Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 4

Today is birthday celebration day in my office building. So I had high hopes of a fanfare of delectables, given the fact that it is MY birthday month (along with three others) AND everyone knows I am on an eat local challenge. I prepared kōʻelepālau using locally grown Okinawan sweet potatoes (even that doesn't sound quite local), Mendonca coconut milk (and I wonder if they get their milk from elsewhere and just package it in cans here), and honey from Pa'auilo (which I know to be local because I cut open the hives and helped spin the honey out of it!). It was delicious. And thank goodness because besides the kōʻelepālau the only other food I could consume at our rather large spread was fried tofu. And not even with sauce on it. Even the over a dozen eggs could not be confirmed as locally spit out of a hen's you know what.
Ah, but there is a silver lining to this dark cloud. My boss, GOD BLESS HER, meant to create a nice local fruit salad but like many of us, she ran out of time. She did the next even better thing: SHE GAVE ME THE WHOLE FRUITS! IT IS LIKE A GIFT STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN!
Check it out...

Can you name these fruits?
And actually the one on the far left which looks very liloko'i but is NOT, was a gift from my good friend, Bernie. I am cutting it open for lunch. 
Ka'ū oranges.
If you have these oranges right on your own island why would you even be satisfied by one that was grown all the way down in Florida, picked NOT at its peak and flown all this way. We have oranges in our own back yard. I am a changed person.

There is another angel in my  midst. A friend/colleague (I love when my colleagues are my friends) dropped off a ziploc of homemade garlic flavored sweet potato chips. I felt so luxurious eating those chips. They were huge, crunchy, and delicious. I had to use all my energy to NOT eat them all.
Dinner consisted of my homemade stewed tomatoes and Hāmākua mushrooms. Everyone else had stewed tomatoes with mango sausages and pasta. I was okay with that. Mostly.

Topped it all off with a scoop of my lilikoʻi sorbet. Kika took a taste of Hulaliʻs scoop and raced to the freezer. I think I said something like, "I thought you donʻt like lilikoʻi" and she replied something like, "I hate it". Haha!

Day 3

This is seriously a difficult challenge. Day 3 - Hmmm...I think the lack of protein is affecting my memory. Just kidding. I started out the morning with some wonderful pineapple, thanks to my daughter, Kika. She made one bowl full of pineapple with li hing mui powder and one small bowl without. For me. Very thoughtful. At this point I am thankful anything edible and local.
I went to the open market in Hilo and I was very disheartened. I walked around and just KNEW that so much of the produce there is flown in. I know it is. I know of NO FARMERS who grow garlic, especially in the quanitity I see at the open market, especially in the cute little plastic bags with the red tape ties or in the white mesh bag. I feel so USED! I ended up buying basil, sweet potatoes and farm fresh eggs. Paying $5 for a dozen eggs is never going to phase me again. I think it is quite worth it.
Lunch consisted of an avocado. And I cheated and ate a couple of dark chocolate mints I had in my office. But the Hershey's Kisses remain uneaten.

I don't even want to discuss dinner, mainly because I DIDN'T have any. I spent the evening prepping 10 lbs of tomatoes for the crockpot. I made delicious stewed tomatoes using Hawaiian B tomatoes, their bell peppers, and some very non local items, including onions, garlic, and butter.

I'm getting there, albeit s l o w .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Eat Local Challenge Day Two

Let me tell you, IT IS A CHALLENGE. Along the lines of losing weight. Diet style. Limited choices. Frustration. Another day trip to O'ahu put a HUGE damper on my day. I had some dry mango (from Hōnaunau) for a breakfast "snack" but by the time lunch rolled around and pizza hut rolled in to our meeting room, I had zero will power. Needless to say, I had my salad. And then proceeds to mop up a couple slices of pizza. The fact that it was vegetarian is null. It was definitely NOT local. I bet not a single thing I consumed at lunch was local. I was sad.
Dinner went much better: Hāmākua mushrooms, local arugula and spinach as well as tomatoes and yellow peppers all presented themselves in a wonderful omelette, thanks to hens from Kalōpā. A dessert of lilikoʻi sorbet topped off a partially successful day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

EAT LOCAL CHALLENGE IS ON!

I am a day late. The challenge officially began yesterday but I had to fly to Oʻahu and didn't return until 5 pm and then had errands to run. Long story short: don't try to eat local without proper preparation and control. So I am officially starting today, Monday. So far for breakfast: one local banana and 2 cups of 100% Kona coffee. Snacking currently on rambutan.

Lunch today consisted of one whole avocado and one rambutan. Water will be my friend until my evening salad. That and the other 8 rambutans staring at me.
Dinner was a mishmash of local delectables: crispy fried big island bacon (not sure where the pork came from to make it but i plead the don't ask, don't tell), radishes, arugula, baby romaine, spinach, and some homemade pesto dressing.  Topped it all off with a liliko'i sorbet.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mango Bars

Wow...

That's all I can say. I mean I hate to brag because in all seriousness I don't attribute the great success of these mango bars to my culinary skills. I give total credit to two key "ingredients": mango and butter. Where can you go wrong? How is that possible?

I have been spoiling, really really spoiling, the office staff in our administration building at work. After all, I know who butters my bread. I know how to take care of those who take care of me. Ask my husband. But they do know that blogging is an important part of my baking and cooking and that their input is quite valuable. After all I need to let all of you know how the dish was truly viewed by others, outside of my own humble opinion.
They know that I like my dishes rated on a scale of 1 (YUCK!) to 10 (WOOTWOOT). When I walked into the eating room, as they were gathered around the table, I saw hands flying in the air, "IT'S BEYOND 10! INCREDIBLE! SO 'ONO" (delicious for you monolinguals). I said, ever so calmly (hiding my exhuberance), "I need a quote to put in the blog". Up pipes an unnamed employee who said, and I quote, "IT IS FRICKIN' KICK 'ELEMU". I kid you not. She said that. I said, "um, can I quote you? Should I use a stage name?" She said yes. And they all agreed upon the name Honokā girl. That way, people wouldn't be able to pick out the EXACT person since a couple of the people in the vicinity are female and hail from Honoka'a.


This recipe comes from Best of the Best from Hawai'i Cookbook.
Mango Bars
Crust:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Combine flour with sugar. Add butter and press into prepared baking pan; bake 12 minutes.

Filling:
4 cups chopped mangoes
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water

Combine mangoes, sugar, water, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Simmer until the mangoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water; stir into the mango mixture and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour over prepared crust.

Topping:
2 cups quick oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter

Combine oats, flour, and sugar. Blend in butter and sprinkle over mango mixture. Bake for 50 minutes; cool and cut into bars. STore in refrigerator. Make 2 dozen.