From Hawaii, new memories and inspiration.

By Jillian Bernardini - Nov 04, 2013 - 10:53 AM
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I remember it vividly: my first five steps out of the jet bridge, I take a deep breath.  It smells like release, the Pacific, and adventure.  I'm ready to escape responsibility, and to savor the exotic and unfamiliar.  One whole week of exploration on Oahu, trust me, it's never enough time. 

Waterfall hikes, swims and snorkel trips on the North Shore, plenty of Mai Tai's, and packages of macadamia nuts later, my sense of self acclimated quickly to the grains of pure beach sand between my toes and the unruly salty water in my hair.  Sadly, I blinked, and the week was up.  

That's how vacations go, I suppose, but I don't regret a second of it.  John and I are already planning our next tropical vacation for February, so the Boston blizzards and below freezing temperatures don't dampen our "aloha" spirits too hurriedly.

Haleiwa Farmers' Market

"You don't know how to relax, just sit and have a beer!"  He's right.  I should try this "relax" activity more often, but on our drive up to the beach bungalows, we drove by a banner that read only Thursdays, Waimea village hosts a pop-up farmers' market from 3-7pm.  I have to go.  We check out and leave for the airport the following Thursday, so I find that the local farmers' market will be the perfect initial Hawaiian food and culture immersion experience for me. 

mango taro bread baker dudes haleiwa

I'm so happy that I went!  Don't worry, we checked in, cheers-ed, played a little cornhole, and then I drove to the market solo to check out the local produce and food artisans. Amazing, delicious, and so unique, especially if you compare it to our local Boston farmers' crops this time of year.  Fresh coconuts and pineapples from local farms, and over a dozen varieties of large avocado fruits!  Some avocados were the size of my head. Fortunately, the farmer gave me advice regarding when to cut into my avocado and to wait about 4 days.  

mohala farms avocado hawaii

A vendor with the name Hawaiian Fresh Farms sold local goat cheese with unique flavors like lilikoi [passionfruit], which pleasantly balanced out the usual tangy, assertive bite that often accompanies goat cheeses.  Local bakers, fishermen, cafes selling freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods like musubi and poi, all of these Hawaiian businesses and farmers showcased that first taste of the unfamiliar that I was looking for on my second day in Oahu.  

There's more exciting stories to share, and in the meantime, make this macadamia nut streusel loaf.  We all love streusel toppings on our crisps, crumbles, and muffins, but using the buttery, rich will thoroughly enhance that love to a level of infatuation. 

Haleiwa beaches