MY HAWAIIAN KITCHEN
One smiling Brunette's culinary adventure journal in the making.......
It even feels good to say. "My Hawaiian Kitchen". In fact I cannot say it without smiling. Smugly. Kitchens, the heart of the home no matter where you are. Throw paradise into the mix and my oh my what a combination. There I go again, smiling.
Way out in the middle of the world's greatest ocean lies a lei of tropical islands. The Sandwich Islands. Or, more commonly, Hawaii. Tiny specks of land embodying the spirit of Polynesia. From the depths of the Pacific, piercing the blue-green waves and rising to the tall Hawaiian sky are mountains of emerald green. Sentinels guarding these islands so perfect, legend tells us that they could only have been created by gods and goddesses.
Then there's the people that live on these islands, these islands that the rest of the world refers to as paradise. Gracious people, with a song in their voice and their heart and a most enviable way to be in the world. Aloha. Locals celebrate food and life every chance they get. In fact, they have elevated hospitality to an art-form. Lucky you are if you get to pass this way.
Lucky am I. Once upon a time I had the delectable good fortune to call Hawaii home. My husband, youngest son and I lived on the verdant slopes of Mt. Hualalai, above the picturesque village of Kailua-Kona. It was more a homestead than a home, three sun-soaked acres of avocado trees, with Big Island forest pressing in against the meadow that was our yard.
Past the meadow, near the Kona Nightingales, just beyond the fringe of the forest, there were mysterious, unending lava tubes that begged exploration. The bottom of our yard was lined with exotic, abundant banana trees. In the morning, often, the wild boars would tottle past our house in search of whatever wild boars search for in paradise. And almost always there were wild turkeys about, gobbling here, gobbling there. Lining the driveway, right up to the front door, were palms and bright red heliconias. E komo mai. Welcome.
Two huge lanais, wide verandahs really, spanned the entire front of our house and overlooked the magnificent Kona Coast in all it's glory. On any given day, or as the sun slowly sunk into the blue Pacific, or as night fell upon the land and the skies filled with twinkling stars that defied description, you could find us on one of these lanais, smiling. Almost always smiling. And eating.
Eating island style dishes and heirloom recipes that had been given a new tropical twist and created with sheer pleasure in that kitchen, in that home up Kaloko near the cloud forests.
It was here, in my very own Hawaiian kitchen, with the sweet island sounds of Hapa or John Cruz filling the air, that I learned to cook my very own version of local style. It is here that I happily whiled away many hours experimenting with guavas and lilikois, trying new marinades, usually with shoyu, baking with fresh roasted macadamia nuts, trying Josh's fresh catch this way, then that, learning the island ways, the ‘ohana traditions, lending my own little touches.
Now back in Canada, with a whim, a smile and twirl of a spoon I often transport my Okanagan kitchen far across the blue Pacific, cooking and conjuring goodies that overflow with the gorgeous aromas and flavors of the Islands. When I get going I can almost hear the plumeria scented trade winds tickling the palms and feel the kiss of the tropical sunshine. Way fun! You should try it too!
Mahalo nui loa Mom for the gumption to cook. Pure and simple, good food is a celebration of life. That’s universal. To be the purveyor of good food, even more fun. Lucky we are, us cooks. A passion for cooking will take us places we never dreamed.....Aloha.
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MY HAWAIIAN KITCHEN RECIPES
- Pahoa Pesto Pork Pats Pasta
- Kuawa Riblets
- Broken Pork Nachos
- Pad Hai
- Chickie Flautas
- Island Macaroni Salad
- Huli Huli Chicken
- Creamy Chicken 'Chiladas
- Swallowing Clouds Soup
- Chocolate Frosted Koko Java Cupcakes
- Chicken Sate Potstickers
- Avo Hummus
- Michelle's Island Corn Salsa
- Hula ula ula Salad
- Cliff's Lemon Lime Chicken
- Tender Baby Tender Baby Back Ribs
- Mom's Pineapple Chicken
- Volcano Chicken
- Lemony Orange Snack Cake
- Kawaihae Pie aka Sex In A Pan
.......Stay tuned......much more to come
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There’s nothing quite like those fresh island ingredients they say.
Cooking and eating here is paradise found they say.
Ah, but even if you do love to cook in paradise, in between things……maybe just maybe, the
Ocean knows your name
And beckons you with crystal blue persuasion to
Snorkel in aqua seas, skim over cobalt blue waters on the watch for nature’s gentle giants, explore wherever you want with a kayak under you, bob gently in the warmest blue-green waves to the very rhythm of the ocean,
Or laze beachside squishing warm sand between your toes and finding the teeniest
Purple seashellyou’ve ever seen and thinking about not cooking. You could even
Take a plunge in
A submarine for a ride to an octopuses garden in the sea.
Get giddy from the perfume of a million blossoms. And listen carefully……..heed
Mother Nature’s call to explore the land……..to tread
Or pedal into ravines so deep the
Greens of the earth whisper sweet
Nothings to you
And later, warmed by the sun and calmed by the spray of
Waterfalls, a giant Mai Tai summons you………