A: We are not going to go around my house anymore. We’re going up to Haleakala. Do you still want to come?
L: For sure.
A: Okay, wear layers and bring water.
That was a paraphrased conversation between me and my wonderful friend who lives on Maui. Originally, we were going to hike near her house in upcountry Maui, but last minute, plans changed and it turned into a group hike up on Haleakala.
If you’re not familiar with the islands, Haleakala (means House of the Sun) is Maui’s massive, sleeping volcano. At the summit, you are transported to another world. You might think you were suddenly on Mars, from the vibrant orange-red rock and dirt that surrounds the very top of the crater. When you look out, you cannot see the ocean. You cannot see the rest of Maui. There are the fluffiest, puffiest, most pillowy white clouds as far as the eye can see. The only plant you’re likely to find is the silversword if you can even spot that at the summit.
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.
Yesterday I landed back on my favorite island, Maui. In the week leading up to my departure I was suddenly inspired to make a few Hawaiian themed dishes, all which you’ve seen if you’ve been following me on Instagram. It’s early in the morning here and the sun is just starting to rise. There are birds singing their morning songs and I felt inspired to come to this space to share a recipe with you.
The Portuguese began their immigration to Hawaii in the late 1800’s to work on sugarcane plantations. They brought many delights with them, most notably the malasada, but also comforting recipes like this bean stew. Traditionally, it’s laden with meat and ham hocks and things, but this vegan version is just as hearty and more delicious without the animal parts. 🙂 You will find many versions of this recipe–some Hawaiian versions incorporate macaroni pasta, carrots and many use red kidney beans over white. I like this version, but feel free to add what sounds good to you.
I know it’s been so long since I’ve shared in this space regularly. In an attempt to get back into it, I’m posting some pictures of various tropical/Hawaiian inspired dishes I made in the last year. I hope you enjoy this photo dump until I’m back with a recipe.
On my last visit to Maui, there was a flood. A rather large flood, in my house. Something, I’m still unsure, happened upstairs and sent tons if water through the ceiling and walls. It was a disaster of sorts.
But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about how I was so overwhelmed, I needed a trip to this magical cacao farm where beautiful little baby cacao trees are on their way to being big and to one day, make chocolate.