If you ever visit the rural and suburban areas of Hawaii, you'll quickly realize that most people have LOTS of different types of plants, flowers and trees growing in their yards.
Most people I know have at least a fruit tree like papaya, mango, lychee or orange, flowers such as pikake(jasmine), plumeria(frangipani) or orchids and plants such as ti leaf and aloe; growing in their yards.
If you ever brewed a cup of jasmine tea, you'll notice these cute little white flowers mixed in with the tea, this is pikake.
This orchid is called honohono and has a very delicate fragrance.
Aloe is a really great plant to have in your yard or nearby, especially when you burn yourself while cooking or after a day at the beach! Plus, this plant doesn't need much water because it is a succulent.
Ti leaf is a kind of Hawaiian "omamori" (good luck charm) and is thought to ward off evil spirits when planted around the property, its also great to line your pan when steaming fish or making laulau (a Hawaiian dish that looks like a little purse consisting of pork, chicken and fish wrapped in taro leaves then wrapped again in ti leaf. This packet is then steamed in a pit in the ground called an imu).
Our pikake plant is the double variety and smells wonderful.
We also have 2 kinds of plumeria, a yellow and a red type. I couldn't get a picture of the red one, because the blooms were up too high.
Also while growing up, we used to have gardenia, hibiscus and bird of paradise.
My grandma used to live on the Big Island and her garden used to have all kinds of things: macadamia nut, lychee, orange, papaya, bamboo shoots, kabocha(pumpkin), hyotan(wintermelon) & pineapple. As well as, orchids and anthuriums. I know she misses her old house and especially her garden, I miss going there too.
The great thing about having all these plants and trees is that when the fruits ripen you often have more than you can eat and share with your neighbors and friends, they in turn share what goodies they have, sometimes it isn't fruits or vegetables, it is sometimes part of a big pot of stew or soup that they made or whatever! I think that might be part of what we call the "aloha spirit".
On this trip home, I am amazed at all the "friends" that I've made walking in the morning. As I cross paths with others, we say "Good Morning" to each other or just wave. This is something you will rarely see in Japan.
Makes me appreciate my hometown even more.
Just wanted to share a foodie experience. I had lunch with some friends that I used to work with, Val & Greg. We had lunch at Beijing. It is a Chinese restaurant located in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Most areas of the center is closed for this massive renovation.
I had the Chicken with chili XO sauce lunch special. It comes with Hot & Sour soup. This soup started off sour in your mouth then the heat from the chilies took over--it was a very nice starter.
Next came the fried tofu and my entree. The chicken was kind of pale but very flavorful. And the tofu's sauce was also really tasty.
Lastly, we had an almond float (almond tofu or annindofu), but I didn't particularly care for it...
Well, the warm weather is back, but at least we have the tradewinds to keep us cool!
Royal Hawaiian SC 3rd floor above Cheesecake Factory
Phone: 808- 971-8833