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WELCOME ~ E KOMO MAI
The promise and glorious renewal of Spring, the lazy, hazy, crazy patio-lingering days of Summer, the bounty, overflowing roadside stands and colourful beauty of Autumn and the sheer, homespun warmth and nostalgic comfort zones that Ol' Man Winter heralds. Oh, the delicious and auspicious possibilities, as the seasons unravel.
But let's not rush. Instead let's welcome and linger in our favorite flavour zones as they present themselves to us.
Now, as we roll into the homey comforts that Ol' Man Winter unravels; those bundle-up days of winter wonderlands, and eye-spying snow diamonds sparkling in the morning sunshine, it is time to linger at fireside fondues a little longer, and savour the delicious pleasures of things like tiny orange orbs of seedless mandarin sweetness; crazy-delicious, ooey, gooey macaroni and cheese; stout and black pepper blasted, slow-simmered stews and warm conversations that last longer than the glowing embers.
My forest is freshly dressed in it's beautiful new mantle of white. Silence permeates everything. Even the squirrels' chatter is softer, merrier, and deer families pass through our woodsy yard with wide eyed, quiet hope as they eagerly forage for forgotten patches of munching pleasure.
There's that unmistakable presence of impending merriment and festive celebrations in the air, with pears macerating in Grand Marnier and menus strewn with delicious comfort. Slow simmered, wine blasted, divinely tender beefy shortribs piled onto pillowy mashed potatoes; port wine and butter basted, cornbread stuffed, mouthwatering roast turkey; pumpkin custard riddled with cinnamony spices, tucked into pastry and baked to flaky perfection; parmesan, roasted garlic and pancetta riddled pasta boasting saucy deliciousness made with the last of the heirloom tomatoes; and of course crispy edged, brown sugar brined, pan-sauteed pork chops draped with juicy maple-laced, spiced infused, orchard-fresh baked apples.
Oh mama! how good it is to celebrate the stored up bounty, that the last and first season of the year bring to us.......just one more brand of that sublime, earth-to-table, indulgence.
And you know what else? It's my year. Yessirreebob, The Year of the Horse is laying it's powers all over us. The Year of the Wood Horse to be more precise. This is a fortunate year that brings good luck and good things. Charging ahead from last year's Snake yin, 2014 will be a wild ride as the Horse's boundless yang energy brings a burst of excitement, spontaneous surprises and unexpected life-changing events.
Whooeee, sounds like perfect timing to toy with exciting, vibrant, little mouthfuls of tastebud arousing Amuse Bouche.
Horses find people and crowds exciting, so it's time to party and make party! The year of the Horse charmingly sets the stage......let's cook and feast!
Step out of the usual, out of routine, and out of the familiarity of home. This is the year to get outside, push out of our comfort zones, open our minds and arms to mysterious, enigmatic and memorable moments. Oh goody goody gumdrops!
It's a year of carefree, self expression. The Wood Horse prompts us to be adventurous spirits, undaunted to take risks and offers a wellspring of creative ideas. With that powerful push behind us, just imagine the potently delicious and out of the ordinary concoctions that will come from our kitchens this year.
We'll be inspired to socialize and gather which makes me think it's time to rev up our dinner party plans and let all this superbly pent up hunger for the unusual present itself with some exotic new dishes.
All of us pleasure seeking foodies can tap into our inner Horse, not be corralled or constrained, seize gutsy, take more and more brazen, luscious leaps and conjure to our heart’s content. Ignite your palates!
I can't wait to throw on some great tunes (because cooking without music is like a bee without a buzz) and play with some sumptuous new flavours and ingredients, not knowing where they might take us……Into the Mystic......perhaps....
Though, as we go, please be patient with this Horse, as I continue to learn the ropes.....as I figure out how to make my blog good lookin', with lots of what I like best and even more of what you like best.
Stay tuned, much more to come. Goodies from here, recipes from there. What I'm cookin' up these days in My Okanagan Kitchen, as I gaze upon the beautiful forests of Trepanier, up above the lakeside hamlet of Peachland in BC's beautiful Wine Country. Family feasts, down home comfort and tasty little treats.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the
things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain
Summer view from my kitchen in the forest in the Okanagan Valley.
On the other hand, I'm going to sweep you away to far off tropical islands with my memoirs of what I conjured up in My Hawaiian Kitchen a few years back when I was lucky enough to call the amazing Big Island of Hawaii home for a few years. And these days too, when I'm blissed out to be vacationing to my 'Home Sweet Island Home". Bountiful island ingredients, local specialties with my own little twists and ono (delicious) new revelations on old stand-bys and of course Hapa tunes to fill my spirit and kitchen with luscious Aloha.
Sunset view from the lanai just off one of my favorite Hawaiian kitchens.
So come on in! I'm here waiting for you with a big warm invitation to pull up a stool along my kitchen counter, plunk down at my dinner table, or just hang out with me while I do what I love best. Alo-ha!
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THE LAST WONTON RECIPE INDEX
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MY HAWAIIAN KITCHEN RECIPES, so far.......
(also included in Main Recipe Index, as linked above)
Pahoa Pesto Pork Pats Pasta ~ Kuawa Riblets ~ Broken Pork Nachos ~ Pad Hai ~
Chickie Flautas ~ Island Macaroni Salad ~ Huli Huli Chicken ~
Creamy Chicken 'Chiladas ~ Swallowing Clouds Soup ~
Chocolate Frosted Koko Java Cupcakes ~ Chicken Sate Potstickers ~ Avo Hummus
Michelle's Island Corn Salsa ~ Hula ula ula Salad ~ Cliff's Lemon Lime Chicken
Tender-Baby-Tender Baby Back Ribs ~ Mom's Pineapple Chicken ~
Volcano Chicken ~ Lemony Orange Snack Cake ~ Kawaihae Pie aka Sex In A Pan
Sweet Hotties - Hawaiian Hot Wings
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"My kitchen is a mystical place, a kind of temple for me. It is a place where
the surfaces seem to have significance, where the sounds and odors carry
meaning that transfers from the past and bridges to the future."
~ Pearl Bailey
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