Photo by Christine Rand

From Hawaii, Sweet Hawaii

Photo by Christine Rand

Our week in Kona is flying by all too quickly.  I want to stretch out the days like taffy, savoring every sweet, warm, barefoot moment.

We haven’t been too ambitious.  I can appreciate a vigorous, action-packed vacation, but this is definitely not that sort.

However, between lazing around on the patio or the couch, in the bar, and by the pool, we have found time for a few excursions.  We did go parasailing, something I have long wanted to do. And I made a trip into town with Michael’s mother and sister, to the farmer’s market in Kailua-Kona.

I love farmer’s markets.  At home, I do the rounds of my regular egg, meat, and cheese vendors, then wander around making impulse buys of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and flowers.  In Seattle, we’re just finishing up plum season, and the market is full of apples.

At the Kailua-Kona farmer’s market,  there were no animal products to be found.  But the profusion of tropical fruits, vegetables, and flowers were stunning.  There was a garden of eden quality to all of this lush ripeness.

At home, I would be bundled up in a sweater or maybe even a raincoat, as I move from one individual stall to the next.  Here, shorts and flip flops are de rigueur , and all of the vendors are clustered under a big series of tents, circus-style, to shield their wares from the sun.

But farmer’s markets are the same everywhere in that the vendors are proud of their produce, ready to chat and offer advice and samples.  I quickly filled my bag with vegetables.  The fruit vendor sold me some starfruit, then threw in a handful of rambutan for good measure.

The Akaka Falls Farms man lured us in, like the proverbial flies to the honey pot.  He offered so many samples of local jams and honeys that my taste buds nearly went on strike.  I came away with a jar of Tahitian Lime Ginger Jelly, while Christine and Elaine bought approximately a quadrillion jars of various jellies and exotic honey between them.

Stir fry is one of the key dishes in my repertoire.  At least once a week, I like to mix up whatever combination of vegetables, protein, and grains happen to be on hand.   With the booty from the farmer’s market, Michael and I whipped up a sweet, savory shrimp stir fry, Kona-style.

Kona Stir Fry

(serves 4-6)

  • 25 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ tsp butter or oil
  • 8-10 mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into ½ inch rounds
  • 1 each: red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • ½ cup Tahitian Lime Ginger Jelly
  • 1.5 cups quinoa

Bring three cups water to a boil.  Add quinoa, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Or cook in rice cooker.

Meanwhile, sauté shrimp in a large saucepan or skillet over low heat.  Remove from heat and cover when the shrimp look nearly, but not quite done.  They should still be translucent in places.

Over high heat, Saute vegetables in batches to avoid overcrowding, starting with the mushrooms.  Add a splash of water if needed while cooking, to keep vegetables from burning.  As each batch of vegetables becomes crisp-tender, transfer them to the covered skillet with the shrimp.  Finish with the peppers, to prevent them from overcooking.  Toss the shrimp-vegetable mixture with lime ginger jelly and serve over quinoa.

*****

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7 thoughts on “From Hawaii, Sweet Hawaii

  1. Velva

    Looks like a great vacation. Stir-fry looks really good. There may be a lot of fried food but, there is plenty of fresh seafood to enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing your travel with us.

    Reply
  2. Monet

    How lovely. I wish I could transport me and my family to Hawaii now…we could use some relaxation and rejuvenation after such a trying time. One of my favorite parts of traveling is visiting farmer’s markets. Thanks for sharing these great ones! Have a lovely day tomorrow!

    Reply
  3. Amber

    Wowee! My husband is in Hawaii right now for work while I’m here at home drooling over your story. He was complaining about all the fried food he’s found, but now I’ll have to tell him about the farmers’ market–and to bring me home a star fruit. I love those! What gorgeous photos!! And I LOVE the opening line to this story… stretching the days like taffy. Wonderful analogy! :)

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      It does seem like there is a lot of fried food in Hawaii, Amber. But if your husband likes fish tacos, he’s definitely in the right place!

      Reply

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