Mom went to Costco (Hawaii Kai) yesterday to pick up just a few things. As it turned out, everything in her cart were local products.
Like that bag of poi. Price? $15!!! Ouch. More than gasoline now, if you break it down per pound. I guess we just need to count our blessings that we HAVE poi! Interestingly, you can’t get Taro Brand Poi at the Iwilei Costco (as so far we know), due to fighting among shoppers for it. Whoah! Not da’ Poi Wars, eh? lol Due to supply, there’s also a 1-bag limit per person at Hawaii Kai Costco. So next time you eat poi, savor it down to every last nibble!
As her usual self, she comes home and mixes it by hand, which always makes me shudder, but that’s “old school” so, so be it. He-he.
You might notice it’s in a recycled Hanalei Poi container. Ha!
She also bought some Kamuela Tomatoes…
These were about $7, which is high, but she insists on them.
They look pretty, but flavor-wise, standard fare. Nothing extraordinary. At least that was my impression eating the entire one I cut in half to show you here…
Mild in acidity and not sweet at all, while being “tight” in texture. Juicy pulp. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good tomato, but nothing I’d go out of my way to seek out.
Finally, a couple of recipe books…
The ‘Hawaii’s Recipes’ is actually a compilation of Jean’s other publications, including quite a few recipes from the ‘Local Dishes’ edition.
As you see, all her books are spiral bound, with a few pages here and there with photos of the dishes, but mostly just text recipes.
It’s the ‘Local Dishes’ book that I must say, you must have. After all, how can you not have a recipe book with Oxtail Soup on the cover?!
Just as a teaser, here’s the page on that…
This is the recipe I’ll be using in a an upcoming post.
I really like her footnotes, which includes tips and stories about its origin.
Other recipes include Portuguese (yay!) Bean Soup, Vindha D’Ahlos Roast, Stuffed Cabbage, Shoyu Poke, Evie’s Red Stew (her sister-in-law, so you know that’s gotta’ be good!), Butter Yaki (I must make this), Beef Tomato (perfect for those Kamuela Tomatoes!), Chopped Steak (like Kapiolani Coffee Shop!), Laulau (wow!), Chicken Long Rice, Jook, Kahlua Cake and Okinawan Sweet Potato Pie with Haupia Topping. Just to name a few. There’s so much more!
Best of all, when you read the ingredients, instructions and footnotes, you just KNOW these are tried-and-true recipes.
Jean Watanabe Hee is a retired school teacher originally from Hilo, now living in Kaneohe (yay!). And you just know in their network of peers there’s gotta’ be some good cooking shared amongst them!
Seriously, this ‘Local Dishes’ cook book is a must-have. Enough that my mother gave her first copy up to an aunt from the big island who really liked it. You will too.
Jean’s other books include Hawaii’s Best Mochi Recipes, Hawaii’s Best Local Desserts, Hawaii’s Best Pupu & Potluck, Tastes & Flavors of Mochi, Hawaii’s Best Salads, Side & Soups and Little Hawaiian Cookbook.
There are plenty of made-in-Hawaii “local grindz” products in bulk size at Costco. Kamaboko, Tofu, Ramen, Macadamia Nuts, laulau, Portuguese Sausage (yay!), produce, desserts, recipe books, you name it.
Gotta’ love Costco.