Thinking of having an eclipse watching party on Aug. 21? What do you serve for a total (or near-total if you’re in Lexington) eclipse and for the emotional high afterward?
Not everyone will be able to make the trip to Hopkinsville, the epicenter of totality that will occur when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds about 1:24 p.m. Central Time. Even though most of the United States — including Lexington — will experience only a partial eclipse that afternoon from about 1 to 4 p.m., that hasn’t much dimmed the mania for the Great American Eclipse. Even food and drink makers are feeling it, and they want you to as well.
▪ You can get a whole case of mini MoonPies for about $40 from MoonPie.com, which also is selling a collectors box: the Totally Mooned 2017 party pack, with four mini chocolate MoonPies and two pairs of eclipse glasses, and a MoonPie Survival Kit, with two chocolate, one banana and one vanilla and the glasses. They even demonstrate how to use the pies to approximate an eclipse.
▪ Not into MoonPies? Krispy Kreme is making a special chocolate glazed doughnut just for the solar eclipse, but you can begin buying it during evening “hot light” hours on Saturday so you can stock up in advance. This will last for only three days, so enjoy it while you can.
▪ If you want a real Hopkinsville — excuse me, “Eclipseville” — touch, there’s Sun Drop, a Western Kentucky favorite. It’s a citrus soda, sort of like Mountain Dew. Other items that might fit an eclipse party theme: How about Sunny Delight or Capri Sun and Sun Chips?
▪ Want to look as if you made an effort? For a simple salad, try slicing a pint of tiny yellow Sun Sweet tomatoes in half and tossing with a little mozzarella and basil and drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Throw in some tiny Cherokee purples for pretty color. Serve with croissants (little doughy crescents, just like what most of us will see. Get it?) If you need a recipe, here’s one from Carriesexperimentalkitchen.com.
▪ Any round food could be appropriate: pizza, burgers, tiny round quiches, fried baloney sandwiches ... just throw on a round of cheese, call it eclipse pizza, etc., and you’re done.
▪ If you want to get a bit ambitious and science-y, make your own pizzas, with toppings designated as features of the sun: black olives for sunspots, sun-dried tomatoes or red peppers for solar prominences, for instance.
▪ Sweets are even easier: Buy or make dark-chocolate cupcakes and let your guests decorate them. Stanford University has a worksheet on ways to incorporate sun facts into the fun.
You can achieve the effect of the moon passing in front of the sun with Oreos: move the top cookie around on the white ice and you have a partial eclipse such as what we will see here in Lexington.
▪ For grownups, how about “moon shots” of Moon Pie Moonshine from Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, or just an ice-cold Corona in honor of the only thing people see of the sun during totality?
Ciliegine caprese salad
8 ounces Ciliegine mozzarella (any kind of small fresh mozzarella balls will work)
10 ounces of golden cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Serves 6 to 8.