Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Taken last week at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Wednesday's Words

                                                                   They're not the same.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recipes To Try - Hawaiian Style

I had Ahi tuna poke from Cafe Pesto in Hilo. It is small chopped slices of tuna.

Ahi tuna poke (pronounced POH-kay), I love this stuff!!

Here's a great video showing you how to make seared ahi tuna. My favourite is served over salad and fresh fruits.

My ahi tuna from the Fish Hopper in Kona. I had it again on Sunday!!

Here's a link to a good selection of Hawaiian style salad dressings.

Teaser Tuesday - Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Include the link to your Teaser in the comments.

Here's mine from Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor that I read last week:
And had he lived beyond his youth, the years would have contracted, because a married couple become the same age, grow to resemble one another over time, like bookends, their recollections in greyed bindings between them and neither bothering to read what once divided them. What's this he'd be now?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
Since I am still on vacation  I am getting a chance to catch up on some of my TBR.

Finished this week:

From the book jacket:
Two police officers knock on Laura's door and her life changes forever. They tell her that her nine-year old daughter Betty has been hit by a car and killed. When justice is slow to arrive, Laura decides to take her own revenge and begins to track down the man responsible.

My review:
 Last week I said this was  growing on me and it certainly did!! I ended up wishing it wouldn't end. The twists and turns definitely kept my interest. It also contains an interesting take on immigrants in the UK. Did I love Laura, no, not really. Nor was I fond of her husband either. But the plot I really enjoyed. I'm trying not to include any spoilers here so will leave it at that. 

Whatever You Love

The Complaints
From Goodreads:
It must be a double-edged sword to be Ian Rankin. Of course it's comforting to be Britain's best-selling male crime writer -- and to have created one of the most iconic characters in detective fiction in the irascible (and indomitable) D. I. Jack Rebus. But Rankin -- a writer who has clearly never been content to simply repeat himself -- had made it clear that there would be a finite number of Rebus books (the character, after all, was ageing in real time as Rankin had always planned that he should do). And with Exit Music he wrote finis to the career of his tough Glaswegian cop. But Rankin had made a rod for his own back: a less high-profile writer might get away with a change of pace which didn't quite come off -- not so Ian Rankin. And fortunately, the standalone heist novel which was the first post-Rebus book, Doors Open, was a winner and proved categorically that there was life after Rebus.
With The Complaints, we have the first novel by Ian Rankin featuring a new protagonist, another Edinburgh copper, Malcolm Fox. But Fox is quite a different character to his predecessor, although both men are imposing physically. For a start, Fox doesn't drink and is initially less confrontational than the bolshie Rebus. But where the latter’s taste in music ran (like the author’s) to rock music -- Rankin fans know about the Rebus titles echoing those of the Rolling Stones -- Fox is more inclined to listen to serious music. The city, however, is the same, and although some may regret that the massively talented Rankin has not moved into new territory along with his new copper, there's no denying that the author is the ultimate modern chronicler of Edinburgh, with a gift for pungent evocation worthy of his great Scottish literary predecessors. And it's a relief to report that The Complaints augurs very well for any further books featuring Malcolm Fox.
Fox is part of the unpopular Complaints & Conduct department of the police force (better known as ‘The Complaints’) -- and the reason for that unpopularity is clear to see: this is the department designed to root out corruption in the force and investigate suspect officers. The current target for Fox is policeman Glenn Heaton of the CID, who has often sailed close to the edge; now there appears to be material for a case against him. But at the same time, another cop, Jamie Breck, is suspected of being part of a ring indulging in child abuse. Fox is in for some jawdropping surprises regarding his colleague, and the shifting relationship between the two men is at the core of this finely honed narrative (along with Fox's treatment of his ailing father -- something else which differentiates this book from its predecessors).
There will, of course, be Rebus fans who would have been happy for Rankin to go on creating new problem for his awkward copper, but most admirers of the author will be happy with this striking change of pace -- and will be hungry for further outings for Malcolm Fox and the Complaints unit. --Barry Forshaw
My review:
Totally a pleasant read, I really enjoyed this new character created by Rankin. It is a great police procedural story with enough plot curves thrown at the reader to keep you going. At times I did think Fox was a bit judgmental with his sister.
As the book jacket states who does determine right from wrong?

Also finished but not planned for:
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
I have read severl of Iain Banks later books, but not this, his first novel. Many reviewers consider this one of the top 100 books of the 20th century.
All I can say is do not read this book if you are squeamish or do not like cruelty to animals or children.  
I must admit I almost abandoned this book. I did skim the first half of it as I couldn't get into Frank's weird rituals. I also couldn't take bunnies being blown to smithereens. 
Nor his absolutely crazy brother, Eric and his setting dogs on fire.
Or his mad scientist of a father who ALWAYS keeps his study locked which drives Frank crazy until he finally does get in and discovers his father's secret.
The final two chapters were more "normal" to follow the story but I certainly never saw what happens coming!

Started but quickly abandoned:
The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3)
I had grabbed this from the condo lending library to read by the pool. I lasted a couple of chapters and gave up. I wasn't surprised as I am not a fan of Victorian stories. 

Also finished this week - review to come:
Ghost Light

A powerful and deeply moving masterpiece about love, partings and reconciliation -- and of the courage involved in living on nobody else's terms. Dublin, 1907. A young actress begins an affair with a damaged older man, the leading playwright at the theatre where she works. Outspoken and flirtatious, Molly Allgood is a Catholic girl from the slums of Dublin, dreaming of stardom in America. Her lover, John Synge, is a troubled genius, whose life is hampered by convention and by the austere and God-fearing mother with whom he lives. Their affair, sternly opposed by friends and family, is quarrelsome, affectionate and tender. 

Many years later, Molly, now a poverty-stricken old woman, makes her way through London's bomb-scarred city streets, alone but for a snowdrift of memories. Her once dazzling has faded but her unquenchable passion for life has kept her afloat.

Started this week:

Lyrics Alley
From the book  jacket:

Lyrics Alley is the evocative story of an affluent Sudanese family shaken by the shifting powers in their country and the near-tragedy that threatens the legacy they've built for decades.
In 1950's Sudan, the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune through their trading firm. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, they can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud's son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to the business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, the family stands divided in the face of an uncertain future. As British rule nears its end, the country is torn between modernizing influences and the call of traditions past—a conflict reflected in the growing tensions between Mahmoud's two wives: the younger, Nabilah, longs to return to Egypt and escape "backward-looking" Sudan; while Waheeba lives traditionally behind veils and closed doors. It's not until Nur asserts himself outside the cultural limits of his parents that his own spirit and the frayed bonds of his family begin to mend.
Moving from Sudanese alleys to cosmopolitan Cairo and a decimated postcolonial Britain, this sweeping tale of desire, loss, despair, and reconciliation is one of the most accomplished portraits ever written about Sudanese society at the time of independence.

Thirsty Tuesday - Atlantic Beach, NC

I took this photo but we didn't venture into the tavern, loved the name!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Finds

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS is hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.

Found over at In The Next Room.

Scored at the timeshare book exchange.
The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3)

Also found at the timeshare book exchange.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cooking Tips

Use the leftover condiments that are too good to throw out. Add water or stock to them and use in soups, meat loafs or even pour over a roast.

Need a seasoning for a stir fry? Use Italian bottled salad dressing.

Ends of vegetables go into a baggie to add to soups. Even cooked vegetables such as leftover mashed potatoes can be saved to be used and as an added bonus they thicken the soup.

Use a turkey carcass to make the stock for the next holiday dinner. It cuts down on the work on the day and makes for a much tastier gravy.

Fruit flies? Put some apple cider vinegar into a bowl. Cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Punch a few holes into the top of the wrap with a knife and set it near to where you are having the fruit fly problem. 

Stale bread makes great croutons. Mix the stale cut up bread with various flavoured oils and some garlic and roast. They can them be frozen.

Storing flour in the freezer keeps the bugs out if you have the room.

Put a bay leaf in an opened bag of flour - it will keep the bugs away.

Use plastic drink bottles as handy dispensers for frozen items. When freezing chopped green onions, put them into an old water bottle that you’ve washed, and use a permanent marker to label the bottle cap with the contents. Freeze. To use, simply remove the cap, shake out just as much as you need, replace the cap and return to the freezer. The clear bottle allows you to quickly see what’s inside, and shaking things out of a bottle is faster than spooning them out of a freezer container. 

A crockpot is a great way to serve something at a buffet. I always take mine to my sister's for Christmas dinner. I make the mashed potatoes ahead of time and then use the crockpot to heat them up and serve.

When using eggs it helps to bring them to room temperature. But if you haven't planned in advance then there is a quick tip to help; you can put the eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to gently take off the chill out.

Freeze a lemon if you are going to need grated lemon peel for a recipe, it is much easier.

AND for cleaning up:
Spray Cleaner

1 16 oz empty spray bottle
2 T white vinegar
3 drops of liquid dish washing soap

Fill bottle with water almost to the top, add vinegar and liquid soap. Top with spray assembly, secure tightly. Turn bottle over about 10 times to mix the vinegar and liquid soap with the water without creating suds.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Words - Hawaii Pidgin

akamai (ah-kah-MY). Smart, intelligent. Actual Hawaiian word as well. Dat Jimmy Boy plenny akamai. He wen mek one computah.
anyJust coasteeng, bruddah! kine (enee kyne) . Anything. No listen to dat tita, she sayany kine, brah.
an den (en den). What's up or expression of boredom. An den? Coasteeng, brah, how you?

brah. Brother. Eh, brah, get one nuddah beer?
brok da mout. Broke the mouth. Absolutely delicious. Ho, Tutu's malasadas so ono, brok da mout.
bruddah, braddah. See brah.

da kine. The kind. The ultimate pidgin phrase. Can mean virtually anything. 1)Eh, you get any da kine? 2)Ho, brah, dat's da kine. 3) She wen da kine foa get da kine foa da kine.
da cute. Oh how precious! Did you see Pua's new keiki? Da cute!
foa. For, used in place of "to". Easy foa say, hahd foa do.
geev 'um. Give them. Go for it. Ho, look at Waltuh Boy on dat beeg wave. Eh,geWot? You one lobstah?ev 'um, brah!
grind. To eat. So what you like grind? We no moa da kine. No worries, brah, I grind any kine.
hana hou. Once more, again. Chee, LaVerne, do dat hana hou!
haole (HOW-lay). Person of Anglo persuasion. Another actual Hawaiian word.Can be 
lolo. The antithesis of akamai. Not smart. Dat Junior, he so lolo he wen call Dwayne one mahu an he wen crack him. Now Junior stay all bus up.

moke (rhymes with coke). A very big, very local Hawaiian. See Dwayne in definition of lolo.

ono (OH-no). Actual Hawaiian word, meaning delicious. In pidgin can also mean several other things. Ho, Junior, look at dat Charlene. She so ono, yeah?
pau (pow). Actual Hawaiian word, used constantly, meaning finished or done.Chee, I thought you pau already!
pau hana (pow HAH-nah). Another actual Hawaiian phrase. Means after work. Also after work drink. Junior wen bus up his truck. Get too many pau hana.Local style
slippah (SLEE-pah). Thong, slipper. Chee, I wen bus my new slippah in dat puka.

Mauna Loa Strip Road Adventure - Big Island of Hawaii

We started out yesterday for lunch in Volcano Village (will post later) and then decided, on impulse to visit the Volcano National Park (also another post).

There wasn't any parking at the Lava Tube so we decided to head back to the condo.
As we passed the road for Mauna Loa we decided to take it.

It's a nice drive up with nenes spotted.

The drive is 13 miles at 15 miles an hour. After 3 miles it becomes a one lane road. 
Once at the top there are two cars also parked. 

The most interesting view from the lookout is towards the Volcano National Park where the steam is escaping from the crater.

Time to head down as it is around 4pm and it will be totally dark by 6pm. Lots of koa trees line the road.

The road cuts through the lava.

As we wind around the bend, back on the 2 lane section of the road WOW!!!

 The ranger arrives shortly after we call 911
 Examining the top of the downed tree with the ranger. It had lots of growth and buds on the top of it.

Road crew arrives around 6:15PM and it is pitch dark. In the interest of safety they say that they will come back at 6AM and get it cleared by 10am.

The road crew takes one couple into Volcano where they are staying. The four of us get into the ranger car and he takes us into Volcano where we hope there will be rooms available at the Kailua Lodge. They don't have rooms available but the manager makes a call to another lodge that does have a holiday home available. The ranger points out that the four of us are not travelling together and he has a better idea.

He takes us to the Kailua Military Camp KMC which he explains is for the use of the military and their families to while visiting Hawaii.
He gets us checked in and we get a rate of $66 a night. He then takes us to our rooms while pointing out the various buildings. He suggests we go to the Lava Lounge where we can get beer and food.

We take his suggestion and head over to the Lava Lounge under an inky black sky full of stars. The other couple from California join us and we then engage in conversation with some Scots that were staying there.

We we get up this morning we were able to walk around and get some photos and breakfast at the Crater Rim Cafe.

We called the ranger station and were told they had not yet completed moving the tree but would let us know. Imagine, to our surprise our ranger from last night, Andrew drove up to our room!! It was only 9:30am and the tree had been cleared. He took us back to our cars and we were on our way.

 We're amazed at the cleanup job done by the crew. The tree is now on the side of the road. Andrew explains that they will move the wood to another spot to prevent poaching of the koa wood as it is used for making furniture. He thinks the park services may give some of it to artisans in the area for carving.