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Aug 5, 2014

What You’ll Be Eating This Year

will Lanikai Juice be serving Freekeh Grass?

I was racking (wracking?) my brain trying to figure out what to write about because my blog is mostly about me writing, and I really appreciate the people that read it.

My friend Hayley sent out her Culinary newsletter and at the back of it, there was a section which she had collected from various sources (Food & Wine, Nutrition Unplugged, Global Culinary Institute,et al) so I thought I’d share them.

Among grains, you will be eating Freekeh (green wheat).  This reminds me of when Eric and Ian were little and our friend Dave Dunham called them freekah suckas.  Then Dunham’s kids were little, and now they are grown — one of them to be 6’7″ . I don’t know if Freekeh is going to be pronounced bad for you the following year (it is wheat after all) or if someone will write a book called Freekeh Fat.  Also among grains is Kaniwa, or baby quinoa.  I made an effort to buy some quinoa last year, at Costco of all places, and I still have enough quinoa to feed my neighborhood.  As far as I know, it may be havings babies, and I will not have to go out and buy any.

Next on the grain list is the old favorite Buckwheat.  For me, Buckwheat is about the Little Rascals, although my favorite Crepes Place does sell buckwheat crepes … which I confess never to have tried.  Black Rice is also on the list, and Chia (not the Chia Pet kind, although that would be more fun) and three things I have never heard of:  Amaranth, Kamut and Spelt.  Spelt sounds sort of familiar.  Like an incorrect pronunciation of spelled.

Moving along, we will be eating jerkies, but not your traditional beef or fish jerkies (I had no idea there were fish jerkies) but hand-crafted-grass fed beef, salmon, turkey and venison jerkies.  Added touches will be Japanese curry, crushed chilies and dried fruits.    The only “person” I know who now eats jerky is our dog.

Here is some good news:  Cauliflower is the new kale.  I have tried in the past to make cauliflower”mashed potatoes” and they are not bad.  I have not tried to make kale mashed potatoes.  The previous sentences reminds me of Dan Quayle and the spelling bee where he incorrectly spelt potatoes.  I think it has an “e” because my computer graciously underlined it.

Vegetables are the new meat.  So they say.  But I have been watching Master Chef and they have not been given this news.

Eggs Benedict will be replaced by Shaksuka (eggs poached in chilies, tomatoes and peppers).  Someone who is on to new and unusual combinations is the chef at Koko Head, the place for brunch, only brunch, in Kaimuki.  It’s located in the former 12th Avenue Grill spot, and serves things like chicky and egg (fried jidori chicken and eggs scrambled the french way).  I think she has a version of Eggs Benedict and it may even be Shaksuka.  Not sure.

Korean hot sauce (Gochujang) is the new Siracha.

And weirdest of all to me, maple water is the new coconut water.  I have seen cases of coconut water leave Costco, and I just don’t believe it.


P.S. Because of the World Cup, you will also be eating Ecuadorian and Brazil inspired food and drinks, two more things I don’t know about –Pisco and Cachaca spirits, purple corn and aji peppers (I don’t know if this is an ingredient in  aji, aji, aji nomoto).


Aug 1, 2014

Babysitter #1

formerly Eastern Junior High School

My friend Mary MacMillan thinks I should write a memoir because it would be so full of crazy people and unbelievable events.  While its true that I lived a life that could rival David Sedaris’, I wouldn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, including the people who survive the crazy but already dead people in my life.  One exception, “Mac” says, would be my mother who “really wouldn’t give a s**t.”  That is probably true.  My mother lived by one rule, and that was that rules were made to be broken.  One of her life’s  missions was to lighten up my father who was as straight as an arrow can be and who spent a lot of his time huffing, puffing and muttering under his breath.  Mac particularly remembers one time when her Dad came to pick her up and tried to make friendly conversation with my Dad who was raking the yard.  All my father could muster at the time was “Goddamn kids.”

But this is a story about our baby sitter, who was also my Mother’s hairdresser, Mike Spezzano.  Mike did not baby sit for us when we were young because by the time we had moved to Connecticut my brother and I were practically teenagers who could have stayed home by themselves.  If anybody trusted us.  Which, wisely, even my Mother did not.  We went to the local public school, Eastern Junior High School, and a significant number of our friends were toughs on the football team and from the heavily Italian neighborhood just over the Post Road.  These friends were particularly valuable to my brother, since they would gladly beat up anyone who picked on him, in hopes of getting a date with either me or Mac. Eastern Middle School, as it is now known is “Setting the Standard for Excellence,” an activity we did not participate in when we were there.

Mike Spezzano was hired specifically to make sure that all hell did not break loose when my parents were out.  My Mother undoubtedly loved the idea of all hell breaking loose and hoped that it would,  but that things would be back to normal by the time they got home. I have no idea why my Father thought Mike was there.

Mike was there to make sure that the kids who drank too much didn’t drive and if they were inexplicably ill he sent them out to the yard.  He was there to make sure no one went upstairs, and that no one (besides Cy Hobart) wrote their name on the ceiling of the playroom with a pool cue.  He was there to break up the couples who were making out.   He was there to make sure that any liquor that was drunk did not come from our house.  Most of all, he was there to kick everyone out before my Father came home.

As a special treat, Mike would take me and Mac (after everyone left) to Binney Park to go submarine watching.  If any of you are from the New York area , you will have memories of Cousin Brucie using this phrase that describes the act of (usually) teenagers steaming up car windows and our form of it was to watch the submarine watchers.  Mike is the first baby sitter I remember.  Evidently we did not need them when we were small.

Jul 23, 2014

Mark’s Retirement Gift

Mark and his parrot Scippio Africanus aka Skippy

When Mark retired from Punahou, Punahou gave him a beautiful koa wood box, and a “blurb” in the program.   I wanted to share it because most of my friends weren’t there — in fact none of them– and I wanted you to read it.    Here it is:

“After graduating from Royal College Canada’s West Point, Mark Hanington served three years in the Canadian Navy as a submariner. As a young father, he concluded that was no way to raise a family. He left the Navy, moving his family to a small town in British Columbia where he planned to write the great Canadian novel. In the meantime, he volunteered at his children’s co-op preschool.

There he discovered his life’s passion. When he figured out that his happiest days were those he spent at preschool, he set his sights on becoming a teacher. After getting his MEd at Gonzaga University, Mark started what would become a 40-year career in teaching, 26 of which were at Punahou.

 Mark arrived at Punahou after his family decided to sell everything and go on an adventure to Hawai‘i. He began teaching fourth grade in the Winne Units. Three years later, he moved to the Academy at the invitation of the head of the social studies department. Since then, he has taught social studies, European history, ICE (a course combining English, social studies and science), computer science and math. He also served as head of the Social Studies Department and director of Summer School, but he retires as a math teacher.

 “Someone once described Mark to me as a Renaissance Man, and I think the description is appropriate,” reflects Academy Principal Kevin Conway. “More than once, I have been contacted, out of the blue, by parents who wanted to tell me how grateful they were for Mark’s above-and-beyond tutoring of their child and for his ability to bring clarity and understanding to the seemingly incomprehensible.”

Among his students, “Uncle Mark” is known for his gentle humor and for starting each class with a “Mathmagical Moment.”“Mark has demonstrated throughout his career how to reach and teach students from multiple angles,” says Academy Math Department Head Christine David. “He sees the good in all kids and is a tireless advocate for those who struggle, spending countless hours in the Learning Support Center to help students. Many graduates credit ‘Uncle Mark’ when they are asked about an influential teacher. We will miss his calm demeanor and thoughtful presence in our department.”

 In retirement he plans to pursue poetry, art and music. He’d also like to take lessons in tai chi, audit classes at the University of Hawai‘i and take art classes at the Honolulu Museum of Art. And, of course, he plans to write the great American novel.”

Sometime last year, my good friend Kulia suggested that, since Mark did not want a retirement party, we should set up a scholarship in his name.  I finally did it, with a small amount of “highly appreciated stock”  (stock I could never sell) from my great great grandfather’s company.   Mark is very pleased, and I just wanted to mention it because if anyone is going to send some $ Punahou’s way,  it would be terrific is you designated it to go to the Mark Hanington Fund.  The Fund is set up to provide financial aid for students who need it.  This is very important to Mark, since he strongly believes that since he came to Punahou, the increasing amount of financial aid which allows a more diverse population at the school is one of the things that Jim Scott has done to take it from being a good school to a  truly great one.

Jul 11, 2014

Why I Love Today’s Kailua

Recently, the closing of Hungry Ear set off a lot of dismay about how Kailua has changed, and indeed it has.  When I moved here from Kahala 24 years ago, the place was asleep.  There were very few restaurants, fewer shops to shop at, there was a rowdy bar in the middle of town.  (not really asleep I guess).  Now, although some call it Kaikiki, and others bemoan the big box Target moving in, I love living here because it is lively, and busy and lots of people that live here own businesses and have jobs.  I have previously received comments that because I am co-owner of what is perceived by some to be a tourist venture (and have had the audacity to write about owning a business in a small town on O`ahu) I have contributed to the downfall and am in no position to talk.

Yea, but I talk again.  Today my husband and I were sitting inside of a very busy Crepes No Ka Oi, waiting for our yummy crepes and drinking their wonderful coffee.  The place was filled with happy chatter.  There were locals, Japanese visitors, and westbound visitors.  The staff was moving fast on their feet because they were understaffed today, but everyone was –as we would say in the sixties — copasetic.  When I moved to Kailua, or for many of the years since, there was no place like Crepes No Ka Oi.

On the other side of the window sat a Japanese family.  Their little boy, he of a most seraphic face, sat immediately across from us.  When he caught my eye, he burst into a killer grin, and started to lead me through an impromptu game of Simon Says.  It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time (before you say it, let me say that some of you might be thinking that I am short on fun times.  I am not).  We clapped, put our hands on our head, our cheeks on our fists, waved hi and blew a kiss.  It was one of those pieces of magic that can only happen serendipitously.  Smiles across the world.  It was wonderful.

The other wonderful thing is the very existence of Crepes No Ka Oi, which started out at Kailua’s Thursday night Farmer’s Market.  They’ve grown from there to their current location and are about to move to a new one twice its size.  They have grown from a place where you stood in line, to a place you may have to wait because of their popularity.  This couldn’t have happened in yesterday’s Kailua.


Jul 10, 2014

Totally Classic. 5 stars!

I usually don’t do “sales pitches” on my blog, so stop right here if you want.  The brander in me (23 plus of studying big brands and small) can’t resist writing about my recent experience with Classic Bodyworks.

As readers of this blog know, I recently ran a red light and got hit by someone who had the right of way while I was trying to get out of the way.   stupid.  stupid.  stupid.  It happened at the main intersection of Kailua, right across the street from my State Farm Insurance Agent’s office.  They certainly have tired ot hearing from me, as over the past several year I have had a fire in my kitchen, a burglary and now this stupid people trick with my car.  Luckily no one was hurt.

I elected to take my car to RPMS, the only State Farm-approved body shop in Kailua and they had a six week wait.  I must have talked to them fifteen times before we mutually decided to send the car to Classic Bodyworks all the way out in Pearl City.   They have the right name, because my customer experience was “classic.”

Sight unseen (sight of me by them, sight of them by me) they received the car and we spoke on the phone.  Right after that I received an email confirming that the car was there and that they would start on it as soon as parts were in.  The next day they sent me an email with a tentative finish date, along with a phone call telling me I would get a completed estimate the following day, which I did.  My emailed approval was sufficient to get the work started.  The target date was July 18 (the three week time period they initially told me it would be).

Last week, I got an email and a phone call saying that my car had been moved over to painting and they were shooting for an earlier date.  Then, on Monday (7/7), I got an email saying that my car was 53% finished and they were going to easily make the target date of 7/18.  That afternoon they called me to tell me my car was ready.  Ian drove me out there to get the car yesterday, and they even sympathized with me that I had to drive all the way from Kailua (this is not the mainland; the drive was about 40 minutes).  I paid my deductible, they brought the car around and explained the details of their life-of-the-car guarantee, and I was off.  The car looked brand new.

This may seem like too many emails and phone calls to some of you, but it was just right for me.  I never had to initiate the conversation with them — their timing was just right, and its my car, after all.  The one with the GloGlo license plate and on the bumper.  The car that I feel is part of me.

They kept in touch, they answered all my questions, they did a perfect job on the car, they weren’t too expensive (at least from what I could tell from the damage) and they were smart enough to under promise and over-deliver.  Big time.  So if you or a friend has any need for bodywork on your car(s) I recommend the drive out to Classic Bodyworks on Waihona in Pearl City.  The experience, from start to finished, befitted their name… Classic.


Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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