Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monday on Kauai

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Arising early on Monday morning, we took a different direction on our beachfront walk, which took us to Poipu beach where we scanned the ocean to see whales spouting in the distance and large sea turtles bobbing in the waves. When we returned, Randi and I cooked a delicious large breakfast, which consisted of omelets with sauteed mushrooms of various types, scallions, basil, and cheddar cheese; fried brown rice with eggs, string beans and onions; plum tomato slices with fresh sliced mozzarella, basil and olive oil; guacamole; fresh sliced papaya with lime wedges; fresh rambutan; buttered toasted spelt bread with local mango jam; orange and guava juice, fresh-brewed coffee, and local mango and passionfruit (known here as lillikoi) tea. The food is an exotic embarrassment of riches.

After breakfast, dressed for the beach, we headed over to Koloa Town for their regular Monday farmer's market. Planning to drop some of us at the beach, we all wound up at the farmer's market because it began to rain as we opened the car doors at Poipu. A few miles away, by the time we reached the market, the rain had subsided. Along with a few hundred others, we arrived shortly after they opened and were glad we did. We did not realize how quickly the exotic produce and flowers would be snapped up. In our effort to check out what was available at the couple of dozen stands before purchasing, we lost out on a few items which disappeared within minutes. The one item that disappeared immediately and disappointed Saul was fresh pink guavas, which he remembers from his childhood. Outside his home in Tel Aviv, his father had planted a guava tree that we visited many years ago. We purchased a beautiful bouquet of exotic flowers for $5.00. We also managed to bag a fruit known as cinnamon kiwi or chiku, and fruits that were round and dark purple that were called cream apples, star apples or cainito. I also purchased a large fruit that I have been reading about for years, but have never tasted called a mamey sapote.

We dropped the produce off at the condo and headed over to Baby beach which connects with Poipu beach. Within 20 minutes of setting up camp on the beach, the short-lived sunshine again turned to needle-cold rain and Randi took cover under a large scarf while the guys cavorted in the waves, heedless of the inclement weather. When Ken and Larry returned, we decided to head home, leaving Saul and Ari on the beach for an additional half hour. Then, en route, we decided to pick up additional supplies for dinner at a local grocery store, including beautiful baking potatoes to accompany the previous-day's tuna that we were planning to grill on the barbecue outside our condo, sour cream, coconut tapioca pudding, and Kauai honey. As we arrived to retrieve Saul and Ari as planned, the sun returned, and we all again set up our chairs on the beach. Shortly before we decided to leave, Saul, sadly, discovered that he had lost his gold wedding band in the surf. It had been loose since we began dieting, and he had forgotten to remove it before going into the water. I suppose if he manages to lose the amount of weight he intends, his increased good health will compensate for the sadness of the loss of his ring. When we returned, Saul, Ari and I spent an hour in the lava rock waterfall hot tub before showering and beginning preparations for our tuna dinner.

The tuna was as fresh as advertised. I made a marinade from the calamanci augmented by other ingredients that was superlative. Our tuna loin was among the most delicious I have ever eaten, expertly grilled by Ken to perfect rare doneness as we sliced into it at the table. The potatoes which I purchased earlier, Randi rubbed with olive oil and sea salt and they were fluffy and baked to creamy perfection, dressed with sour cream and minced shallot. I made hollandaise to accompany gorgeous artichokes that Randi had purchased their first day here. I showed Ari and Randi how to trim them and we steamed them with fresh lemon. I had made a sauce for the tuna from orange marmalade and hot sweet mustard, but no one used it because it would have masked the incredible flavor of the tuna. The soup I had made the first day with chard, beet greens and leftover Champagne was even better after it was reheated. We capped this incredible dinner off with leftover cheesecake and coffee. Again, we all tried valiantly to stay up late and socialize, but I think we were all asleep by 10:00 p.m.

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