In the book, Full Moon Feast, Food and the Hunger for Connection, (Prentice, 2006) Jessica Prentice does a beautiful job of providing a cultural background to the foods we eat during the year based on seasons or moons. She chronicles the thirteen full moons, gives them traditional names and provides recipes appropriate to that moon throughout history.
Here in Dallas, Texas, we are in early February and that puts us in the wolf moon characterized by the deep, dark of winter. Winter weather here can be mild, but we also can have patches of freezing weather that can leave us desiring homemade chicken stock, dried bean soups, squash and root vegetables.
The chicken stock and the cream of butternut squash soup are two of my fall and winter favorites. I love searching for chicken or turkey necks, wing tips and chicken feet. I have never found the feet in any of the national chain butchers, but this year they did have an enormous supply of turkey necks and chicken backs in the frozen section. I stocked up in my freezer to last through the winter! I love adding chicken feet as they add the amazing gelatin to the stock. When I buy directly from my farmer, I find that they can supply these.
The cream of butternut squash soup is amazing! It is rich, full of flavor and satisfying. I also enjoy adding sundried tomatoes on occasion. I feel that the nutrients from the stock and the squash are just what is needed for this time of year.
One of the principles of the book that I found both logical and comforting is that the foods typically cooked at this time of year are foods that naturally have a shelf life. Root vegetables, acorn and butternut squash, dried beans and rice. These are foods that I can have in my pantry and theoretically keep for weeks so that I have options when the weather is too poor to go out. I love the flexibility of soup stocks and soup ingredients that also provide warmth during the cold wolf moon.
Prentice, J. (2006). Full moon feast : food and the hunger for connection. White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Pub.