Maui, Hawaii

Tag: Hawaiian food

Upcountry Farmer’s Market and hot sauce

I’ve been meaning to check out the upcountry farmer’s market for a while now. It’s a Saturday morning event, I’m not sure what time it starts, but do know that it ends around 11AM. My mission – to replenish my stock of HI Spice hot sauce.

Yes, HI (the abbreviation for Hawaii) Spice hot sauce is locally made small batch hot sauce. The owners live in Kihei, their commercial kitchen is in Wailuku (as a side note – I’ve picked up from their kitchen before – it smells divine). You can buy their sauce online and at a few local stores – the Maui Tropical Plantation has it, as does 808 Bistro in Kihei, and I’m told someone at the Shops at Wailea carries it too… but it’s cheaper when you can buy direct ($10 vs $15 at the stores).

Upcountry Farmer’s Market
Saturday morning upcountry farmer’s market

From Kihei the drive will take about 40 minutes. When you come up the Haleakala Hwy, continue on the highway until the Long’s Drugs intersection (just past Carden and King Kekaulike high school). Turn right, then take your first left and find parking. The farmer’s market takes place in a parking lot past and to the right of Long’s. There is some street parking, an empty field. Please don’t park in the store parking lot.

This upcountry farmer’s market is different from the ones in Kihei. Yesterday there were 40+ vendors, many claiming to sell organic or no-spray fruits and veggies. You can buy orchids, hot foods, kombucha and many other foods and drinks I’ve never heard of. You will also find more eclectic vendors – a few years ago there was a ‘Gothic’ veggie stand, yesterday two younger men had a Temple foods stand. I still wonder how one raises Gothic vegetables, but maybe I don’t want to know.

Yesterday I was a woman on a mission, with little time to spare. I found the HI Spice stand and bought five bottles of my favorite hot sauce. They have various kinds but my favorite is their Smoke Scorpion hot sauce. If you like hot sauce, you’ve got to give it a try! Yum.

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Imu roasted turkey – Hawaiian style!

Thanksgiving really snuck up on us this year. Last week I realized Thanksgiving was just around the corner and thought – the last thing I want to do is babysit a turkey in the oven. Then a friend posted about her school’s Hawaiian studies fundraiser – an opportunity to have imu-roasted turkey!

imuWhat is an imu? An imu is a temporary underground oven where you cook meat underground. The students dug a large pit by hand in one corner of the school property. Then they built a fire with local kiawe wood, surrounded by (porous) lava rock. Once the rocks are red hot and the fire burned down, they spread spread out the rocks, lay banana tree stalks and leaves on it. They placed the foil-wrapped meat packs on top of that, covered them with banana leaves, wet guinea-sacks, and finally with a tarp. Then the tarp was weighed down along the edges with dirt to help keep the heat in and other things out.

Here are the instructions we received:

Please deliver pans between 400 -700 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.  The imu is located near the upper soccer field.  We have a staging area behind the backstop.  We plan to close the imu at 8:00pm on Wednesday night and open Thursday morning 8:30-9:00 a.m.  Here are some instructions for preparing the turkey.

imu1.     Thaw Turkeys.  You can put the turkeys in the fridge on Sunday night. If not, you may thaw turkey in a cooler on Monday and leave in there until the turkey thaws and prepare turkey on Wednesday afternoon.

2.     Put turkeys in a heavy-duty disposable aluminum pan (the ones with handles makes it easier to handle).

3.     Season turkey to your liking.  For example, rub Hawaiian salt all over the bird including the inside.  Next, rub oyster sauce all over the bird including the inside. Again, seasoning is up to your taste. There are many ways to prepare the turkey.  Hawaiian salt is the most common.  Last year we attempted a vinha dʻalhos turkey.  We donʻt recommend this type of turkey for the imu.

4.     Double wrap the whole pan in aluminum foil.

5.     Bring pan to the imu. Weʻll tie string and identify the pans with a name tag.

6.     Arrive Thursday morning 9:00-1030 a.m. to pick up turkeys at same location.

rainbow

It was pouring rain on the drive upcountry yesterday, but I was rewarded by beautiful rainbows. I dropped off my turkey, then this morning I drove up and arrived just in time for the imu to be unearthed. I sure enjoyed it.

turkeys for imu
Labeling turkeys before they go in the imu.
imu
The imu had a tent over it, just in case it started raining.
imu
Uncovering the imu, one layer at a time.
imu
Banana leaves under the guinea sacks
imu
Turkeys underneath the banana leaves
Imu-roasted turkeys waiting for pick-up
imu
My turkey after its imu-experience

 

How is our turkey? It is amazing! The turkey is a little smokey and has a slightly different flavor – I imagine from the banana leaves. The meat just falls right off the bones. Yum!

My unpacked turkey – it smelled so good and was so tender
imu
Our carved turkey. I placed it in the fridge and will re-heat it at dinner time
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October’s events on Maui

Can you believe it’s already October? This year continues to fly by. Here are a few October’s events to check out if you are here this month.

October's events
the pumpkin patch at Kula Country Farms is open
Kula Country Farms

Their annual pumpkin patch is open again! They also have a small corn maze and farm-style mini-golf course. Check out their facebook page for more details. They are usually closed on Sunday – not sure about the schedule during pumpkin season. This is also a great opportunity to buy yummy locally grown fruit and vegetables!

95th Annual Maui County Fair

This year’s fair is October 5-8 at the fair grounds in Kahului. It starts off with the annual parade Thursday late afternoon, and then is open Thursday and Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday all day/evening. The orchid show is supposed to be amazing. And then of course there are rides, food and much more…

Moonlight Mele Concert

This Hawaiian music concert is hosted by the Maui Historical Society at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. Admission is only $5 per person, children 12 and under are free.

12th Annual Ukulele Festival

October 14-15 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Festival. I have friends who go every year – it sounds like a lot of fun!

Maui Marathon

This takes place October 15th. Watch out for runners on the road between Kahului and Kaanapali!

Halloween Haunted House of Horror

This must be a new event – starting October 20th and running through Halloween in the old Hard Rock Cafe space at the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina. Don’t forget to get your parking validated when you buy something at the Outlets!

Halloween in Lahaina

This is an annual event that takes place on Front Street in Lahaina. Yes, there are shuttle buses that run between Kihei and Lahaina, so look into that and get your tickets  (for the bus) early. The event itself is free.

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Sig’s favorite upcountry drive

My hunny loves to go for an upcountry drive. In fact, we used to go about four times a year – every time we had company visiting us. Finally I stopped going – it’s a beautiful day trip. It’s just – well, it takes up a good chunk of my day 🙂

Today we went for his favorite upcountry drive as a family. It was drizzling as we left our house – that seemed a bit ominous since our ultimate destination, Ulupalakua Ranch is just 3 or 4 miles above Kihei/Wailea. And sure enough, it rained lightly for the majority of our day. But it was still a beautiful drive and fun family day!

upcountry drive
agapanthus in bloom at Maui’s winery

We drove from Kihei to Kahului, taking Hansen Road by the old Sugar Cane Factory to Hana Hwy and then continuing up Haleakala Hwy (which becomes Kula Hwy). We drove all the way to Grandma’s Coffee House where we took a little detour to a side road to drive by Oprah’s house (well, one of them I’m sure). Then back down to Grandma’s Coffee, a little detour to where Oprah’s private road down to Kihei starts (no, you can’t drive it – there are several locked gates). Then we continued to Ulupalakua Ranch

Our destinations….
upcountry drive
the Ulupalakua General Store – our favorite lunch destination

Ulupalakua Ranch‘s General Store is one of our favorite places to eat. They grill burgers to order made from their own meat. There’s something about eating fresh burgers at Ulupalakua.

Then we walked across the street to Maui Winery. Two reasons – the bathrooms are over there (the burgers were a little juicy) and a wine tasting. I picked up a case of their Mele red wine. They have a brand new wine – the Kula which according to their website is a rose white wine. It was really good. Be sure to check out ‘The King’s Room’ in the tasting house which tells some of the 150+ year history of this famous Maui ranch.

upcountry drive
agapanthus bloom bursting out of its bud

Next we headed back to Grandma’s Coffee House for some coffees and carrot cake. They roast their own coffee, make great sandwiches and have delicious baking.

This time we passed Kula Field’s farm stand, turned left on Oma’opio Road (a VERY winding road) and slowly followed it down to the Surfing Goat Dairy and Ocean Vodka (right next door).

Curious – go for a drive! See a part of Maui you didn’t think you’d find!

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The Grand Wailea Luau

We have had family visiting which is always fun! They wanted to go to a luau, so I put my research cap on to figure out which of Maui’s luaus we should attend.

There are several – in Wailea there are two, offered at the Wailea Marriott and Grand Wailea. On the West side there are several in Lahaina and Kaanapali: the Old Lahaina Luau, Feast of Lele, Drums of the Pacific and Royal Lahaina Luau (Hyatt).

Another option, if you are looking for the cultural story (and not the dinner), is the Ulalena – which is like a musical and indoors in a theatre. I highly recommend it – it is very good.

luau
sunset at the Grand Wailea luau

According to Tripadvisor, the Old Lahaina Luau ranks best. However, if you are staying in Kihei or Wailea, that’s a good 45-60 minute drive away if traffic is moving. That highway between Maalaea and Lahaina can get really backed up, and it’s just one lane each direction, so if there’s an accident, you could be a lot longer. Add the drive to the fact that drinks are included in the ticket price, you’ve got to figure that many drivers will have been drinking as you drive back to your condo (Maui County has strict don’t drink and drive rules, btw).

Grand Wailea luau

We let our visiting family choose, and they chose the Grand Wailea luau. Perfect. We got our tickets online at Costco.com (just do a luau search and it comes up). They email you confirmation numbers for each ticket, then you call the Grand Wailea and make the reservations. Children tickets (12 and under) you get a discounted rate directly at the Grand Wailea when you make reservations.

The food was good, show was fun, yes, there’s an imu pit with a pig roasting in it. Is it the most authentic experience? No. But in truth, none of the luaus are authentic. Authentic would be a feast with friends and family, not a commercial event. But, it’s fun and a nice way to spend an evening.

luau
Uncovering the imu pit with the roast pig

 

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The new Coconuts restaurant in Kihei

Coconuts
one of the amazing fish tacos at Coconuts

If you’ve been to Maui before, you may have been to the small (but good) Coconuts Fish Cafe in Azeka plaza. They have the best fish tacos – at least in my humble opinion. I think what really makes it is the mango on top. Yum.

A few months ago they opened a second location in South Kihei’s Kamaole Plaza. This is a strip mall across from Kamaole II beach. The old Denny’s used to be in here. This shopping plaza also has a Whaler’s Village, the Cinnamon bun place (yum), Maui Ocean Arts (a really neat artisan souvenir shop), the Nail Bar, an ice cream store etc. etc. This strip mall is next to Rainbow Plaza (home of Cafe o Lei).

Coconuts
Inside the new restaurant

Yesterday we had two condo check-ins. After doing some land-lordy things at our Palms at Wailea condo (involving a screw driver and the shower drain – I’ll leave it at that), I treated my son to lunch at Coconuts. He’s not much of a fish lover and had the burger (meh). I of course had the fish tacos which were fabulous (you get two).

Unlike the Azeka location, this new Coconuts is huge with lots of its cool surfboard tables. While Azeka is usually packed and you have to wait for and share a table, this location was half empty. So if you’re craving Coconuts fish flavors, come here! They are also open for breakfast (with a separate breakfast menu).

After lunch we stopped at the Cinnamon bun fair (downstairs) for desert straight out of the oven (cash only store)!

Coconuts
cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven
Recognize this guy?

Then over to our Kihei Surfside condo to change out some towels and prep it for our arriving guests. Guests at Kihei Surfside will recognize the turtle statue next to the oceanfront pool. He’s prepped and ready for the St Patty’s Day party on the 17th. Tickets and signups are at the Kihei Surfside office. By the way – this isn’t the only turtle at Kihei Surfside. You can often see turtles swimming just off the rocks at this location (access the water at Keawakapu beach in front of the Mana Kai if you want to go snorkeling).

Coconuts
the turtle at Kihei Surfside is dressed for St Patty’s day
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World Whale Day 2017

Next weekend, Saturday February 18th, is World Whale Day. It takes place right here in Kihei.

humpback whale
The Parade of Whales

The Parade of Whales starts at 9AM at the Alanui Ke Alii/South Kihei Road intersection and ends at Kalama Park. It’s not a big one, though last year was a lot of fun (it lasted about 45 minutes or so). Hint, sit or stand facing the ocean, that way you get a great view in addition to entertainment AND you don’t have the sun in your eyes!

Also, you guessed it, South Kihei Road is blocked off for the duration of the parade.

humpback whale
fun humpback whale model (an adult humpback is the length of a school bus)

Following the parade there is a festival at the Kalama Park ball field across the street from Foodland. There are kids games, food, live music, a silent auction, local Made in Maui vendors and also a whale information gallery. As far as I can tell, the festival runs from 9:30AM – 6PM.

Admission to the festival is $5 (the parade is free, of course).

seabury hall
a local middle school marching band bringing up the rear

Where to park? You can park for free at both Azeka Mall and Hope Chapel, and yes, there is a free shuttle.

The Pacific Whale Foundation is the main sponsor of this event.

It’s Whale Season

January-March are of course humpback whale season here on Maui. Have you been watching the whales? Do you prefer to watch from shore or by boat?

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A few Maui lunch places

Here are a few places I’ve enjoyed a Maui lunch at in the past few months.

Seascape Restaurant
Maui lunch
The view of Maalaea Harbor from the Seascape Restaurant

New to me – the Seascape Restaurant, attached to the Maui Ocean Center. You do not need to pay admission, there is a separate non-ocean center entrance. The restaurant has a beautiful view of Maalaea Harbor.

For lunch I had the fresh ahi poke with kim chi, served on a bed of salad (not rice – this is different). It was great. We also shared a side of sweet potato fries. Oh yum. They were amazing.

Coconuts Fish Cafe

Maui lunchSig and I had an expiring gift certificate for Coconut’s Fish Cafe. This is a little place located in Central Kihei’s Azeka Plaza with surfboard tables and benches and named after the owner’s cat (Coconut). They are known for their fish tacos which are amazing while Sig prefers the more traditional fish and chips. Coconut’s has a lease on the old Denny’s across from Kamaole II beach. The sign says they will be opening there in the next few months. I am not sure if they are moving the restaurant or will have two locations in Kihei.

Tin Roof
Maui lunch
mochiko chicken on hapa rice

I had a quick working lunch at Top Chef Sheldon Simeon’s new lunch stop Tin Roof on Dairy Road in Kahului. Sheldon Simeon used to be at Star Noodle in Lahaina, then Migrant at the Andaz. This spring he started his restaurant, a tiny take-out lunch place with five bar stools, open Mon-Sat 10am-2pm. Yes, it is take-out. Portions are decent, prices good, the flavors amazing. Order ahead on their squareup page, or go in to order (there is a secret menu I am told, that you have to ask about, but then you’ll have to wait).

By the way, Sheldon Simeon will be back on the new season of Top Chef (airing beginning December 1) with former contestants competing against newbies!

Gannons
Maui lunch
Gannons poke bowl

Last week we had family visiting in town. We all love Gannon’s for lunch – you just can’t beat the view from the golf course (Gold and Emerald Course in Wailea), overlooking the ocean and Molokini. The restaurant isn’t air-conditioned, but somehow they always have a nice breeze on their lanai. I tried their poke, the others had the Grilled Salmon Stack, Double Kobe Cheeseburger (amazing fries) and fish tacos. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

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Made in Maui County Festival and website!

Made in Maui County FestivalThis year the County of Maui is hosting its 3rd annual Made in Maui County Festival. This event is a coming together of local vendors, showcasing companies with headquarters in Maui County (Maui, Molokai and Lanai). The products sold must have at minimum 51% value added in the County of Maui. This is Maui’s largest product show.

This year’s Made in Maui County Festival is being held Saturday, November 5th from 8-4pm on the lawn at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Admission is $5 with kids 12 and under free. In addition to some great shopping (Christmas shopping anyone?), there will also be food demonstrations and a fashion show.

I attended the first one 2 years ago, it was amazing! Who knew we had all this talent on Maui?

Shop locally – online!

If you can’t make it or want a preview of what may be there, they have just launched a new website – the Made in Maui County Marketplace! All vendors who have a booth at the Made in Maui County Festival are eligible to be listed on this site. While you don’t purchase here, it links you back to the vendors’ individual websites where you can purchase, get more information and contact them directly. Pretty cool!

What are you shopping for? Do you have your Christmas lists put together? Maybe you’re looking for that perfect keepsake to remember your special Maui time by.

As you come to Maui and consider buying souvenirs, keepsakes and gifts, thank you for shopping local! It keeps money in our local economy, creates jobs, contributes to the community and encourages entrepreneurship! Mahalo!

As you return home, carry forward that aloha and consider supporting your local shops and entrepeneurs also. You will make their day!

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Coupons and that kama’aina rate!

Have you ever wondered how you can get a kama’aina rate? Wondering what a kama’aina rate is? It’s a discount some shops and restaurants will give to local customers, hoping they will be repeat customers.

Generally you need to have a State of Hawaii driver’s license or other State of Hawaii ID to qualify for that local discount. By the way, did you know Hawaii driver’s licenses have a rainbow on them? I would show you a picture of mine, but…. well…. as with most IDs the picture turned out ‘just great’.

If you are staying at one of our four condos, we have the next best thing to a kama’aina rate: the Pueo Premier Card – a discount card for our guests to use! This is a fundraiser put on by one of the local elementary schools. No worries, you do not need to buy one – we always buy them and leave them in the condos for our guests to use. The discounts are similar to what some of these businesses offer as a kama’aina rate, and some of these businesses don’t actually offer a kama’aina rate, so this is as good as it gets!

In case you can’t zoom in on the picture here are some of the businesses participating in this year’s Pueo Premier Card:

5 Palms Restaurant (at our Kihei Surfside condo) – 20% off

808 Wellness 10% off

Aloha School of Massage Therapy – $5 off

Amigo’s 15% off

Cow Pig Bun 15% off

Cupie’s Drive-in 10% off

Dina’s Sandwitch (at our Sugar Beach condo) 15% off

Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse 15% off

Fork & Salad $1 off

Duo Steak & Seafood 10% off

Four Sisters Bakery – buy 1 doz, get 1 free

Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods 10% discount

IHOP 10% off

Java Cafe 15% off

L&L Hawaiian BBQ – free soda

Maui Brick Oven – free soda

Maui Sandwich Shack 15% off

Panda Express 3 for 2

Peggy Sue’s 15% off

Round Table 20% off

Ruth Chris Steak House 15% off

Sanrio 10% off

Taqueria Cruz 50% off 2nd entree

Tutti Frutti 50% off 2nd cup

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade 10% off

Where can you find this card? If you are staying at one of our condos, look for it in the condo (near the business cards, at our Palms at Wailea condo it’s next to the kitchen phone). You are welcome to use the card, please just remember to leave it in the condo when you leave so our next guests can take advantage too.

If you are not staying at one of our condos, swing by Kamalii Elementary School on the corner of the Piilani Hwy and Alanui Ke Alii (just up the road from Kamaole I beach) in Kihei. They have them for sale in the school office (by the flag pole). Thanks for supporting the kids!

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