Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Equinox!

We had a great day on the Spring Equinox this year.... can't say it's feeling particularly "springy"! Celebrating the seasons is sure different when living closer to the equator. The hours of day and night don't change a whole lot and there aren't 4 definite seasons to mark. But we've been continuing to celebrate Solstice and Equinox regardless!

We started our Equinox celebration with an amazing morning at Papohaku beach. There were millions of shells on the beach that day and we had lots of fun collecting. It was a glorious, calm morning, with no wind and very low swell. This beach is usually very dangerous for swimming but that morning we stripped down and jumped in for a celebratory dip! It was bliss!

Collecting treasures from the sea.

John found this tiny little brittlestar among the shells... the first seastar we've seen washed up on the beach or under water. It was Bella's idea to write "Little Seastar" beside it! I love this photo!

Riding home from the beach. Bella rode down with John and Thor rode home.

Later that afternoon we hiked into the old tent camp and baked potatoes in the fire, swam in the ocean, checked out a huge monk seal, hung out on the beach and enjoyed a yummy dinner of potatoes and chili and other fixins', and a big fresh green salad. It felt very luxurious to be eating so well at a picnic on the beach!

A tired monk seal... they fish at night and sleep all day. 

Zara hanging out in a tree... taking in the view!

Enjoying a delicious dinner.

A great ending to a wonderful day. We hiked out with headlamps and everyone slept well!

This week has been full of "friend" time, much of it spent at the beach. Donna and I went for a great hike along the coast while her au pairs watched all the kids. What a treat! John and Mike hiked down to Kalaupapa for a day and really enjoyed that. Today we visited a macadamia nut farm, an old restored sugar mill and museum, and enjoyed our last meal together with lots of fresh food from the garden. We made tomato pies and a HUGE fresh green salad. It was a feast!

I made three pies tonight. This one got a bit toasty as the wood fire oven was very hot tonight, but they tasted divine! I LOVE this recipe! It is from my friend Heather and you can find it here. Almost everyone who tries this tomato pie wants the recipe! 

Donna whipped up this amazing basil vinaigrette that we've been enjoying since they got here. Little did I know the recipe was in my rebar book sitting my cabinet! If you have the rebar cookbook and haven't tried this one.... try it (page 20)! If you don't have the book, here's the recipe:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 oz. fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 cup olive oil

Combine all the ingredients, except oil, in a food processor and blend (we used our Vitamix). Slowly add olive oil in a slow, thin stream until thick and creamy.

This is definitely our new favorite salad dressing and makes our fresh greens taste even better! A good name for this dressing might be Green Goddess! It is heavenly!

Zara, Theresa, and Maren (the au pairs) are sleeping on the trampoline tonight under the stars. It's really windy tonight but they are cozy in thick sleeping bags. Tomorrow we'll have a swim with our friends and then say good-bye. In Hawaiian they say "a hui hou" - until we meet again. I like that much better than good-bye! Aloha!

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