These are the moments I live for.
When I moved from Colorado, 8 years ago, I spent a good year only thinking about it. Thinking about family, friends (that I knew I would never see or talk to again) and how strange Hawaii was and if I was going to make it. Then after a year, I started to call Hawaii my home. I settled in, let it take over me, full force. I started seeing myself- always being there, in that element, in that mind space, in that heart. Then, after my cupkeiki was born, we started wondering if it wouldn’t be better to expose her to our family. To move back to Colorado. Hawaii would always be there I thought, always be in my heart. Now I’m here, in Colorado, 8 months later and I’m missing it. I’m starving for sunshine, for salty air, for sandy toes for dense jungles and weeks of rain. I’m wishing I could watch my cupkeiki playing in the sand and water and learning the lifestyle too.
Isn’t it funny…
I had a hard time deciding, once again, how to approach the theme of this weeks weekly photo challenge, Forward. There are so many different interpretations that settling with one was difficult. Alas, I have these photos, how I see forward in my world. Enjoy!
The road to the back side of Waipio Valley on the Big Island. I loved the signs, and how I captured them. So many thoughts on Forward.
Taken at the Makapu’u Lighthouse on Oahu, or rather close by it.
A sunset shot at the Birthstones on Oahu. Light coming Forward, through the palms.
Driving Forward, past the pineapple fields on the North Shore, Oahu
Waves, during winter, moving forward into Sharks Cove, Oahu.
To go Forward in Diamond Head, you have to go up.
Looking Forward, past the lei that hangs on my mirror, atop Mauna Kea.
Looking Forward, across the North Shore, and Waimea Beach!
I’ve never been much of a granola fan…or at least I wasn’t up until about 8 months ago. I’d eat it here and there, but wasn’t ever really committed to it. Then I tried Udi’s granola and found myself in love with it. Over the summer I would eat it every morning with a bowl of yogurt. It was my go to breakfast; quick, easy, filling, nutritious…but unfortunately a little too pricey. Sometimes you have to pay to get the good stuff, I understand, but occasionally your wallet or bank account reminds you that sometimes you have to have your priorities, as far as food and shopping go, in check. So, what to do about my love for Udi’s but my wallet’s nagging? Go homemade, and fall in love with that.
I love making things from scratch. In fact there isn’t too much I don’t make from scratch, except chicken stock, which I use a lot of but just don’t have the patience to wait all day for a whole chicken to do it’s magic. Anyways, back to granola. I went on-line looking for recipes that looked easy and quick. I tried one that used baking soda instead of oil, but realized that I don’t actually care for the occasional bites of zing I would get from the soda. This morning I decided to give it another go, and turned to Jamie Olivers, Food Revolution cookbook for some inspiration.
Here is his recipe:
Makes enough to fill a large glass jar
2 cups quick oats (not instant)
1 heaped cup mixed nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts)
1/4 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, poppy, pumpkin, sesame)
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots)
5 Tbs maple syrup or honey
5 Tbs olive oil
To Prepare Granola:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put dry granola ingredients, including coconut and cinnamon but not the dried fruit on a sheet pan. Stir well and smooth out. Drizzle with the maple syrup and a little of the olive oil and stir again. Place the pan in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, every 5 minutes or so , take the granola out and stir it, then smooth it down and put it back in. While toasting, roughly chop up any large dried fruit. When granola is nice and golden remove it from the oven, mix in the dried fruit and let it cool down before placing in jar.
Here are my uses/additions/modifications:
I used dried cherries, cranberries and golden raisins for fruit,
cashews and almonds for nuts
poppy, sunflower and pumpkin for seeds
1 Tbs cinnamon (because I love cinnamon)
Honey instead of maple syrup
and a healthy sprinkle (yup, healthy sprinkle) of vanilla.
I didn’t really “measure” my fruits, nuts, seeds, oil, honey or vanilla. I just added to my taste. It smelled so good while baking, my mouth was watering and a friend of my brother in law told me it reminded him of when he was a child and his mother would make granola. I love food that makes memories, or brings back memories.
I didn’t mind that the mixture didn’t clump up. I’m really not a big fan of eating hard crunchy things, it sort of makes me cringe when I bite down and I imagine teeth shattering (don’t ask me why, it just happens.) I also like the oats loose, rather than clumped, because I mix a little into my cupkeiki’s yogurt in the mornings too.
I’m excited for tomorrow morning, I think I’m already in love just looking at the jar on my counter and all the “deliciousness” waiting to be tried!
Last weekend my cupkeiki and I made a trip out to my grandparents for an afternoon. My aunts came out, we had an early dinner and enjoyed catching up and spending time together. One of the highlights of the day were the lambs. Last year we attempted to get the babies together, that is lambs and my, at the time, 3 month old. It didn’t go well, there were lots of tears: https://cupkeiki.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/weekly-photo-challenge-my-2012-in-pictures/
This year, there was pure excitement. My cupkeiki couldn’t wait to get in the pen, she was pointing, and giggling and thrilled by the excitement. I think my grandparents were thrilled too, as they raise sheep and have been doing so since my father was little. It was also a little sad because my grandparents mentioned not raising sheep anymore, given the cost of hay and feed and the work that has to be done and the toll that it can take. I’ve mentioned that I’ve moved back to CO from Hawaii, so to me CO time sort of stopped when I left, and now I’m catching up and coming to several realizations about just where the time has gone, and how so much has changed in the last 8 years.
Trying to separate mama and baby
Once we had had enough of the cold, and lambs, we went inside and checked out all of grandmas instruments. I loved this picture of my grandma playing her guitar and my cupkeiki watching intently!
And here is the pair of them, in a rocking chair that my grandma has had since she was a little girl. I remember sitting in it as a little girl as well!
Usually, at dinner time I try to be creative with my food. I might glance at a few recipes for inspiration and then take off on my own culinary course. Last night I decided to follow a recipe that turned out to be a winner in everyone’s book. I decided to go out on a limb and make something I have always been intimidated by, meatballs. I guess I’m always afraid that my, oh lord I’m about to write this, balls will stick to the pan (I don’t know about those of you reading this but I’m cracking up over that sentence). Seriously though, I’m afraid I’ll end up with a mess every time I consider making them. But last night everything worked out perfectly! Hooray for happy meatballs! Everything came together really easy and I served bread on the side. I’m confident that I could do this again and have the same turnout, so thanks to Jaime Oliver for the no-fail recipe! Even my cupkeiki chowed down, and getting her to eat meat is tricky!
Check out the link to the recipe, and go and enjoy yourself some tasty meatballs!
So lately I think to myself, I’m going to get on the computer, I’m going to write, I’m going to…I’m going to…right. Life happens I guess. I’ve been busy. Trips to see family, a busy cupkeiki, a few colds….LIFE. Anyway, here I am trying to catch up on my thoughts, pictures, ideas, dreams.
My cupkeiki seems to be making lots of waves in the world lately. New words, faster feet, a newer need for stimulation and adventure. I love the challenge of course. I also love accepting that I don’t have one of those baby’s that is calm, can just go with the flow. No, I’ve got a headstrong little girl; which I’ve come to appreciate more so than ever lately. She doesn’t realize it of course, and sometimes I don’t realize it until the day is over, but she forces me to always be coming up with something new. There’s no repeat of anything. Not even for books. I can’t just re-read the same books over and over, I have to make the story new and interesting, despite what she already remembers. I have to find something creative to do with the pictures, or the toys or the kitchen utensils or her love for other people’s shoes and my clothes. I love that, and I love that she brings out the ultimate challenge in our daily life by being the amazing, determined, and stubborn girl that she is.
Have I got my hands full? You betcha’, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.