Sunday, December 11, 2011

Aloha Oe

This trip to Hawaii was the longest stay of all of my visits back home, yet it felt like my shortest.

Each morning, I woke to a similar view of the city lights and traffic below. Thanksgiving morning was an exception, as it had considerably less traffic.

365-170 Early Morning View 
Day 170/365

I couldn't ask for better weather, low humidity, low 70s during the day and upper 60s at night. When it rained, as always it was just a mist that passed as quickly as a thought to look up at the sky.

While my father and I spent a lot of time driving, shopping, visiting with relatives, and walking together, breakfasts were one on one time. The world was streaming by outside, but it felt like time paused while my father prepared breakfast, I fixed the table, and we ate.

365-170 Breakfast
Day 170/365

On Sunday, we shopped for papaya since I had not eaten good papaya in over 15 years.  I forgot how sweet, juicy, and tender they are. We also kindly received two freshly picked jabong.

Jabong is also known as pomelo and is the parent of the grapefruit, of which it is a hybrid with an orange. The fruit we received was over a foot in diameter and weighed several pounds. It looked like a gigantic citrus fruit from the time dinosaurs roamed.

Under the smooth yellow to pale green skin is a thick white pith. As is common with citrus, the fruit separates in discrete segments. The bitter membrane is translucent and removed since it is rather tough and bitter.

365-170 Jabong Papaya
Day 170/365

Unlike it's offspring, jabong has a sweet citrus flavor with a faint bitter aftertaste. Not being a bitter food fan, I enjoyed eating this and probably ate 2/3rds of the gigantic fruit.

For lunch, we visited Hank's Haute Dogs, where I enjoyed the spicy alligator andouille hot dog. My father was impressed with his Chicago hot dog down to the neon relish, and commented that it was actually better than his.

As dusk approached, we discussed what to eat for my last meal before I flew back. With no chance to eat Okinawan food in the Midwest, I emphatically requested Okinawa soba with his homemade rafute, broiled, marinated, then braised pork belly. As a result of the cooking method, the slices had a robust flavor, was tender, and pretty healthy. Sun Noodles makes a great powdered pork broth and their fresh noodles are packaged with a light coating of oil.

365-170 Okinawa Soba Banh Mi
Day 170/365

Over the weekend, we stopped by St. Germain Bakery, where we picked up a baguette for banh mi. Since my father makes do chua (Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrots), there is always a jar in the refrigerator. He makes it with a slightly spicy zing.  As the noodles were cooking, he toasted the bread. Kewpie mayonnaise was used to dress the sandwich.  

The meal was flawless - delicious and made from the heart. We talked, looked through old pictures, and watched television together until it was time to leave.

- Cassaendra

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