I left Hawaii at 5 pm wednesday and arrived home the next day at 11 am and lemme tell ya, traveling while sick is the worst way to travel. Anna Farris’ clumsy onscreen hijinks and the rubbery chicken that the airline served provided weak distractions to the flu I’d apparently suffered through before the trip that lay latent until the tail end of it. It came back with a vengeance too! Despite this + the funeral + my ear not popping until the 3rd day of touching land + only spending merely one day at the beach, I still managed to experience the natural wonders of Hawaii.
We stayed in rural Hauula where it took over an hour just to reach town and spent the week exploring Haleiwa, North Shore/Sunset, Pearl City, Downtown Honolulu, Laie, and Kahuku. As in most cases, whenever I’m out of town, I like to revolve the trip around food. I have to say that the local food is incredibly rich. I, by no means restrict myself when it comes to the matters of food and eating it but after 3 days straight of eating spoonfuls of margarine, mayonnaise, tearing into sweet breads, or crunching into thickly battered and fried foods, your stomach tends to disagree with you.
The first full night there, I ate galbi at a spot down the street you could walk to. Its menu proudly boasted all the goodies that Korean cuisine has to offer but any true old school Korean will tell you that they’re not grubbing on galbi on the daily. My first meal back on the mainland? I made a direct bee line to mama’s soybean sprout and kelp soup, grilled tofu, and bachelor radish kimchi.
fyi: the white mass tucked behind the fish jeon? the almost mandatory mac salad that comes with nearly everything on the Island.
This place was great. Each entree was around $9. It’s run by this tiny little Korean lady who works the register AND cooks all by herself. The only downside here was that she was all out of kimchi
The entire weekend was spent preparing for the funeral and wake. 15 pairs of hands worked diligently and churned out meals for nearly 1,000 people who arrived to show their respects. Just as I find personal comfort in food in both high times and in low, Traditional Tongan fare was just one means of binding together strength during a time of great mourning.
-Lu Sipi: mutton flaps dusted with seasoned salt on a bed of onions, with a generous heaping spoonful of mayo (yes, mayo) –all wrapped up in taro leaves then set to steam over a fire.
– Talo (Taro) baked
-Puaka (whole roasted pig)
Taro leaves you must pluck the stems from, by hand in order to prepare them for wrapping (we went through nearly 150 lbs of these)!!
Layering the lu sipi
Steaming them in groups in a heated barrel.
Most days, breakfast looked like this:
Thick slice of soft & sweet Tongan bread spread with gorgeous New Zealand sweet cream butter. Yum!
This bread was purchased from the local “bakery” family owned and run–sadly, it doesn’t withstand the heat the next day, so I made it into bread pudding for next morning’s breakfast.
Snacks almost always came in sugar form:
Papaya, lychee, and musk melon shaved ice
Mango, coconut, or passion fruit shaved ice (or you can be a fattie like me and have both)!
and you gotta enjoy a mint chocolate cone next to a waterfall!!