Around Hawaii

This day started badly for me…disappointment with the way a meeting went with a group I cherish. Apprehension about facing a much loved family member with fear. With the help of friends and space, things can turn around. I found this poem by Thomas Merton on the On Being blog .

“There are days when I am convinced that Heaven starts already, now, in this ordinary life, just as it is, in all its incompleteness, yet, this is where Heaven starts. See within yourself, if you can find it.
I walked through the field in front of the house, lots of swallows flying, everywhere! Some very near me. It was magical.
We are already one, yet we know it not.”

~Thomas Merton (via crashinglybeautiful)

Photo from above Hilo. I love flying above Hilo.

IMG_9687Ryan Peters taught a fabulous workshop in Volcano on fermentation. It was a fabulous learning experience and FUN! He took your fear of fermentation away by demonstrating the art with ease. It was interesting to see the variety of kraut chi (sauerkraut/kim chi hybrid) that everyone created from the same selection of vegetables. We selected from head cabbage, carrots, won bok, round onions, green onions, jalapenos, beets, turmeric, ginger, green onions, radishes, turnips…yes, you can use them all…and more!

We all used salt for the initial breakdown of the vegetables. Mashing them with our hands or other available tools (such as a handy carrot).


We packed our mixtures into canning jars. Ryan said that the type with a narrow mouth is better as it will help keep the veggies below the water line.


He talked about all the good things the fermented veggies do for your gut…and they are super delicious. The first photo in this post shows the variety of colors, textures and tastes that our small group created.


For more information from Ryan, check out his blog: Ferment to Be:

He’s got some classes coming up:


I wanted to learn more so I purchased the Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, one of the books that Ryan shared.

This mochitsuki has become a tradition for us. Our friends in  Waikea Uka host this annual cultural event and have been doing this for 45 years at their home. We love seeing their friends and family each year…they are so welcoming…local-style. Glutinous rice is steamed in multi-level wooden steamers, mushed with wooden sticks and then pounded with wooden mallets  until the desired consistency is achieved. The pounded rice is transferred to a table where the mochi is formed into cakes that will be used for the New Year’s celebration.20131229-065959.jpg Mr. Ura pounding.20131229-065940.jpgRobert and Kris. 20131229-070020.jpg Frank and Dylan.20131229-070011.jpg Garrett and Dylan.20131229-065931.jpgPearl, one of the sake girls. 20131229-070534.jpg Forming the mochi – Mrs. Ura and gang…matriarchs of the family.20131229-070729.jpg Mushing the mochi.20131229-100124.jpg Gaylyn and Mrs. Ura and sake.20131229-100108.jpg Kagami mochi – for good luck.

I haven’t posted anything forever…New Year’s Resolution coming up!

i’ve been completing book projects for clients and had the Thanksgiving sale. I’ve been sick as a dog for a while with a cough that turned into bronchitis. I’m happy to say that today is the first day of feeling absolutely fabulous!

Went to the Volcano Farmer’s Market this morning. Walked with my sweet family around the neighborhood. Maddy did a minimal amount of terrorizing and kind of listened to us.

Thought this sounded great (and has nothing to do with anything…just random). It’s from a favorite blog – mochi

Bacon-wrapped mochi

As I was backing out of the driveway on my way to meet my friend, Peter, I saw a flash of brown and white and black. The quick movement and colors told me that a mynah bird had been hit by a car. I saw it flap it’s wings, but could see that it was injured. There was another mynah bird nearby watching.

Oh, no! I have to do something. If it’s badly injured, it needs to be relieved of pain. But my friend would be waiting for me and he just did me a huge favor. He printed the large image I needed for my Thanksgiving show and did it quickly so that I could leave with it on Thursday.

I ran into the house to get something to contain the little guy. A pillow case would work. I grabbed the pillowcase and ran toward the spot where I last saw the bird. Obviously I approached too quickly scaring him. He flew across the street. I think his legs were injured. He was unable to fly well and I saw him land on the top of our neighbor’s wall and then fall. I thought he fell into an enclosed courtyard that was locked – I couldn’t see him. As I started to walk away, I noticed two pigeons hanging out. It was as of they were letting me know where he was. I approached slowly this time and noticed a few white spots that were the underside of his wing. He was under a little bush. I inverted the pillowcase and used it like a glove, gently putting my hands around his small warm body. The pillowcase slipped over him easily and I cradled him in my hand and walked back to my car. Where should I take him? If I took him to the vet clinic known to treat birds, it would make me really late to meet Peter. VCA? I always think of them as being so cold and corporate. They often treat customers like nameless numbers. But they were less than five minutes away. I’d try them first. The girl that I spoke to was kind and understood what I needed immediately. She took the bird from me and said she would have someone look at his injuries to see if he could be saved. Otherwise they would euthanize him.

I know that the wild creatures have to fend for themselves without our intervention. But I’ve been feeling that our intervention is needed when our species is doing so much to make their world toxic. A car driven by a human caused this. I just wanted to lessen the damage whether it meant relieving the bird of his pain or fixing him.

After meeting with Peter, I called VCA. Not only had the bird survived, but it was on the mend. One of the techs at the clinic would foster him until he could be set free. I don’t know if the little guy might have somehow survived without my intervention, but I’m glad it turned out this way.

82° Partly Cloudy
45-628 Anoi Rd, Kaneohe, HI, United States

Sent from my iPad

Kris has an amazing green thumb. I really think it comes from the consistent care and attention he gives to the plants. I guess we all need that, huh? Even though we travel a ton, he makes a huge effort to see that the yard and garden are watered and fed.

We came home to the bounty in our garden. I harvested broccoli, a red bell pepper and limes. I love picking the broccoli when the stems are thin and tender. You can eat the leaves, too. It spoils me and I have a hard time with the thick woody stems you find in the market. The lime tree was dropping limes because it was so full and I love lime or lemon in water…so refreshing!


I love broccoli with garlic, chili and anchovies with pasta and the thin stalks from our garden would be perfect for the dish. I saute the garlic, chili and anchovies in olive oil until the anchovies break up. Then the cut up pieces of broccoli are added until they turn a bright green and are cooked to your liking.Image

I’ve been on a gluten free diet and we tried a corn pasta. The one we tried last night was Mrs. Leeper’s spaghetti made with corn. I love, love, love pasta and eating gluten free pasta is a stretch for me. I haven’t really been willing to experiment with pasta without gluten as I think it’s perfect WITH gluten. If it wasn’t for the fact that the back and hip pain that was waking me in the middle of the night is gone, I would not be continuing this diet.

Mrs. Leeper’s was very chewy. The package said 8-9 minutes and I started checking it at 7. At 7 minutes, I couldn’t bite into the pasta. It was beyond chewey.  At 9 minutes the pasta was cooked and al dente. The texture was a lot chewier than pasta made with wheat, but it was passable. We’ll keep experimenting.