Letter of Aloha – Fall 2019


I GREW UP IN REDONDO BEACH, CA in a very close-knit community where we knew most of our neighbors. Kids played together in the street until the street lights came on, and it was actually commonplace to run to the neighbor’s house to borrow a cup of sugar. Today, these acts of neighborly kindness have sadly become harder to find — unless you live on my street.

My current home in Hawaii lies on a street lined with just a few houses in between taro patches and banana groves. Mango trees as big and as wide as the property that the home sits on dominate the scene. There’s a constant sound of flowing water and the daily spectacle of the sun rising and falling deep within the valley. This is Hawaii.

So, while we may not borrow a cup of sugar, my neighbors and I do share the food that grows in our yards. Victoria, my neighbor to one side, shares super-sized, delicious papayas, while Bert, my neighbor on the other side, shares his bananas and limes. During the holidays, Jamie, my neighbor from across the street, bakes and distributes cookies. We all check in with each other and enjoy sharing our abundance. What’s your street like?

This issue is about sharing recipes and foods that celebrate the fall season. The fall issue covers October, November and December, encompassing the entire holiday season, and I want this issue to inspire you to bake, share and celebrate. Whether you choose to gather with family members, a close group of friends, or a friendly mix of neighbors, I hope the flavors of this issue enrich and enliven your holiday table.

As I sit here writing this Letter of Aloha in the heat of summer, I’m filled with memories of previous holiday celebrations and intentions for the upcoming season: namely, to be full of gratitude for health, happiness and all my neighbors and friends. Take time to revel in your personal abundance and celebrate the good in your own life. Happy holidays.

Dania Novack-Katz