expression at that time. It wasn’t until I was older that I found out exactly what the moons in September and October meant to farmers.
Here is an excerpt from my grandparents’ favorite magazine, “The Farmer’s Almanac Magazine,” that I found interesting:
“The Full Corn Moon corresponds with the time of harvesting corn. It is also called the Barley Moon, because it is the time to harvest the ripe barley. This month, we also celebrate what we call a Harvest Moon, which is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox. It can occur in September or October and is bright enough to allow finishing all the harvest chores. In the days before tractor lights, the lamp of the Harvest Moon helped farmers to bring in crops. As the sun’s light faded in the west, the moon would soon rise in the east to illuminate the fields throughout the night.”
Bottom line: The Harvest Moon in 2012 came on the nights of Sept. 29, 30, and Oct. 1, for us in the United States.
The Harvest Moon is not really bigger, or more pumpkin-colored than other full moons, but it’s special.
“Shine on, Shine on Harvest Moon” — remember the song?
Roast Pork Loin with Apples, Sage & Pecans
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (5-pound) boneless center-cut pork loin or tenderloin
2 cans (14-ounce each) low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup pecan pieces or halves, may substitute walnuts
3 medium apples, washed and sliced with skin on
2 tablespoons butter
cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or three-quarter teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine salt, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl; rub mixture over pork. Place pork in preheated 400-degree oven and roast 45 minutes or until outside is browned.
Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees. Add broth to pan; cover and roast 2 hours longer or until meat thermometer reaches 135 degrees.
Transfer pork to cutting board and let stand 15 minutes before slicing (internal temperature will rise to 145 degrees while at rest).
Reserve meat drippings in pan.
Meanwhile, in large non-stick skillet, toast nuts over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally; transfer pecans to serving plate.
Heat same skillet over medium high heat; add apples and butter and cook 7 to 8 minutes until apples are just lightly browned. Add brown sugar, sage and reserved pork drippings; heat to boiling over high heat.
In a small cup, combine water and cornstarch; whisk into apple mixture and heat to boiling. Boil 1 minute; remove skillet from heat. To serve, slice pork and spoon sauce over pork, place apples around pork , top all with roasted nuts.
Serve with a side dish of hot corn pudding (recipe below).
Country-Style Corn Pudding
Serves 8 to 10
cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 (16-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup sour cream
1 (16-ounce) can cream style corn
1 (9-ounce) box corn muffin mix
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with melted butter. Combine remaining ingredients, adding dry corn muffin mix last . Stir till blended.
Pour mixture into a greased 9-by-13 inch baking dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
Patricia Altomare invites feedback. Email her at email@example.com, or write care of Gloucester Daily Times, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930.