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eG Foodblog: SuzySushi - A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs


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THANKS FOR ALL THE PHOTOS, SuzuSushi!  Fascinating!

Although some characters are too blurry to read, I can tell that at leat two of the sake on display are from Niigata:

Kubota 久保田

and

Kikusui 菊水

Sake display. These are large bottles being featured for New Year's celebrations. The white kanji character on the blue banner in the center says "sake."

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Marukai's fish department. The ladies in the white kerchiefs work there. There's an old fishing boat hanging from the wall as a display. Sorry, I can't read all the red characters on the banner -- I recognize "fish" and "large" -- maybe someone who knows kanji can translate the whole phrase?

First, the hiragana: いきいき (ikiiki), roughly "fresh, fresh"

Second, the kanji: 鮮魚大特売 (sengyo dai tokubai)

鮮魚 Fresh fish

大 Big, great

特売 Special sale

Great!!! Thanks for translating!!!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Suzy, have you ever tried cooking with Gobo (burdock root)? I always seen it here in the Korean supermarkets and always wondered how you would fix such a long root.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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BTW, after all the feasting we've been doing, last night's dinner was a simple, out-of-focus (!) salad using what little was left of the Christmas roast beef, along with locally grown lettuce, yellow and red grape tomatoes, sliced Japanese cucumber, and cilantro, sprinkled with sunflower seeds and dressed with a bottled Asian-style (soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil) salad dressing from Gyotaku, a local Japanese restaurant.

My lunch today is more leftover salad greens with some turkey that was left over from Thanksgiving (the latter had been safely ensconced in the freezer, of course).

Wendy is playing at our next-door neighbors' house and is eating lunch there. These neighbors moved in about a month ago and Wendy is delighted because they have a 9-year-old girl and a 7-year-old son. Built-in friends! The kids have been switching back and forth between houses after school and on weekends ever since.

I never used to keep salty snacks or junk food in the house (except for chocolate -- which isn't junk :wink: ), but now that Wendy's of an age that she constantly has friends over, I almost have to. The kids can go through the refrigerator in minutes, vacuuming up everything except vegetables. (In fact, if there's anything I want to put off limits, I hide it in the vegetable bin!)

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Suzy, have you ever tried cooking with Gobo (burdock root)? I always seen it here in the Korean supermarkets and always wondered how you would fix such a long root.

Yes. To prepare it for cooking, you wash it, scrubbing with a brush to get off the dirt (or you can peel it with a vegetable peeler). Then either cut it into short chunks if you're planning to cook it in a stew, or (the Japanese way), "shave" it with a knife as though you were sharpening a pencil. The shavings are stir-fried, usually with carrot shavings, for a cooked salad-y dish called kimpira. Gobo is usually seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, and maybe a little sesame oil. Some people add chili flakes to kimpira.

Gobo can also be made into pickles, but I've never made them from scratch -- we buy them ready-made.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Hmmm... the kimpira sounds delish! I might try that tomorrow! Thanks for the tip Suzy! That's one less strange vegetable off my list (living in Korea has made me come up with a list of strange/unknown food items)...

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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The apple crisp cooling on the stove.

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Gotta go take my shower now. . . We're leaving for the party in about an hour. Our friend lives about an hour's drive away, and we don't want to get stuck in the evening rush-hour traffic.

Back later with a full report!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Thank you for the pictures of your children, friends and pets. So beautiful! I love that your son wears candy canes in his ears, very festive and economical because you could just eat your earing if you get a candy craving. It's kind of like a candy necklace but for your ear. Weird and yet very cool. Best to all of you and happy New Year.

Melissa

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In the window are candied fruits and vegetables -- mango, ginger, lotus root, squash, water chestnuts, yams -- along with peanut and macadamia nut candies.

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These look quite familiar to me. Except for Macadamia nut candies - which are not traditional Chinese. Looks like they incorporated the local specialties as well?

We bought several kinds of cakes and sweets (clockwise from the top): a large Chinese wedding cake filled with candied fruit (?), a banana-flavored mochi roll, a fruitcake, a mochi cake filled with what I believe is two types of sweet bean pastes -- black beans and white beans, and finally a piece of macadamia nut candy.

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If they follow the Chinese traditional recipes, then the filling for the wife's cake (wedding cake) would be candied Winter Melon.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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In the window are candied fruits and vegetables -- mango, ginger, lotus root, squash, water chestnuts, yams -- along with peanut and macadamia nut candies.

These look quite familiar to me. Except for Macadamia nut candies - which are not traditional Chinese. Looks like they incorporated the local specialties as well?

We bought several kinds of cakes and sweets (clockwise from the top): a large Chinese wedding cake filled with candied fruit (?), a banana-flavored mochi roll, a fruitcake, a mochi cake filled with what I believe is two types of sweet bean pastes -- black beans and white beans, and finally a piece of macadamia nut candy.

If they follow the Chinese traditional recipes, then the filling for the wife's cake (wedding cake) would be candied Winter Melon.

Yes, the macadamia candies substitute macadamias for the usual Chinese peanut candy (which they also offer).

Aha! So it's winter melon. I've been trying to identify the filling.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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You've posted many gorgeous photographs of food I'd love to eat, but this one gets me in the heart. The only way I can get shiso is to grow it myself (and it does grow well here!), but there's no way I could get peppers like that without mail order. Or schlepping them back in my suitcase. My envy of your Asian markets is palpable!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Traditionally, kagami mochi are topped with a whole mandarin orange. Ours, which we picked up a few weeks ago at another Japanese supermarket, is topped with a plastic maneki neko, a stylized "beckoning cat" figurine that symbolizes good fortune.

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I need to get a maneki neko for my apartment!

Here is the kagami mochi display in the other market. Don Quijote is the name of a Japanese supermarket chain. They recently bought out the Hawaii supermarkets that had been owned by Daiei – another Japanese supermarket chain that is now in financial trouble. In the upper right, you can see Don Quijote's mascot -- oddly, a penguin instead of a horse or donkey -- named Don-Pen. 

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Anyone know why the Japanese supermarket chain chose the famous Cervantes character for its name? Do they mean to suggest that shopping there is an exercise in futility? :wink:

I assume that there are no windmills to be seen anywhere in or near the stores.

Poke display. Poke (pronounced POH-key) is a local Hawaiian seafood salad, usually made raw seafood cut in cubes or slices and mixed with seasonings such as scallions, chopped limu (a branchy, crunchy seaweed), crushed kukui nuts, soy sauce, sesame oil, chiles, or other condiments. Some types are made with cooked seafood (such as octopus) or even cubed tofu. It's very popular in Hawaii and every supermarket fish counter has a large display.

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So tell me a little of how limu is used in cooking or as a garnish. One of the jurors on my panel (see my 2d foodblog) was an IT guy for a small local manufacturer who also sold this nutritional supplement derived from limu, for which he had literature (which I still have) claiming that the seaweed had all sorts of interesting compounds in it that could help stave off diseases and improve your body's defenses, or stuff like that. I think the supplement was a beverage with the limu mixed in with fruits. It sounded intriguing, but I haven't followed up on contacting the guy about trying some. Should I?

One of the favorite New Year's foods in Hawaii is sashimi, especially a red fish like ahi (the Hawaiian word for maguro, yellowfin tuna). Demand for ahi during the days before New Year's drives the price of this fish sky-high. The finest grade of bluefin tuna is priced at $40.99 a pound, with the next lower grade at $29.99!

The local newspapers begin featuring "ahi alerts" several days before the end of the year. This

was the lead story in yesterday’s newspaper! (Told ya it's like a small town here.  :laugh: )

Trays of sashimi assortments and oysters on the half-shell.

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A recurring lament on the Pennsylvania board concerns the generally low quality of sushi and sashimi to be found in Philadelphia restaurants. With a very few exceptions (the now-closed Fuji Mountain in Cinnaminson, Raw near me), most of the restaurants that serve it serve only average quality fare, or so those who know tell me. I love the stuff, although I apparently make a very common American error in the way I eat it. I can only begin to imagine how much better the sushi and sashimi are in Hawaii.

Tonight we're invited to a party at a friend's house. This afternoon, I'll prepare an apple crisp, spiced with candied ginger and sweetened with Splenda, for dessert.

Before the party, I wanted to tell you a little about the Hawaiian concept of family, called ohana. Ohana means "family" (as you may know if you saw the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch), but it's more than that. It means extended family, encompassing not only people who are actual relatives, but "calabash cousins" who are so close emotionally that they figuratively drank out of the same calabash (gourd bowl) as you did as children.

These friends we're seeing tonight -- along with Mike and Ginny's family, who will also be at tonight's party -- are our ohana, in the absence of any of us having other actual relatives living here. We three families get together for just about every major holiday celebration -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day -- for either a meal at one of our homes, or a beach or park picnic.

Another Hawaiian family concept is hanai, which means "adopted." In old Hawaii, there was a tradition of informal adoption, whereby children were given away to be loved and reared by someone other than their natural parents, often to their grandparents or a childless relative. In practice, hanai today is a verbal shortcut to define the warmth of any fostering relationship. For instance, one of Wendy's friends (who sadly has moved off-island) used to spend so much time at our house that she became our hanai daughter. (I'm an earth mother anyway!) Hanai can be used to refer to the foster parent, the child, or the process.

I like these Hawaiian concepts of family, with their expansive qualities -- sort of like the "play aunts" and "play uncles" that many African-American (and white Southern) children have in their extended families growing up.

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Anyone know why the Japanese supermarket chain chose the famous Cervantes character for its name?  Do they mean to suggest that shopping there is an exercise in futility?  :wink:

Since you asked,

既成の常識や権威に屈しないドン・キホーテのように、新しい流通業態を創造したいという願いを込めています。

They hope to create new types of distribution like Don Quixote, who does not succumb to existing concepts or authorities.

from here (JAPANESE ONLY).

Edited to add:

The authentic citrus fruit to be placed on top of kagami mochi is daidai (橙), which is homophonic to daidai (代々) (from generation to generation), as in "prosper from generation to generation". A mikan (mandarin, tangerine, satsuma, ...) is a cheap substitute.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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Good morning! Yes, it does rain in Hawaii -- sometimes for days and weeks on end. The winter is our rainy season. Earlier this year, we had more than a month of rain. People talked of the rains being "of Biblical proportions." In March, torrential rains caused the roof of the movie theatre complex in Kahala shopping mall (in a classy area of East Oahu) to collapse, flooding the mall's ground floor with ankle-deep water! Most of the stores were up and running within a few days, but the theatres were so badly damaged that they just reopened December 15th.

The sun is breaking through the clouds now, so we may be in luck. . . or maybe not:

We were planning to drive up to the North Shore today, but this morning's newspaper headline read "Big surf may hit 40 feet today." Not good surfing conditions -- waves that height are far too dangerous, even for professional surfers. It also means that the road will likely be bumper-to-bumper traffic with folks driving up to gawk, or the road may be completely impassable due to flooding (yes, it's that close to the ocean). :sad:

I'm going to have to think about this and discuss it with Michael. We really hadn't had a Plan "B" for today.

Meanwhile, here's a glimpse of the ocean on the South Shore, taken at Maunalua Bay yesterday evening as we were driving over to our friend's house for dinner. Maunalua Bay is a popular spot for diving and jet skiing. South Shore waves are generally flat in the winter. Not a colorful sunset, but stunning nonetheless.

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SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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There were 15 of us at dinner last night. Besides our hostess Caryn and her three kids ages 13 to 18, there were Mike, Ginny, and Nikki, and two sets of guests from Japan -- an old friend of Caryn's, along with her son, daughter-in-law, and 3-year-old grandson; and the grown daughter of another friend, who will be living at Caryn's house for a few months while perfecting her English.

No formality here. These are close enough friends that they helped out in the kitchen.

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Some of the guests at the dinner table. The kids were at another table set up nearby. Caryn is standing in the back, wearing the green shirt.

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The main course was a dish normally associated with St. Patrick's Day rather than Christmas: corned beef & cabbage (or as Caryn termed it, "New England boiled dinner").

The cabbage and potatoes

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The corned beef

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There were also separate bowls of Brussels sprouts, carrots, and onions. Everything was delicious and everyone took second helpings.

For dessert, my apple crisp, along with a "red bean mochi pie" Mike & Ginny picked up at a supermarket on the way over. :blink: No, none of us had ever heard of it before, either! They figured that since the guests of honor are Japanese, they might like to try a local Hawaiian adaptation of Japanese ingredients.

The pie turned out to be very sweet, filled with anko (sweetened azuki bean paste) with a layer of soft mochi (a glutinous rice cake the consistency of soft taffy, without the sweetness) in between.

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In a blog filled with photos of my dog, equal opportunity for Caryn's cat, all tuckered out from the big dinner!

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Edited by SuzySushi (log)

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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...

So tell me a little of how limu is used in cooking or as a garnish.  One of the jurors on my panel (see my 2d foodblog) was an IT guy for a small local manufacturer who also sold this nutritional supplement derived from limu, for which he had literature (which I still have) claiming that the seaweed had all sorts of interesting compounds in it that could help stave off diseases and improve your body's defenses, or stuff like that.  I think the supplement was a beverage with the limu mixed in with fruits.  It sounded intriguing, but I haven't followed up on contacting the guy about trying some.  Should I?

Limu & ogo are awesome! You can add it to almost anything you want. Like Suzy said, you can have it poke, but it's also good in miso soup, salads, namasu, etc.

SuzySushi: Azuki pie?! Is that what happens when you leave manju and mochi in dark room by themselves? :D Did you enjoy eating it? What did the Japanese guests think of it? Hiroyuki, is that something that you may actually have in Japan?

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So tell me a little of how limu is used in cooking or as a garnish.  One of the jurors on my panel (see my 2d foodblog) was an IT guy for a small local manufacturer who also sold this nutritional supplement derived from limu, for which he had literature (which I still have) claiming that the seaweed had all sorts of interesting compounds in it that could help stave off diseases and improve your body's defenses, or stuff like that.  I think the supplement was a beverage with the limu mixed in with fruits.  It sounded intriguing, but I haven't followed up on contacting the guy about trying some.  Should I?

The most common culinary uses are mixed with poke, where it adds a pleasant crunch, or as a kind of Japanese salad dressed with soy sauce and rice vinegar. It can also be added to soups and stews.

Like all edible seaweeds, it's rich in vitamins and minerals. For ancient Hawaiians, limu was the third cornerstone of their diet, along with poi (taro paste), which provided the carbohydrates, and fish, which provided the protein.

Here's a link from the University of Hawaii describing the different types of limu. The kind used in poke is limu manauea or ogo, the red seaweed in the top center photo.

I don't know anything about limu as a dietary supplement!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Azuki pie?!  Is that what happens when you leave manju and mochi in dark room by themselves? :D  Did you enjoy eating it?  What did the Japanese guests think of it?  Hiroyuki, is that something that you may actually have in Japan?

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

It was. . . different. As I said, extremely sweet. All the Japanese guests tried it, but we only could eat very small pieces because it was so rich. They much preferred the apple crisp, of which they took second and third helpings! :laugh::laugh:

We used to be able to get red bean haupia pie, and that was much more palatable. The red beans were more a light yokan consistency, and the whole thing was much less sugary. It only had a bottom crust.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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(mochihead: This is Suzy's foodblog, not mine!)

Azuki pie is not at all unusual in Japan, it's a nice East-West fusion, don't you think? :biggrin: But I must say that mochi in pie is a little too much. Besides, commercial anko is usually too sweet for my taste. I prefer home-made, less sweetened anko.

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Well, we've decided to shoot for the North Shore after all. We know we can get as far as the town of Haleiwa because the road to that point is inland. There's plenty to see and do there. We'll scope out the road after that; if we feel we can't get through and back safely, we'll forget about seeing any waves today.

Since eGullet will be offline for site changes from midnight EST today, and there's a five hour time difference, I won't be able to post anything after 7 p.m. Hawaii time. We'll probably be home by then, but if not, don't worry about me -- we're not into risk-taking.

P.S., "We" today includes Nikki, who came home with us last night and is sleeping over.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Well, we made it to and from the North Shore!!! Lots of stories to tell and pictures to show you, but not enough time before the forum goes offline for reoganization. . .

I'll be back with my blog on Dec. 31st.

If I don't see you all before then,

Have a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful, and Prosperous New Year!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Well, we're back, and eagerly awaiting the wrapup, which I suspect will take the form of a posting marathon.

Blog on, Suzy!

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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This is an incredibly beautiful blog, Suzy. We can't thank you enough!

Thanks, Ellen! You got me thinking about my own lack of holiday traditions growing up, and how it's so important to me to make my own. My parents were atheists, and we didn't celebrate any holidays except Thanksgiving. They also did very little entertaining. Consequently, the concepts of baking cookies to distribute to friends, having people over for big holiday dinners, etc. wasn't even on my radar screen until I was in high school and got invited to friends' homes.

I remember one Christmas dinner at a Black friend's house. The living room was elegantly decorated with a tall, shimmering aluminum tree. Her parents served roast pork and homemade eggnog laced with brandy -- yes, to a group of teenage girls.  :laugh:

Another time, I was invited to a Polish friend's house where I don't recall what we ate for dinner, but the kitchen table was laden with all the baked goods her mom had made.

When I was single and living in NYC, I began hosting Thanksgiving dinners for "waifs and strays" -- friends who had no family in the city, my ESL students (English-as-a-Second-Language, which I tutored as a volunteer). I usually got invited to other people's Christmas celebrations.

My husband's experience was entirely the opposite. His parents were big on semi-formal Christmas dinners, standing rib roast and everyone gathered around the piano singing Christmas carols.

So over the years, we've been forging our own family traditions.

This is a wonderful description of how you're making family traditions and food traditions, and well, making memories. ...So well put, I love it.

Tonight we're invited to a party at a friend's house. This afternoon, I'll prepare an apple crisp, spiced with candied ginger and sweetened with Splenda, for dessert.

Before the party, I wanted to tell you a little about the Hawaiian concept of family, called ohana. Ohana means "family" (as you may know if you saw the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch), but it's more than that. It means extended family, encompassing not only people who are actual relatives, but "calabash cousins" who are so close emotionally that they figuratively drank out of the same calabash (gourd bowl) as you did as children.

These friends we're seeing tonight -- along with Mike and Ginny's family, who will also be at tonight's party -- are our ohana, in the absence of any of us having other actual relatives living here. We three families get together for just about every major holiday celebration -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day -- for either a meal at one of our homes, or a beach or park picnic.

Another Hawaiian family concept is hanai, which means "adopted." In old Hawaii, there was a tradition of informal adoption, whereby children were given away to be loved and reared by someone other than their natural parents, often to their grandparents or a childless relative. In practice, hanai today is a verbal shortcut to define the warmth of any fostering relationship. For instance, one of Wendy's friends (who sadly has moved off-island) used to spend so much time at our house that she became our hanai daughter. (I'm an earth mother anyway!) Hanai can be used to refer to the foster parent, the child, or the process.

And ohana is my new favorite word.

To catch up and to finish up your blog Suzy, take all the time you need, as long as you are willing.

Many, many thanks!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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And now back to our regularly scheduled blog. . .

To avoid confusion, I'll continue from where I left off, in chronological order starting with our trip to the North Shore on Thursday.

We live about 10 minutes away from Dole Pineapple Plantation in Wahiawa. The area used to be the center of Oahu's pineapple industry, but except for some pineapples grown for tourists and local consumption, over the past two decades, most of the pineapple production moved offshore to countries like the Philippines, Thailand, and Costa Rica, where labor is cheaper. Last month, Dole's chief competitor, Del Monte, abruptly shut down its century-old pineapple operations here, two years earlier than planned, throwing more than 550 employees out of work. Now Dole is Oahu's only pineapple grower.

When I first moved to Hawaii and we lived on the other side of the island in Waikiki, we'd make Dole Plantation a pit stop on our "circle island" expeditions because its small plantation house offered clean restrooms, DoleWhip sorbet cones, and free samples of pineapple juice (the latter, alas, no more). There was also an experimental pineapple garden in front, and a horseback trail through the pineapple fields in back.

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Dole Plantation has since been expanded into a major tourist attraction with the World's Largest Maze. The average length of time to navigate the maze is about 45 minutes, but several people have made it in just 6! Here's the maze entrance.

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The plantation also has a botanical garden that showcases the fruits and flowers grown commercially in Hawaii. I'd never been through this garden before, and thought it would be a good opportunity to take photos of Hawaii's famous agricultural products all in one place.

Banana plant (strictly speaking, it's not a tree because it does not have a woody trunk). The "hand" of bananas is growing facing up.

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BTW, this is a size comparison between regular (Williams) bananas and the small "apple bananas" that also grow here. I like apple bananas. They are not quite as sweet as the regular kind, and the peeled bananas don't oxidize as quickly, making them ideal for fruit salads that can be prepared in advance.

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Papayas

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A coffee tree. When I was growing up, my mother had a coffee tree as an indoor houseplant. It had pretty, shiny, pointed leaves. It never produced any beans, though.

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Coffee beans. When they turn bright red, they're ready for picking. (I think I may have posted the photo sideways, but can't figure out which way is up! :blink: )

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Rows of coffee trees in the center of the photo

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Starfruit. If you look closely toward the top of the photo, you can see the long pale green fruit hanging vertically from the branches. This was the first time I'd seen starfruit growing.

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Breadfruit. Each is the size of a large grapefruit. We don't eat it much in Hawaii, but other South Pacific islanders do. When breadfruit is baked, the inside tastes like freshly baked bread.

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Rambutan. Like hairy lychees. The skins turn red when they're ripe.

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Red ginger. Hawaii produces most of the fresh ginger sold in the United States. This is not the edible kind -- it's grown for the showy flowers used in floral arrangements. We also grow white ginger, whose fragrant flowers are used in perfumes and leis.

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Surprise! There's a beautiful landscaped fountain in the center of the botanical garden.

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Kalo, the Hawaiian word for taro. There are several types of taro -- wetland taro, and the dryland taro seen here. Both the root/tuber and the leaves are used for food. The root is pounded to make poi, Hawaii's infamous starchy staple (more about this later in the blog), or it can be cooked like a potato or ground into flour. The leaves are cooked as a vegetable and taste like spinach. You can't eat them raw -- too much oxalic acid.

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A gecko descending a bamboo tree. Bamboo grows prolifically in Hawaii, but as far as I know, the shoots are not harvested for food.

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Pineapples don't grow on trees! They're bromeliads and each plant produces only one fruit at a time. Here are examples of some of the more unusual varieties grown around the world.

A red pineapple from Brazil.

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A peculiar gourd-shaped pineapple.

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Wanna grow your own pineapple? Check out the instructions here.

The gift shop was expanded tremendously in the past year -- it's now more than triple its former size.

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Many of the souvenirs are made in the Philippines, but the gift shop also offers a coffee bar serving the Wailua coffee, and a cafeteria-style café with lanai seating.

We bought a tray of fresh-cut pineapple to take home.

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And in the interest of eGullet research (what an excuse! :raz: ) I felt compelled to try this:

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A Pineapple Cream Puff, which proved to be filled with a seductive pineapple custard and tidbits of pineapple.

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SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Further north along the highway, some of Dole's former pineapple acreage has been converted over to Dole's Wailua Coffee Plantation, the only coffee commercially grown on Oahu. Pine trees are planted in rows as windbreaks to protect the neat rows of short coffee trees.

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Oahu's North Shore is world-famous for surfing, but further inland it's still farm country.

Bales of hay

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Horses in the field

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Surf's up!!! The waves must be really big if we can see them like this from miles away!

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SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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