This morning we rescued Kaloka (formerly known as Charlie) from puppy jail at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Quarantine. Hawaii is a rabies-free state so all animals have to be quarantined for four months unless you prepare for what’s called the Five Day or Less Program. Animals are only eligible for for this program if their lab work, health certificates, and vaccinations prove they don’t have rabies. It’s tricky to complete though because the Department of Agriculture has very strict timelines for vaccinations. Anyhow, we got lucky and got everything done to bail Kaloka out sooner than later.
After the rescue mission, we met up with my cousin who has lived in Hawaii for over six years now. She lives on the Big Island, but has been popping over to Oahu a bit recently for work stuff. Today she had some time to kill before her flight so we took advantage of her knowledge — by cajoling her into coming to the grocery with us of course. She recommended trying a purple Okinawan sweet potato which is native to Okinawa Japan. It thrives in lava rich soil (cool!) and is packed with nutrients – vitamin A, K, C, iron, folate, fiber, etc. My favorite factoid is that it racks up 150% more antioxidants than blueberries!!
It didn’t take me long to test out this interesting veggie. Admittedly, the photo looks kind of icky but the brilliant royal root is finger-licking good. To cook it, I poke holes in the skin with a fork, then nuke it for 7 minutes in a covered bowl. When it’s almost tender I stick it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until the insides are creamy. That’s not butter smothering the top – it’s another version of my homemade dijon vinaigrette which I also used to spruce up a bed of arugula for colorful dinner.
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil (that’s all it takes to bind it together)
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
dash (or three) red cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Christina not only helped us pick out some produce, she helped us move. Yep, we moved today; we traded a flight of stairs for a flat screen TV and a few minor upgrades (like tile counters instead of old plastic ones). It was a pain in neck to lug all of our already unpacked goods up another set of steps, but now we’re settling in and getting organized again.
I’d be remiss not to include a word about today’s very special event – Christmas tree shopping!! Our very first tree picking experience together. My mom gave us a plush tree skirt – among several other festive gifts – for our first married Christmas. While we couldn’t pack all of our Christmas gear, we managed to stuff the skirt in one of our checked duffles to enjoy! Thank you, Mom – we LOVE it.
Tomorrow we’ll light’er up. What’s your favorite kind of tree light? White or color? Small bulb or big bulb? Blinking or constant glow?
What do we like? To be revealed…