Aloha!

DSC_4996 by rosebuttons
DSC_4996, a photo by rosebuttons on Flickr.

This is the view from the balcony of our condo in Maui. We arrived on Saturday, after a relaxing six hours in first class: I had a crab omelette with hollandaise sauce and Matt had a couple of mai tais.

We are in south Kihei, on Maui, for the week. On Sunday went to our first luau, which was awesome. I admit that I waffled a bit when booking it and even had some last minute doubts…I mean, I have wanted to do a luau ever since our last trip to Hawaii (ok, ever since seeing the Brady Bunch in Hawaii episodes) but as I started reading the descriptions I realized it involved a lot of things that us misanthropes with social anxiety don’t like: shared tables, group seating, buffets, group participation… BUT I decided to go for it anyway. We chose Old Lahaina Luau after some careful investigation: it was highly rated in the guide book, it was not particularly family friendly, and it was supposed to be the most authentically traditional.

And it was so much fun! Everyone was so happy and relaxed that it was impossible to be annoyed with people or even to notice crowds. They gave us flower leis and mai tais as we entered, and that was challenge enough for me: “I dare you NOT to have a good time.” And so I did. I thoroughly enjoyed my mai tai and my lava flow, we took cheesy pictures posing with tiki statues, and we filled up on kalua pig, ahi poke, grilled chicken, and so much more. The other folks at our table were polite and friendly without being nosy or overbearing. I highly recommend going to a luau, especially this one.

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Pre-cooking

The meatballs are baking in the oven and the steel-cut oats are soaking on the stove top. The Moroccan chicken is simmering in the slow cooker and I just tucked the tuna noodle casserole into their aluminum-foil beds and put them in the freezer for a long sleep. No, I’m not recreating Old Country Buffet in the kitchen, this is my variant on the Once a Month Cooking that I’ve been trying out for a couple of months. September’s OAMC was kind of a bust…I don’t think I made enough recipes, and a couple of the recipes just didn’t freeze or reheat well (freezing Asian cole slaw? I should have known better). Since I was sick last week and we’re going to Hawaii for a week at the end of October, I wasn’t really feeling up to the commitment of a $300 grocery shop and a 10-hr day in the kitchen. So, I threw the Moroccan chicken in the slow cooker, mixed up a couple of tuna casseroles (baked one for dinner tonight, froze the other), baked some buffalo meatballs in the oven (to be served with tomato sauce and spaghetti squash later this week), and now there’s a pot of steel-cut oats soaking overnight. About 4 hours in the kitchen total, but we’ve got dinner for the week. Matt’s grumbling about the pile of dishes in the sink but I reminded him that he’ll be grateful later this week since there’ll be minimal clean-up after each of these pre-cooked meals. We’re such early dinner-eaters that by the time I get home around 5:30, I don’t have the time to cook a meal from scratch. Last week was a dismal failure of planning, as evidenced by a stop at the grocery store on the way home 3 out of 5 evenings. Hopefully I did a better job planning and prepping this week!