Hawaiian Foraging


This is why I would quickly weigh 350 pounds if I lived in Hawaii. While it’s a relief to escape the chilly weather, and there are countless activities we love (more on this later), food in Hawaii is something of an obsession for me. That’s the Saimin Special at Hamura’s in Lihue above, an army-helmet sized bowl of deeply flavored broth, noodles, roast pork, wontons, fish cake, bok choi and various other delicacies. On the counter, they have homemade chili-pepper-infused vinegar to season the soup, as if it needed more flavor. But when in Rome…


I’m also constantly “foraging” for the best Spam musubi, with the ones at Fish Express in Lihue usually taking top honors. But this time, because of the book event, we had a few days on Oahu, which meant several visits to the food court at Shirokiya. There, I found the best Spam musubi so far: Warm rice, seared spam, thin layer of egg, takuan (pickled daikon radish) and still-crisp nori wrapper, topped off with a light dusting of tart-savory shiso (beefsteak plant) furikake. Oh, man.


Also at Shirokiya (we went twice), I found fresh made takoyaki, which is a chewy, grilled dumpling with octopus inside. They drop half a dozen dumplings hot off the grill into a tray and cover it with teriyaki sauce, wasabi-mayo, toasted sesame seeds and a huge pillow of aromatic shaved, smoked bonito (the stuff that looks like cedar shavings) fluffed across the top. Max umami.


I could go on and on about the smoked pork ramen with broth made with the pan drippings, or the coconut-chocolate-coffee-macadamia nut ice cream at Lapperts, or the fried rice and egg breakfasts, but I think I will wrap this up with one of my all-time favorites: Chili-pepper fried chicken at the Village Bakery in Hanalei. This is light, crisp fried-chicken thighs which you then cover with sweet/hot ginger, chili soy sauce. I look forward to it year ’round, and it does not disappoint. Just posting these shots makes me hungry all over again, but I think I better go eat some vegetables…and think about jogging.

Hawaii Book Event


I’m super excited to kick off our Spring 16 book tour for Closer to the Ground paperback at Patagonia Hale’iwa. We’ll talk a bit about foraging, wild food, kids in the outdoors and island life, then read a few stories from the book. Questions, answers (if I have any) and discussion to follow. I think it’s going to be a fun evening, so if you–or anyone you know–are on Oahu then, please come by.

Details, in case the poster is tough to read: 7:00pm, Tuesday, February 23rd at the Hale’iwa Patagonia store on the North Shore of Oahu.

We’ll follow up this event with readings/talks (including some special guests) in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and New York City. Stay tuned for details.


Pushing Rock


It’s that time of year again, when low spots in the road fill with water and start turning into potholes. But this year, we decided to get ahead of the game and spread some fresh rock before the actual holes form. Seemed like a good thing to do with all the weather we’ve had so far.

So Weston and I grabbed a shovel, a rake, a five-gallon bucket and went to work. He’s been “helping” me fix the road since he could walk, but this year, he actually did most of the work. And even thought it’s not as fun as basketball or fishing (or legos or video games…) he was cheerful and happy the whole time.

When we first started doing this together seven years ago, he slowed me down, but his happiness made it worth the extra effort. Now he can haul rock and spread it on his own, and I still gain from his upbeat attitude. Perhaps he just brings me along to keep the mood up.