Friday, February 22, 2013

People with Passion

I love to read about them, and to write about them.

You need to subscribe to the Star Advertiser to read Joleen Oshiro's article about this wonderful Leilehua High School teacher, Jackie Akuna, who inspires her agriculture students to care about the food they grow and eat. In a world dominated by factory-farmed food, in a state where most of our supermarket produce comes from somewhere else - days, weeks, months old - these central Oahu teenagers are growing their own fresh food! They are cooking and eating vegetables, and taking them home to supplement family meals.

But you can read more about Jackie Akuna at She Grows Food, a blog about women and the future of food, and on Alan Wong's Pineapple Press.Alan is also a Leilehua grad!

What is it about good, fresh food that brings me back to farmers markets every week? Two days ago, I talked to several people I met at the Blaisdell farmers market, who I've subsequently seen elsewhere. A week ago, I shared a table with 6 others. The server asked me who they were; I said I met them all at the farmers market!

Back on topic, the produce grown by the Leilehua ag students and Future Farmers is sold at the Thursday Wahiawa Farmers Market at the Hongwanji, and at the Peterson Egg Room (call first, ph. 621-7097.)

If you see me, ask to read my copy of the article, or come to the library to read it. It's worth your time.

You'll be heartened by the resolve and caring, the energy and influence of Leilehua alumna and teacher Jackie Akuna.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lucky Me! Dinner Parties

Our cigar friend, Doc Jeff - who we teasingly call Chef Jeff - put out the call for smokers/eaters, and a slew of us showed up. First, we stopped at St. Germain Bakery, located close by, for two baguettes to go with The Pig & The Lady chicken liver pate made by the First Lady of varied and delicious Vietnamese cuisine in Honolulu, Mrs. Le. She's affectionately known as "Mama" Le. You can order this pate goodness for yourself, by the container. You may gasp at the price, but it is worth it - full of wine, brandy, love, care and most importantly, TASTE!

Sante! July 2012 Cheese Dinner @ Naked Cow Dairy
We also took some Naked Cow Dairy cheese: peppered Asiago and Waianae tomme. Naked Cow is the only dairy on Oahu making cow's milk cheeses; they also make delicious butter and yogurt - I was told they'll have halloumi, a Cypriot cheese, today. Our friends eagerly sampled both of them, and the buttery tomme was the favorite. We love sharing the good things we find at Honolulu Farmers' Market, at Blaisdell. Someday I'll have to write a post about all the lovely people we've met at the Farmers' Market!

What the host served us: grilled marinated and spiced ribs so tender, rack of lamb, perfectly done, and lehi, a type of snapper, prepared with lup cheong and bok choy, dark shoyu, cilantro and green onion. Can you say heaven? There was salad, red wine and other food, but the cheese, pate, meat and fish were the stars!

I have no pictures of this or the other dinner party, as I feel uncomfortable taking photos of food in other peoples' homes. I rarely take photos of the food I prepare at home! I'm too hungry.And I'll have to write about the other dinner party later!

Here are links to the first and second of Doc Jeff's dinner parties! I'm sure there were one or two that I missed, but these were all fabulous!

What have you eaten lately that was memorable and delicious?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Quick thoughts and tease

To those of you wondering how to slice ali`i mushrooms: clean or brush off anything brown you don't like, then slice into 1/8th inch slices vertically - the length of the mushrooms. I slice these pieces diagonally no longer than 1.5 inches long for a stir fry. Cut into smaller strips or pieces for use in an omelet or stuffing. Start cooking! These are so delicious and worth the price!

We were invited to not one, but TWO last-minute dinner parties last week. Yes, we had to do penance and eat more prudently after that. That is the tease, and I hope to get to that later today or by Wednesday. Happy eating!