Thursday, 2 August 2012

August 2012 Two Full Moons - A Blue Moon month

August 2012 is a month with two full moons. And, by popular acclaim, that means it’s a Blue Moon month. That’s because a Blue Moon is sometimes defined as the second full moon in a calendar month. The first full moon is August 2 nd. The second full moon is August 31, 2012.

Tonight's full moon is also known as The Sturgeon Moon - The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

Every month has a full moon, and, most of the time, the names for full moons coincide with particular months or seasons of the year. By either definition, the name Blue Moon accounts for times when there happen to be more full moons than is convenient.

The time between one full moon and the next is close to the length of a calendar month. So the only time one month can have two full moons is when the first full moon happens in the first few days of the month. This happens every 2-3 years, so these sorts of Blue Moons come about that often.

When is the next Blue Moon, according to this first definition? August 31, 2012.
The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month stemmed from the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine, which contained an article called “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett. Pruett was using a 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but he simplified the definition. He wrote:

'Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.'

EarthSky’s Deborah Byrd happened upon a copy of this old 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope in the stacks of the Peridier Library at the University of Texas Astronomy Department in the late 1970s. Afterward, she began using the term Blue Moon to describe the second full moon in a calendar month on the radio. Later, this definition of Blue Moon was also popularized by a book for children by Margot McLoon-Basta and Alice Sigel, called “Kids’ World Almanac of Records and Facts,” published in New York by World Almanac Publications, in 1985. The second-full-moon-in-a-month definition was also used in the board game Trivial Pursuit.

Can there be two blue moons in a single calendar year? Yes. It last happened in 1999. There were two full moons in January and two full moons in March and no full moon in February. So both January and March had Blue Moons.

The next year of double blue moons is coming up in 2018.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Rice Culture in Valencia - More Than Just Paella

After paella, Arroz al Horno is probably the most iconic dish on the table in the Valencia Community. This dish is traditionally baked in a ceramic dish and includes pork ribs, panncetta, morcilla sausage (black pudding), garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas).

The region of Valencia is known for its many rice dishes, like paella, but there are so many other mouth-watering rice dishes to enjoy, (see below) . In English Arroz al Horno is called Oven-Baked Rice.

This traditional dish is so popular that Xàtiva, a coastal city in Valencia, holds a festival in honor of Arroz al Horno.

Traditionally, this dish is prepared in a clay or ceramic dish. So, you’ll need a ceramic, enamel or stainless steel casserole dish that can be used on a stove-top and in the oven.

Valencian Arroz al Horno (Oven-baked Rice)

Serves 4

lb. lean pork spare ribs
1/2 lb. morcilla, blood sausage ( or bury black pudding)
1 whole head of garlic
1 cup diced panncetta
2 medium tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of paella rice
4 cups beef stock
2 medium potatoes - sliced
4 oz. cooked chickpeas
olive oil

Cut the morcilla sausage into thick slices or if small leave whole. Cut tomatoes into slices approximately 1/3 inch thick. Peel potatoes and slice.

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into the casserole dish and heat. When hot enough, fry the pork ribs and pancetta until golden brown. Add the potatoes and the rice into the dish, then add the stock and season.
Sprinkle the chickpeas around the dish. Simmer for 10 minutes 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Before placeing the casserole dish in the pre-heated oven, arrange the sliced tomatoes and black pudding on top and place the whole head of garlic in the centre.of the dish.
Cover and bake in the oven until the rice is cooked and golden brown.


Below are just a few other Spanish rice-based dishes:-

Arroz a banda
Arroz a la cerveza
Arroz a la criolla
Arroz a la franciascana
Arroz a la húngara
Arroz a la Jardinera
Arroz a la mantequilla
Arroz a la mexicana
Arroz a la milanesa
Arroz a la morrón
Arroz a la oriental
Arroz a la persa o arroz dulce
Arroz a la poblana
Arroz a la puertorriqueña
Arroz a la Saz
Arroz acuario
Arroz al coñac
Arroz al curry
Arroz al estilo libanés
Arroz al horno
Arroz al Guadalquivir
Arroz al vino
Arroz blanco con frutas secas
Arroz blanco
Arroz Bombay
Arroz brut
Arroz caldoso de puchero
Arroz campanero
Arroz cantonés a la vietnamita
Arroz color
Arroz con acelgas y sepias
Arroz con aguacate
Arroz con alcachofas
Arroz con almejas
Arroz con ancas de rana y cangrejos
Arroz con atún
Arroz con atún y apio
Arroz con bacalao
Arroz con bacon
Arroz con bogavante
Arroz con camarones
Arroz con castañas
Arroz con Cerdo
Arroz con cerveza
Arroz con coca cola
Arroz con coco
Arroz con col
Arroz con coles de Bruselas
Arroz con coliflor
Arroz con "Consomme Beef"
Arroz con costillas de cerdo
Arroz con chocos
Arroz con espárragos
Arroz con frutos secos
Arroz con hígados de pollo
Arroz con huevos escalfados
Arroz con Lentejas de Año Nuevo
Arroz con Mariscos
Arroz con Mejillones
Arroz con mejillones y puerros
Arroz con palmito
Arroz con patatas y bacalao al horno
Arroz con Pato
Arroz con pimientos fritos
Arroz con Pollo
Arroz con Pollo Almendrado
Arroz con Pollo "al estilo Panameño"
Arroz con salmón al cava
Arroz con sardinas
Arroz con sobrasada y botifarrón
Arroz con verduras
Arroz con vino
Arroz Congrí
Arroz Costa Brava
Arroz cremoso con azafrán al manchego semicurado
Arroz cremoso
Arroz Chaufa
Arroz Chaufa de Mariscos
Arroz Chaufa especial
Arroz chaufa tres sabores
Arroz chino
Arroz de conejo con mejillones estilo Ornosa
Arroz de Pascua Rusa
Arroz de verduras
Arroz español
Arroz especial
Arroz frito
Arroz Frito Tres Delicias
Arroz Genovés
Arroz Graneado
Arroz huertano o de verduras con bacalao
Arroz Imperial
Arroz rojo integral
Arroz integral con alcachofas
Arroz Ligur
Arroz marinera
Arroz marinero
Arroz Montemar
Arroz negro con sepia
Arroz negro cremoso con sepias
Arroz negro cremoso de setas
Arroz pilaf
Arroz pilaw
Arroz pilaw
Arroz rápido
Arroz salteado con coca- cola
Arroz sazonado con lentejas
Arros pobler Arroz sorpresa
Arroz sushi
Arroz Tapado
Arroz tres delicias
Arroz vapor
Arroz verde .............PHEW!!!! thats a lot of rice dishes

The following link by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall includes a few more great Spanish recipes