Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can't seem to find this type of food in my small town...

So, I'm taking matters into my own hands. These foods are some of my favorite foods found on the Hawaiian islands. Well, damn it, can't seem to find these anywhere in my small town here in Montana. So, I'm determined to learn how to make these dishes myself. Trial, errors, creativity, failure, enough wasabi and soy to cover mistakes, it's not so bad.

First attempt at Ura-Maki-Sushi, or inside-out sushi. Ummm... not sure about it as it's a bit more messy. But again, tasted good. I'll keep practicing.

My first attempt at temaki or hand rolls. LOL well with enough ginger and wasabi, its all good!

Alright, lastly I attempted to make Spring Rolls. I've been cravin these babies ever since my last trip to the islands. So, found a recipe in my Herb Companion magazine this month and gave it a try. My impression, it's difficult to roll up the rice papers, guess I need lots more practice :-) The spring rolls were pretty good, especially dipped in a sweet and sour spicy plum sauce. YUM!

Hey, Throw Down with Bobby Flay is all about sushi tonight and how to make it! I better pay attention!

My passport arrived today...

Looking forward to what the future holds! Even celebrated with some Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia!! Yummm, my all time favorite.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New digs

Finally, got Lil' Pete planted! And... pretty darn sure he likes his new digs. I know I do.

But wait.... now what? I just wait 18 months and find out???

This just posted on my facebook from Sonia - never knew... I will try it! Thanks Sonia, Lil' Pete thanks you too!
"Sonia R. Martinez Yes, .....BUT: Pineapples are bromeliads, Bromeliads feed from the crown. The baby pineapple has no roots yet, so it will not feed from the bottom either. Using a spray bottle, feed the plant through the 'leaves and crown' with HALF STRENGTH Peters or Miracle Grow.... Even after it develops roots and starts growing, it is best to let it feed from above than through the root system as the roots will be very shallow."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

why do seedlings always seem to give the feeling of hope?

I don't know, guess they represent new beginnings, new days, new growth - I love it. Got seedlings popping up everywhere in my little pad, every window sill and flat surface has a box of seedlings going.
More Basil starts (this is like the 10th flat of basil)
Sunflowers - always make me smile

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Makes a Good Gardener? The same stuff that makes us a better person

I follow the blog "You Grow Girl" and find much of the content very inspiring. Today I decided to cut and past this portion of one of their posts because I think the concepts are so true, not only in gardening but also in life in general. If you get a chance visit this great blog and read more

What Makes a Good Gardener?
1. Experience: Gardening makes you a better gardener. Nobody magically wakes up one day knowing exactly what to do in the garden. You learn by doing it and a great deal of that doing is in screwing it up [see Failure, below]. The good news is that you’ve got your entire life to become a better gardener and every new season is another opportunity to get some of the stuff that went wrong right, and reapply some of went right.

2. Consistency and Persistence: Plants need regular care. Unfortunately, growing a garden isn’t like learning to crochet. You can’t put it down and take it back up three months later and expect everything to be right where you left off. Developing a habit of going out there on a regular basis is important. Some of us can’t make it out there everyday, especially when we are growing at community gardens that aren’t right in our own backyards so it is important to give yourself a break when you can’t make it. That said, being in your garden on a regular basis means your plants are more likely to get the care they require. Consistency and persistence also offers you the chance to catch problems and observe changes.

3. Observation & Adaptation: Good gardeners are great observers. They watch for signs of distress so they can catch problems before they get out of hand. Fortunately, the act of gardening teaches us to be better observers so as you spend more time gardening, chances are good that you will naturally pick up all sorts of observations along the way. Give yourself time and space to meander in your garden and just look around and enjoy the little things as they unfold.

As an observer, you will naturally find yourself noticing changes in your plants and the climate. Given more time and experience, you will be able to predict some of the issues that occur with your plants before they happen. This will eventually lead you to a better ability to adapt to whatever the weather or nature throws at you.

The fact is that a lot happens in the garden that is out of our control. You can’t predict a cool, wet season like the one we had last year on the East Coast. There is no way of knowing that all that basil you put in is going to suffer through a wet summer. But you will come to understand the kind of weather that makes basil plants unhappy and be able to adapt to changes in weather that will allow you to do what you can to make the plants more comfortable before they reach the point of rotting in the soil.

No two years are alike so having A WAY TO DO THINGS year in and year out is nearly useless. As conditions change, you will likely need to change and adapt some of your strategies with them. The best gardeners can be flexible and aren’t rigidly locked into a specific way of doing things that is unchanging.

4. Failure: Perfectionism is dead. I should put that in all caps, bold, and then underline it for emphasis. Here you go: PERFECTIONISM IS DEAD. In the real world gardeners kill plants and gardens get pests and diseases. Sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t have the money to buy something we want or the time to commit to making our garden the showpiece we would like it to be. This is not evidence that you have a Black Thumb. More importantly, you learn more when you are willing to take chances & give yourself space to screw up. It’s often in those failures that we have the biggest AHA! moments.

And yes, unfortunately, there’s always going to be that one know-it-all neighbour who’s got a wagging finger and something to say about what they think you are doing wrong in your garden. The only thing I can say to that is that it’s their problem, not yours. There’s a difference between sharing knowledge and shaming others into doing things the way we see fit. It’s a mistake to assume that our way is the only right way.

The act of gardening serves as an excellent life lesson in accepting one’s failures that extends beyond the garden. Over the years, gardening, and later writing about gardening, has helped me to recognize and confront my own feelings of inadequacy, shame and guilt: shame about class, not having enough, not being good enough, not being enough period, and sometimes being too much. It has invited me to indulge and delight in my desires freely, while asking (and sometimes forcing) me to have patience, take things slowly and look for frugal alternatives. Every minute in the garden is about relearning patience and reveling in the moment. Spending hours upon hours nurturing and observing plants has brought joy into parts of my life that I thought were irreparably scarred. It has provided a safe place for that long buried, hurt little kid inside me to play freely and to live the moments of wonder, discovery and self love she had to hide from angry adults.

My gardens have given me permission to experiment, break rules, and foster a rebellious streak that is an important but often pushed aside part of who I am.

Our gardens should be a free space where each of us can find joy, make discoveries, and feel whole. Guilt, shame, and feelings of insecurity have no place there.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This is interesting

Posted by my Facebook friend - Hilo Coffee Mill!/hcmcoffee?ref=nf

10 pounds of coffee cherry (ripe from the tree) yields between 1 and 2 pounds of roasted coffee, depending on the tree and the degree of roast. Longer roast, darker coffee, less weight, less coffee taste. Think about it!

I've learned a lot about about coffee from these posts! Thanks Katherine!

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

~ I love this one, its was posted by several of my Facebook friends - totally the way to live!

Raised bed gardening in East Hawaii

A few of my friends recently attended a seminar given by Rozette's Nursery on raised bed container gardening. I don't want to loose this information as it's good stuff. Here's the link from PunaWeb and also Rozette's link.!/pages/Keaau-HI/Rozetts-Nursery/193686701119?ref=ts

Saturday, March 20, 2010

WOW... imagination....

It's a wonderful thing, as long as it is used in a positive way....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This has to be one of the weirdest tasting foods...

Yet rather addictiing. A friend brought me some of these. She used to live on the islands and ate these when she could find them. She told me the name, but alas, I can not remember. I'll have to ask her again when I see her. These are dried plums with an indescribable sweet sour salty taste, enough to make your eyes water. I can only handle a few as they end up giving me a tummy ache, but they leave you wanting more.

Wait a minute... good ole Wikipedia, found it on there - Li hing mui is salty dried plum. It can be found in Hawaiian and Asian markets. It has a strong, distinctive flavor, and is often said to be an acquired taste, as it has a combination of sweet, sour, and salty taste. It has also been described as tart, and even tangy. Originally from China, the name "li hing mui" means "traveling plum". "Li hing" is "traveling" and "mui" is "plum." Li hing mui is also good for dry and scratchy throats, as it stimulates salivation.

Then then there was this little tidbit of info - There was also a cancer scare about li hing products; many people believed that li hing products could cause cancer. Yikes!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Good days and bad days

As many of you know, divorce can be like going through a death in the family, cept you continue to live through it and so does your ex. It has been difficult, I have good days and bad days. Some days I'm strong and hopeful and know that life is getting better each day with new plans and pleasures, other days I dearly miss my old life and my husband and partner. I think the most difficult part of my divorce has been coming to the realization that although I loved, trusted and committed to my partner, it was never truly reciprocated and how quickly he turned on me - that's been a tough one to deal with. Like the whole past 5 years has been a lie, or a made up facade. It's a difficult deal, but getting through, one day (good or bad) at a time.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I like this....

"This is the beginning of a new day. I have been given this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I'm exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place whatever I have traded for it" ~ Anonymous

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We're setting down new roots!

Could Lil' Pete be setting down roots? We've moved into a light and airy space, it's sunny and warm and feels safe. The kid likes it, the dog likes it, I like it and now.... apparently... Lil' Pete likes it too. He is doing better on a sunny warm window sill. But now that he's rooting... now what?? I wonder how long I should wait until I plant him in a pot?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education or SPACE

There has been a lot of discussion lately on Punaweb regarding SPACE and their special use permit. A very brief history includes that the performing arts center was formed years ago and granted a special use permit for the Hawaii Volcano Circus. Over the years they have built and expanded their programs and even built a large new structure to house it all. Now, apparently Hawaii County feels they are operating beyond the scope of their special use permit and have issued them a "cease and desist" order until they reapply for a permit that encompasses all of what they do there.

I don't know that much about it all and not sure how I feel on the matter. I know when I first fell in love with SeaView everyone said "oh its a very quirky neighborhood" and that was reveiled to me when I looked around there, but quirky or funky I liked it. I like the sense of community there. I also thought it was neat that SPACE was located there as SeaView is quite a distance from infrastructure on the island and provides for some. I also thought that having a community performing arts center that had a weekly farmer's market and other gatherings added greatly to the community.

The Punaweb discussion sheds differing opinions on the topic. A few of the posters are folks that currently live in SeaView and have interactions with SPACE. There is discussion of having such a growing organization located inside a residential subdivision and the resulting traffic and noise. I can certainly understand that possibly this organization has outgrown SeaView with its small lots and tight neighborhood. Its definitely an issue that has caught my interest.

Here's the link to their current website