Lunar calendars may have been the first calendars developed throughout the world, and are directly related to the seasons and how we experience food, says Jessica Prentice, author of Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection. There are thirteen moons, all with cool names, including Hunger Moon, the Moon of Making Fat, the Moon When Salmon Return to Earth, and the Wolf Moon. “Naturally,” Prentice says, “because food was so important in the lives of traditional peoples, many moon names reflect what was happening on farms at a particular time of year, or what people were doing to secure food for the community.”
This month is that of the Mead Moon, which occurs when the days are long and the Earth is in bloom…and the beehives are heavy with honey. The perfect time to make mead: the liquor of gods. Want to celebrate the Mead Moon right? Make some mead, invite your friends over, howl at la luna…do what you feel. Here’s a recipe.
The following is an excerpt from Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice. It has been adapted for the Web.
Makes 2 quarts
This lacto-fermented mead has very little alcohol but showcases the flavor of honey, and is delicious. Mead was traditionally drunk on the summer solstice.
- 2/3 cup raw, unfiltered honey
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water, very warm (about 110° F)
- 6 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup kefir grains—rinsed grains from making milk kefir, or water kefir grains
- Pour the honey into a clean, 2-quart mason jar.
- Pour the hot water over the honey and stir to dissolve.
- Pour the rest of the filtered water into the jar.
- Add the kefir grains.
- Cover the jar and put it in a warm place for 1 week.
- Strain into two glass bottles with screw tops. I use the bottles from the mineral water Gerolsteiner. Put an even amount into both bottles. If they are 1-quart bottles, they should be full; if they are 1-liter bottles, add enough water to fill to the top. Screw the lids on tightly, label and date the bottles, and return to the warm place for another week.
- Transfer to the fridge. Once they are cold you can enjoy them anytime! When you are ready to drink the mead, open the bottles carefully because they may have built up a lot of carbonation. Open them outside or over a sink. Turn the lid very slowly to see if the drink begins to release foam. If so, then allow it to release some of the carbon dioxide by not opening the bottle all the way and letting out some of the pressure, then opening it more and more, bit by bit. This way you won’t lose your drink to its carbonation.