Category Archives: Food

Event to challenge “systemic barriers to justice”

A gathering dubbed “The People’s Congress” is being held this weekend in Honolulu, according to a press release from a coalition of sponsoring groups.

The two day event, which is scheduled to run all day Saturday and Sunday, aims to bring together people and groups “working to end systemic barriers to justice in Hawai’i.”

Workshops and panels will address a range of issues, from affordable housing and “Preferred Futures in Public Education” to what can be done to reduce the influence of big money in politics and elections.

Take a look at the full schedule and you’ll likely find some discussions of interest.

The weekend events will be at the KUPU Net Shed, 725-F Ala Moana Blvd. in Honolulu.

The conference is free, but advance registration is required.

Sponsoring organizations include Unite Here! Local 5 Union, and the Local 5-backed Aikea Movement, along with a number of other groups, including Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawai?i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), Hawai?i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Hawai?i Center for Food Safety (HCFS), Hawai’i People’s Fund, Hawai‘i SEED, Hawai‘i Teachers for Change Caucus, Hawai‘i’s Thousand Friends, Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, KAHEA: Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, Life of the Land, Maui Tomorrow, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC), Sierra Club of Hawai`i, the Aloha ‘Aina Project.

The People’s Congress follows a series of forums held last month on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island. According to the People’s Congress website, the forums drew “over 300” participants. Given the number of organizations involved, that seems quite a modest turnout for a series of events meant to build up to this weekend’s Congress.

Back in the kitchen…

Last night I decided to rehabilitate the decidedly disappointing chicken from Friday night (“Not all kitchen experiments turn out well“) using ingredients we happened to have on hand.

So while we had an artichoke cooking, I stripped most of the remaining meat off the chicken, and set it aside.

Then I checked the refrigerator, and pulled out some watercress that didn’t fit into the salad on Saturday night, a red onion, garlic, anchovies, olive oil.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

When the water for the pasta was near to boiling, I started cooking.

I first chopped the onion and dropped it into my favorite cast iron frying pan, with some olive oil, of course. Then added the pasta to the boiling water, set the timer for 9 minutes. I added the garlic to the frying pan, and followed with the chicken, stirring to keep it from burning. Then the chopped watercress stems, followed by the leafy parts. Most of a bunch of basil. Oh, did I mention the hot peppers? Then anchovies, and a bit more olive oil from the anchovy can. It all came together well, and right own schedule.

I really wasn’t sure about the watercress-pasta-garlic combo, but the tastes actually all worked well together.

A bit of Italian cheese grated over the top, washed down with a glass of Shiraz, and that nice plump artichoke on the side.

I’ll have the leftovers of this leftover meal for lunch today.

The chicken, Part 2

Not all kitchen adventures turn out well

Not successfulI have to admit that not all of my kitchen adventures are successful. Last night I thought I had a winner. But, unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the “not successful” ones. That’s a cut below the “less than successful” efforts.

It started with a fresh, non-GMO chicken on sale at Whole Foods. That sounded good. Seizing on the opportunity, I added salt and pepper inside and out, then stuffed it will fresh lemon, garlic, and rosemary. Then I set it in a pan on a bed of vegetables, including onions, fennel, carrots, red potatoes, and celery, a bit of thyme sprinkled in as well. Baked at high heat for almost 90 minutes. It all looked beautiful. But unfortunately it was strikingly bland. Blah, even. The chicken was nice and moist, but not flavorful. That was a surprise. And since the flavor was missing, it couldn’t trickle down over the vegetables as I expected it to.

I wasn’t a happy camper after finishing eating. You can linger over your successes, but cut your losses short. So I was the first to get up from the table and start clearing and cleaning. So it goes.

We took them for granted….

I got this brief email from an old friend in Kahala. We’ve been friends since our days at Kahala Elementary School.

He dropped a bag with a few mangoes for us over the weekend. We were in Kaaawa, but he left them by the front door. When I emailed to thank him, I mentioned our meager mango crop this year. We only got a handful of mangoes from one tree, none from the other.

This was his reply:

This was a weird mango year. Tree full of blossoms and not a single honey bee. Used to be that you could hear the buzzing, but this year nothing. So smaller crop.

I called the bee hotline and was informed that the wild hives have been eradicated. Guess we took wild bees for granted.

Yes, we certainly did.

Pizza night!

On a recent evening…homemade pizza.

Okay, I admit that the pizza crust was a store-bought shortcut. It was whole wheat, thin-crust, two per package from our neighborhood Whole Foods.

Then I made a tomato sauce from canned tomatoes. Toppings included low fat turkey pepperoni, a crumbled reduced fat Italian sausage, mushrooms, garlic, black olives, red sweet pepper, and hot red pepper flakes. Paired with a green salad with avocado and cherry tomatoes, and the red wine of the night (I don’t recall which one). Served on a vintage Vernon Kiln plate in Monterey pattern, hand painted under glaze.

Not close to perfect, but a pretty good meal on short notice.

Thin-crust pizza