Yep. I am the kind of person who cooks on vacation. Especially if I am anywhere near a kitchen. Does that make me odd? I don’t think so. I think food is the quickest way to understand a new culture, so why not immerse myself in it.
Some people like to plop their butts down on the beach. And that’s just fine. I love the beach. But I love understanding a place just as much as vegetating in a place– so, as I said, I get into in the kitchen whenever I can.
To be fair this was not really a vacay kind of vacation. Because we are visiting friends who recently moved to Kona, HI. These friends like to eat and like to cook. So any time we spend together usually involves food and cooking. Oh yeah, and the card game Hearts. But, hey that’s just the kind of friends we are.
So, since I knew I was going to be in Hawaii and I knew I was going to be cooking I decided to bring my “A” game.
So one night late in our trip as I was laying in bed, I realized I had been awakened by an intoxicatingly sweet fragrance. Keep in mind this is Hawaii sweet aromas define the night air on the Big Island. I managed to drift fragrantly back to sleep, but I awoke the next morning hungry, happy and inspired to cook.
It’s no secret that I love to visit Farmers Markets. When I am at home you are sure to find me most Sundays at the Hollywood Farmers Market searching for something fresh and local to feature in my weekly Market Matters post.
It’s a hard habit to break. Even on vacation. I am on the Big Island of Hawaii and thought I’d do my Market Matters post from here. I know that this is the farm belt of these islands. Much of the local produce for all of Hawaii is grown right here. So it was not hard to find a Farmers Market. In fact there are many, many Farmers Markets on this island.
We chose to make the 3-hour drive from Kona to Hilo with the sole purpose of visiting one of the best of the markets in all the islands. The big market happens every Wednesday and Saturday and it’s worth a stop when visiting Hawaii.
We decided to sneak in a volcano hike while we were on the road. We chose the 4-mile Kilauea Iki (little Kilauea) trail. It follows the rim of the smaller crater on Kilauea which was created in 1959 by a very dramatic blast of lava that shot 1900 feet into the air filling the new crater with molten lava and forming a hot lava lake. The lava has mostly cooled now and it’s safe to walk across the crater. So we did!