Grocery shopping in Hawaii for the first time in months today was a deeply unpleasant shock. I had gotten rather used to Florida prices and even though the local Publix had a less-than-stellar selection, they at least devoted half an aisle to tasty organic healthy treats. Not so at our local Safeway and we can’t afford to shop at Times ($7! for milk!), but even their scattered Safeway Organic generics ran us $70 on a list of basics: bread, milk, some lunch meats, and basic produce. I need to work extra hard at finding local markets and better food source options; Hawaii is certainly bountiful, but I don’t see the focus on local and green options here like I did in Seattle and I think maybe I’m just not looking in the right places. But boy howdy, those Pacific Northwesterners take their locally grown organic food seriously.
The vendor selling these tasty little morsels in Pike Place had a fresh chocolate linguini to sample and a plethora of oils to try. While Tom stuffed Maggie senseless on bread dunked in truffle oil (and if there’s an allergy risk there, I don’t want to know about it) I tried it–good, not overpowering, but I wouldn’t put tomato sauce on it.
This bunch was only $20, but I was sure we’d have a tough time getting it into our bags and back to Hawaii unharmed. They take transporting vegetables into the islands rather seriously. I also had to sneak this photo on the sly from a tired vendor.
The sampler set at Granville Brewing Company in Vancouver; my favorite was the Maple Cream Ale. But that’s not even what I want to discuss, because Tom flew into Portland and spent a few days bumming around Oregon before he met us. Between his hostel and the few samplers we ordered from local breweries, he had over thirty different types of beer during his trip. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT A BABY. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to shout. I’m just so…sober.
Equally preposterous are the size of the locally grown berries. In Maine we had black raspberry bushes around the edge of my grandparents’ house and the berries were delicious, but really no bigger than a pencil eraser. These fat bastards were veritable ping-pong balls of fruity delight.
These babies were smaller, but adorable. D’awwww….who’s a good little currant? You are, you ARE.
These might not have been locally made (although their menu stressed when things were) but Guu With Garlic was an incredible spot to take Maggie for her first foray into Japanese noodles. Her intake of the noodles wasn’t exactly a slurp; it was closer in sound and intensity to the pneumatic tubes at the bank. Whoosh!
Obviously, she loved it. She also had one more huge milestone…
Maggie + taro dumplings + chopsticks = An enormously proud day for Team Monkey
Now I’m hungry again, dammit. I’ll just have to enjoy one of my $3 Hawaiian apples and the bananas from Guatemala.