The first meal

The humidity is lower this week and I decided I can work in the kitchen with out being dreanch in sweat. So I decided to do a crock pot meal for Monday’s dinner. The first meal I making is Crock Pot Chili and I’m using Slow Cooker Taco Spice Chili recipe from sally’sbakingaddition.

[hahaha! When I started this post the humidity and heat had lowered and it was bearable to do some cooking in the kitchen. But today as I patiently wait for our meal to be done, the only place I can find to be cool is in front of the front jalousie window laying on the wooden floors like my cats in an afternoon fog of sleepiness because of the heat and humidity]

I picked this recipe because the different ingredients in–sweet potatoes, corn, bell pepper and black beans. [I slipped in some mushroom to just to use it up before it went bad] I wanted to give my parents a little more diversity in their diet. Change it up. I hope they like it.

Made some slight adjustments in the recipe as I found out that Mom’s crockpot is smaller than I thought it was. I just put 1 can of diced tomatoes and I didn’t add quinoa because there was no more room in the pot. We were having “hapa” rice [half brown and white rice] so that filled in for the quinoa.

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Right before I turned it on low for 7 hours.

Very easy and delicous. I can see with the addition of quinoa at the end it would be extremely hearty. Love all the veggies and black beans in it. I would most definitely make it again.

Next up, mango jam. There are mangos waiting in the fruit bin to use them up.

What I want to make : two

Since I got back haven’t had a chance to cook or back. One, lazy and still not in sync with my work schedule and living schedule. Two, it’s too hot and humid for me. I’m just melting. But I need to start and suck up being a sweaty mess.

Meals for Mom and Dad

Looking for meals that I can cook for my folks. A few food restrictions to adjust to–Diabetic and blood thinner. I think they need a bit of more spice in their diet. I’ll try a couple of the meals I made for friends in the past year: Fish Stew and Spicy Lentil soup

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The Fish Stew I made for the Hawaii girls

I want to try out some new recipes but it’s so hot in the afternoon. I decided to use mom’s crock pot while awaiting the arrival of my favorite kitchen appliance–my electric pressure cooker. Thought chili in a crock pot would be easy and plentiful so we can share what we made with a few of mom’s friends. Found this recipe that I’d like to try https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/01/11/slow-cooker-taco-spice-chili/. I like this recipe because it has sweet potato, corn, and black beans with an added bonus of quinoa. I’ll think I’ll try it this week.

Jamming

I’d like to try out that mango jam recipe again but I think I missed mango season. I will just have to make what in season or what my parents want to have. First up, Kiwi Apple jam as requested by my mom. It’s her favorite.  I’ve been making this recipe so long that it kind of morph into my own. I’m having my parents do the prep on the kiwi and apple and I’ll do cooking up.

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The spices make this jam-cinnamon, ginger, and clove

I’m also getting some Calamansi limes from a friend so I think I can make up a lime curd soon. Calamansi is a little lime with orange inside. It’s tart and fragrant. I use  Ina Garten recipe that I’ve made 100s of time change out the flavor from lime to lilikoi to grapefruit to raspberry. Just a slight adjustment to the sugar depending on how sweet the fruit is. I think adding the zest of the citrus makes the jam taste so good. This is mom’s favorite. I love the grapefruit and turn into a grapefruit curd tart.

Sweet Breads

My parents like a little snack in the evening. I always had bananas in my freezer so I could whip up a smoothie or a loaf of banana bread on short notice. Here it’s a little different. No bananas in the freezer because they eat almost every day. Also, they eat apple bananas which are firmer and tastier. Not sure how it will influence the texture but flavor will be great. Might need to look for another type of sweet bread. Carrot? Zucchini? Hmm. Need to think about it.

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chocolate marbled banana bread. Delicious

Here’s one that I made this year. Everyone liked it. And it looked great. A smittenkitchen recipe.

2 Weeks In

It will be 2 weeks back in Hawaii tomorrow. Still adjusting to my new life here. Trying to figure out what I can do to keep me out of trouble.

The Boys

The cats have been great. Getting into mischief as much as they can. They had full reign of my cabinets as I empty them back in NJ and want the same privileges here in Waipahu. But the Boss [my mom] doesn’t allow that. They also think the patio has the same breezeway privileges that they can run in and out of the house and the garage whenever they wanted. The patio is open to the side and backyard. So the only way out is with a harness and a leash. Ollie is up for the harness and we tried going for a walk. Orange, he’s another story and who would have guessed any different. It’s like I’m going to put him in the carrier.

The Heat

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Got me a ceiling fan!! Woowho! I still feel hot but it’s like a constant breeze on me now. [I owe someone delicious bottles of red wine.]  I hope Hurricane/Tropical Storm Lane doesn’t bring heat and humidity as he leaves the islands. It poured all morning since the time I got up at 3:00ish and stop at 7:00ish. It’s overcast and that might keep the temps down.

Please O’ weather gods keep the temps down for me, pretty please.

The only benefit of the heat is I don’t feel guilty for getting a shave ice as an afternoon snack. Luckily there is a good shave ice truck near the house. Too delicious to stop and get a picture, next time.

The Folks

I’ve been trying to keep them busy and getting them out of the house for entertainment and exercise. They have an aide that comes three days a week. She works with my dad on exercises for strength and takes them out and about or holo-holo in Hawaii slang, on errands and dr visits.

The aide that they have is a young girl from Chicago that just moved to Hawaii. Everything is new to here and I think it’s a good fit for my parents. My mom loves to feed people and she loves to try anything new. And she’s really sweet to my dad. Thought I think he would fare better with someone that was more on the rascal side.

I’m glad they have her because it would be all on me if they didn’t. I can see how hard that would be.

And me

I’m looking for things to do and meet new people. Here are a few of my ideas I thought I could try out in September

  • yoga class
  • swimming class to strengthen and learn more strokes
  • join the Y
  • knitting group
  • volunteer at Honouliuli National Monument
  • volunteer at Library
  • start walking/running consistently
  • lunch or dinner with friends
  • trying sell vintage stuff for my parents
    look out for my ebay or etsy shop if you like vintage housewares. Midcentury stuff.

I’m trying to keep busy and not just hang out in my room watching too much Netflix as I did before I moved. I got sucked into watching DeadWind, Finnish crime drama with I’m such sucker for. I think I have a few more episodes left then on to the next. I need to stop watching. . . ahaaaa.

Beginning of Dad’s Blanket

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Dad is always cold. Remember he lives on the west side of Oahu, not the coldest place in the world. Here’s an example, last August when I was back for a visit, it was hot. My parents have an window air condition in the dining room/living room, which my dad kind of controls. It is only turn on when it is really hot to him or when he feels sorry for his youngest child.

I guess he was felt sorry for me and turned it on that day. It was on for a little while but suddenly noticed that I was feeling really hot and sweat was beading up on my face. Now  I know that I’m Princess Hot Flash so I did wonder if I was having one of them but I turned to my mom and she has sweat beading up on her face, too.

I kind of whisper to her (dad is hard of hearing)  if the air conditioner was working.  And she said, “Dad turned it to fan because he was cold” while motion me not to say anything.

What!! I turned to look at him and he has his fleece vest on.

So this is why I’m making my dad that lives on the west side of Oahu (the dry hot side of the island) a double strand merino wool blanket. Hopefully this will keep him warm.

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Pattern: Compy Blanket designed by Linda Daley

Yarn: Merino Wool from Morehouse Farm; Originally Oat’s Sweater

Status: Row 13