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fifi

Vacation cooking

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The thread on the trials of Cooking in Other People's Kitchens reminded me of how much fun my sister and I had on the trip to Hawaii a bit over a year ago. We were fortunate enough to have a fairly well equipped kitchen. There was "the produce lady" that showed up while we were checking in and we loaded up on goodies. Then the fish taco guy told us to go to the grocery store (I forget which chain) there in Princeville. That is where he often gets his sashimi grade fish for his tacos. Then we made a stop at a produce stand and got a mysterious sapote. To top it all off, my foraging sister found a bunch of nastursiums along side the road in Waimea canyon. Now that I figured out how to do pictures I thought I would share. I hope this inspires visitors to the islands to try out condo staying and cooking in the beautiful islands. I will try my best to remember what the dishes are. No guarantees there, though. :biggrin:

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This was our first dinner. We made macadamia nut encrusted tuna. The sides are rice and sauteed winged beans with Maui onion. I don't remember what all was in the salad. I do recall that we used these little mystery fruits, that we now think are probably calamondins, to provide a tart note to the macadamia nut crust and the salad dressing. The croutons are from some sandwich rolls we picked up for the next day.

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Our balconey friend works on his own dinner. :laugh:

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Brunch the next day with egg salad sandwiches. The egg salad was brightened with the pepperiness of chopped nastursium leaves and flowers. You can barely see the little calamondin that we squeezed over the papaya. Note the nastursium flower and left over macadamias in the papaya. I don't remember about the little round red things.

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Our first introduction to sapote from the roadside fruit stand. We had heard of them but this is our first trial. Think a sweet avocado... kinda sorta.

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We used up the leftover tuna in a salad. There is some of the sapote in the salad. The faint sweetness of the sapote was great with the tuna. The side dish is pasta with pesto sauce that we made from several varieties of basil that we got at the fruit stand. We used macadamia nuts in the pesto and garnished with the same. The nastursiums make another appearance.

edit to add: I forgot that we used the papaya seeds in the salad dressing. They added a peppery nutty note.

I hope this inspires many others to take advantage of the wonderful bounty that is available. What was really fun was trying to be creative without a well stocked pantry and trying very hard to use things up before we had to move on.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Incredible - I wish I could have supped on some of the scraps from your table while you guys were here. . .

Great pictures. And your use of ingredients sounds a lot more creative and delicious than much of what passes for "Hawaiiian Regional Cuisine" nowadays. . . Winged beans, Maui onion, calamondins, sapote, and roadsite nastursiums!

Thanks for the great story. Fifi, how did you find the foraging options and selection of produce on Kauai as compared to Houston? Or Honolulu, if you've been here? eGulleter Rachel Laudan ("caroline") has pointed that the variety of readily available tropical fruit on the islands is not as great as you would expect given the climate and mix of cultures. How much difficulty did you have finding your ingredients?


Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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For produce, forget the grocery stores. They are universally dismal. But that main stream grocery in Princeville had AWESOME fish. We lucked out that our arrival happened to coincide with the arrival of "the produce lady". She comes around in her pick-up a couple of times a week to the main check-in office there in the Princeville complex. The longer term residents know her schedule. We just got lucky. She had an awesome array of goodies. My sister bent her ear for at least a half an hour. (We are gardeners.) There was a pretty big produce stand operation on the highway not far from the lighthouse bird sanctuary on the north shore. (I forget the name.) Then, as we were driving around we would see roadside "stands" that were on the honor system for mangoes and such.

As to the nastursiums... My sister and I are long term foragers. I know we found some other stuff but I just don't remember. The passenger in the car has the job of watching what is growing by the side of the road. If something is spotted there is much yelling and exclamation... "STOP! STOP! There is xxxxx growing in that ditch." Never mind that there is a cane truck on your butt. :laugh:

When I travel there with the (grown) kids, they prefer Maui and we always get a condo with a kitchen. My son likes to cook and we do well together in the kitchen. My daughter likes to eat what we cook. I have found the same situation with the produce on Maui. Forget the grocery stores. We ask a lot of questions and poke around. We can usually find something if we drive up to Kula. You have to go looking for it but that is part of the fun.

I do find it odd that you have to go looking. Before we make our next trip in the next couple of years I will be doing some research on local farmers' markets. We just missed one on Kauai.

We have never tried that approach on Oahu. We normally only spend a couple of nights in a hotel there. We have been known to find some roadside fruit to nosh on when we drive to the North Shore.

I haven't tried this on The Big Island, either. I tend to stay on the Hilo side and I like the old Naniloa Surf hotel. I get a balconey room facing the bay and the mountains so that I have rainbows every morning. Next time, though, I am going to look for an alternative with a kitchen. :biggrin:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Fifi, Just reading your description makes me homesick for Hawaii. And I too love the Naniloa Surf and Hilo and the wet part of the Big Island. YOur cooking sounds great. And someday treat yourself to a few days in Honolulu (I think you can now rent condos downtown and not just in Waikiki( and indulge in the variety of stuff you can buy there. A much greater variety I think than on the neighbor islands (correct me if I'm out of date and wrong, Sun-Ki),

Thanks for showing us your wonderful meals,

Rachel


Rachel Caroline Laudan

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