Our last thanksgiving on these beautiful islands and I was determined to make it special and different. Our first year here was hard. We tried to make the holidays (without any family around) just like home and failed. Even though it was ok to have a small gathering and homemade German foods it is different when you sweat every time you look at your christmas tree. The second year we did exactly what we should have done and will repeat it this year. We met friends on Thanksgiving and celebrated Christmas Eve at the beach with a bbq and sunset.
Since some of our friends were gone this year for thanksgiving it almost didn’t happen. I didn’t want to cook for just as a large meal with foods imported to the islands. A few days later I had the brilliant idea to challenge myself of only preparing foods that were local to the Hawaiian Islands. It was still hard work but worth it.
Hawaii, while I am sad about its dependency on container ships and foods imported from the mainland does have a growing farming community. We are excited to be part of it with our weekly csa. We buy some of our meats at a local butcher who uses mainly meats from the islands. So while it is becoming more readily available (often for a higher price tag which I don’t understand since the transportation ways are shortened) I do support local farms with my purchases. Even when they are more expensive because I will notice it in flavor.
The food we had for our thanksgiving was:
Overnight marinated Niihau lamb
(marinade was lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and fresh oregano)
Lamb balls (my kids love them) with Niihau lamb
same marinade but omitted lemon juice
Big Island Pumpkin with Homemade Coconut milk and local ginger
Ma’o organic Farm Rainbow Chard
Big Island Beets in coconut milk and rosemary
Ma’o Organic Farm Oven roasted root vegetables
Big Island Okinawa sweet potato
Against All Grains Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie
Local Avocado Chocolate Pie
Natural GingerAle by Hubby (all Local)
Other than the garlic, coconut oil, a can of coconut milk (locally canned but not harvested), and the 100% chocolate bar everything was local.
All meals were also grain, sugar, and dairy free. We are not always dairy and grain free but do not use refined sugar in our home.
Thanksgiving was inspiring this year. The conversation with my son about local food, supporting farmers, and no big container ships who had to bring our food. Since watching a documentary about these container ships parked in Bangladesh to be taken apart and destructed I have hated our dependency on them even more. Our desire to eat whatever we want at all times hurts and destroys other people in poor countries. Something very important to think about this holiday season.
Lets eat local, shop local, or hand-make items yourself. Its an important message to give to your children and your community.
Mahalo Hawaii for lessons learned and delicious thanksgiving food.
Click here for images and inspiration on Part 2