FOUR TIMES A YEAR I have the privilege of gathering my thoughts and sharing them with each of you, here on the page we call The Letter of Aloha.
Today, I want to share a short story about a very personal experience I had while traveling to the mainland with my daughter, Lily. I had the honor of getting her settled into her new college dorm on the east coast. While I was there, folks back at home were preparing for a Category 5 hurricane to hit the islands. Even though 5,000 miles separated my Maui home and Lily’s new home at college, it felt odd to be away during a time of pending devastation. My thoughts turned to my son, Noah and his family, Jazmine and Nanette, concerned for their safety. I also thought about my friend and co-worker Shelly Ronen and her family, plus many other friends in our community. Would they all be ok? Would their homes withstand such a storm? Then, will they have enough to eat?
Soon photos, text messages and emails started pouring in about a fire in Lahaina, Maui. What about Hurricane Lane? I was confused and soon realized a different type of disaster was happening – one that no one was prepared for. Following this fire was news about how, within hours, the community rose up, came together and organized resources to help those in need. Then I thought about the rains and flooding on Kauai earlier in the year and recalled learning about how the community pulled together under the direction of a handful of people plus a few non-profits to help their community. Hawaii Island obviously suffered unimaginable loss this past year too with the volcano erupting and O’ahu was also in line of mother nature’s wrath this year with rain and flooding. Reflecting on each island’s challenges really got me thinking about food, food sovereignty and what will we all do when (not if) we’re faced with our next disaster. We all need to plan ahead now instead of waiting for disaster to strike, and Emergency Management is on my mind as I write today.
Don’t get overwhelmed, just start with yourself. Store enough food, clothing, and water for yourself, then add your family into your plan. Go talk to your neighbors, friends and community; get everyone involved and urge them to prepare too.
Please let this issue motivate you to act now and prepare for our next disaster. Be well, stay safe.
COCONUT INFORMATION details a coconut’s lifecycle, and includes useful tips on how to grow, harvest, open and consume coconuts. It also features super simple recipes for using coconuts at all stages of maturity- from green spoon-meat, to coconut water, to the most delicious cocktail you’ve ever tasted. These tips and recipes are exactly what you need for daily island living, and could also become life-saving information in the event of a disaster.
UNDER THE BODHI TREE shares their secret recipes for some of the most delicious, raw, vegan food on the planet. What makes this book so special – besides the fact that it’s self-published, something we adore! – is that all the recipes are healthy, tasty and easy to follow. This restaurant is a first stop for the edible Hawaiian Islands team whenever we travel to Hawaii Island – we feel so good after eating their food, and we love knowing that they source so many locally-grown ingredients.
This new department is designed to showcase some of the creative and delicious things we find as we travel across Hawai‘i. We are storytellers in search of people who are bringing their innovative ideas to life, so if you have something to share, please reach out to us!
We love the coffee from Big Island Coffee Roasters, in fact we drink it often at the office, but when we’re on the go and we need a little boost, we nibble on their new creamy coffee bar, ESPRESSO BITES. Espresso Bites looks like a chocolate bar, but is actually made with 100% Hawaiian coffee beans instead of cacao. Nibble away, or break off a square and melt in hot water, and don’t forget to share! Each bar contains 3 espresso shots.
Beef or venison? We say both! Thanks to products like the Kunoa Hawaiian Grown Beef Bar and Maui Nui Venison Sticks, we don’t all have to be hunters or ranchers in order to enjoy a dose of local protein. Locally sourced, natural, and shelf stable, add these jerkies to your supply of canned goods and you’ll always be prepared. We also pack a few bars and sticks when we travel so we’ve always got a healthy snack at hand, whether we’re at 30,000 feet or at sea level.
FOLKS ON A BUDGET, college students, people with limited cooking skills… we’ve all found cause to eat packaged ramen at one time or another. These economic noodle packets keep forever and are a cinch to throw together. For this issue, we decided to ramp up our packaged ramen by adding in a few simple ingredients. We suggest you cruise the grocery store aisles for new brands and flavors- you may be surprised at the new types of noodles, too.
Spinach or any greens • Dried Shiitake mushrooms Furikake • Eggs • Curry paste • Firm boxed tofu Red chili flakes • Gochujan • Fried sliced onions • Dried shrimp
This is an adapted recipe for a traditional 3 bean salad – green beans, kidney beans and garbanzo beans. When we checked our storage pantry, we had other varieties of beans so we adapted the recipe and added fried onions for a little crunch.
1 15oz can green beans, drained
1 15oz can black beans, drained
1 12oz can lima beans, drained
1 15oz can sliced carrots, drained
1 15 oz can dark kidney beans, drained
1 15oz can of corn, drained
2 tablespoons of any acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar
Black pepper to taste
> Combine all drained canned goods in a large bowl.
> Mix in vinegar dressing, and top with fried onions.
Save all the liquid for another use.
This bean salad will taste better ice cold. Make the salad in large zip lock bag and find a water source to chill salad before serving.
No electricity? No problem! This hummus recipe is super easy to make in a mortar and pestle. Find the youngest, most energetic keiki and put them to work, washing their hands first. As with all recipes, you can adjust the recipe to your taste. You can eat the hummus on it’s own or smear it on chips, bread or add it to any sandwich. Since water maybe limited just drain the garbanzo beans but save the juice for this recipe.
2 14oz cans garbanzo beans
4 teaspoons tahini
1 clove of garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup of lemon juice or any other acid
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Liquid from the garbanzo beans
> Add garlic, salt and pepper to mortar and pestle and grind to a paste.
> Mix in tahini and lemon juice.
> Add garbanzo beans a little at a time alternating with juice from the garbanzo beans until you achieve the right texture and taste.
Ok, we know what you’re thinking – Really? Canned soup? – but imagine a natural disaster, days on end without electricity or running water, you need to feed your family 3+ meals a day and you’ve run out of creative ideas. Planning ahead to ensure your family is fed and nourished is probably the most important job other than keeping them safe. Step up and think ahead now – you can thank us later.
2 15oz cans cream of chicken soup
2 15oz cans coconut milk
2 5oz cans chopped chicken
2 15oz cans diced potatoes
1 2oz can diced green chilies
1 15oz can corn
1 5oz can peas
¼ cup of fried onions
> Open all canned goods and heat gently just until warmed. Top with pepper and fried onions just before serving.
Wipe clean the tops of all canned goods before opening.
The shelf-stable ingredients in these burgers make them a go-to for storms, when grocery store shelves may be left bare, but they’re also delicious enough to be eaten all year round. They are easy to make and you can substitute any combination of canned beans and starch that you may have on hand.
Makes 4 burgers
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
1 15 oz can sweet potatoes, drained
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried lemon zest
¼ cup flour
Salt and pepper
Oil for cooking
> Using a mortar and pestle, grind up garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and lemon zest.
> Drain beans and potatoes, reserve liquid.
> With clean hands, mix all ingredients in a large bowl and form 4 patties.
> Cook patties on a plancha until cooked and browned on both sides.
> Serve on a bun with ketchup and mustard packets.