A warm hello, to whoever out there might still be reading!
I have been away for a long while and was away for a while before that it seems as well. I’ve come back to tell you all some tales of new adventures and turns my life has taken. There will still be vegan food, good vegan food, but more too.
Where and how do I begin to tell you? I was browsing through my last couple of posts, which date about a year ago around this time. I’m not sure if I included in any of those posts that I was recovering from a thyroidectomy and thyroid cancer.
I will save the details of my thyroid and health journey for another post, but I finally do feel ready to talk about it. An emotional rollercoaster, equipped with weight loss and gain, crises in energy, not wanting to cook, and so much more in between. It became hard to blog.
For this post however, I’d like to tell you a story about the last time I was on Maui.
It starts in May, 2016. It began with nothing unusual, other than I was still trying to get my wits and health about me after surgery (Feb 10, 2016). It had been a few months and I had remained mostly inactive during that time, trying to adjust to new doses of levothyroxine and my new life, post-cancer.
There I am on Maui. Enjoying the warm, but not-too-hot west Maui sun. Taking in morning and early evening rains of Kapalua and swooning over the white-blue glow of the Maui moon….untouched by light pollution, so bright that street lights and flashlights and other forms of artificial light have no place because the light of the moon is enough to guide you through the night. A true, blue beauty.
While I spend an above average amount of time visiting Maui and Hawaii, I never seem to run out of things to do, places to explore and kind faces to meet. On this particular trip, I wanted to be active….more active than I had been at home and traveling usually gives me a boost in energy.
I started this trip by driving the long, winding and dangerous road north of Kapalua. As treacherous as the famed Road to Hana, be watchful of falling rocks and oncoming vehicles. Lucky for me, I had the road all to myself.
I arrived in Kahakuloa, a tiny, sleepy town on the cliffs of Northwest Maui. I saw no one around and took peace in the solitude of that day. I pulled over at various points and explored. I found this beautiful, old church—which are generally common and well preserved throughout most of the islands.
And while there may not be many of my favorite things in season on the islands in May, there are a few standouts. I found a few Surinam cherry trees that whispered in my ear that they would be happy to spare some fruit. If you’ve never eaten a Surinam cherry, they are these beautiful, red, orange or some blend of firey color in between. They are sweet little morsels with a peppery finish to them and have the look of the smallest Cinderella pumpkins you’ve ever seen. They are a unique and rare treat and worth trying if you have the chance.
I finished my journey in Kahakuloa by stopping at a few roadside stands, the only two places where I saw people, to purchase a dark chocolate dipped frozen apple banana, a cool, sweet and healthy treat and a few jars of homemade lilikoi (passionfruit) jelly. If you venture this way yourself, don’t forget your cash.
I wanted to share a few other highlights from this trip before posting a more in depth post and recipe about a near 8-mile hike I did into Haleakala crater, completely out of shape, the first hike I tackled after cancer. It was a tough one, but well worth the time and effort (and company–I got to do it with old and new friends).
Until then, here are some of my favorite things I made/saw on this trip. All are inspired by Maui island’s beautiful and abundant seasonal produce. May always yields fresh mango from Yee’s and our tree in Kahana, strawberry papaya from Kumu Farms, apple bananas, cuban red bananas, eggfruit, and now I know Surinam cherries are also in season. Some favorites are notably missing, such as lilikoi, guava, breadfruit, mountain apples, starfruit, dragonfruit and few others.
Without further ramblings:
There are vegan offerings every where you turn on Maui. At one point, I should make an official guide for any interested parties. Everything is amazing.
I look forward to blogging more in the coming year. Please tune in for my next post about that hike I mentioned into Haleakala Crater. I will include a delicious recipe for Hawaiian Chik’n Vegetable Pot Pie (vegan, of course!).
If you’re still with me or one of my long-time readers, thanks for hanging in there.