I took some pictures at the beginning of the evening and then got wrapped up in the fun and conversation and left my camera in my purse. So you can see us as the evening began with pu pus and drinks.
The theme for last evening’s dinner was Mediterranean. Many countries were represented from Portugal to Greece and everything in between. Brad and Ron’s house has a delightful retro feel to it and was a lot of fun to explore. There was a combination of Hawaiiana and mid century art and the house in typical Hawaiian style led directly to the large lanai and pool area which was surrounded by lush vegetation and exquisite tropical plantings. They had lots of torches burning around the pool and the glow from them was a lovely back light to the evening. These guys are serious foodies and have a well equipped kitchen which was overflowing with wonderful food made by club members.Our neighbors Maria and Ric came along with us to their first club dinner. They own a B & B and moved here from very close to where we lived in the East Bay. The guys that sold us this house, Hugh and Ray told me ahead of time that Maria and I would be fast friends and we would have many good foodie times together and they were RIGHT! We met them at our super bowl party (also a potluck) last week and had such fun with them we invited them to the club dinner.
Maria made two especially great dishes, for the salad course she made a roasted asparagus salad. But one of the crowning glories of the night was her awesome coconut flan!
I brought bruschetta with luscious local tomatoes from today’s Farmer’s Market and herbs from my garden. I also made a 99% local Greek Salad. Romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and Puna Goat Cheese Farm Feta all from the farmer’s market. For that 1 % that was not local, I did bring some Greek Calamata olives and olive oil from Italy with us and used them in the salad and added lots of parsley, basil, oregano, mint and chives from my garden. I also used a few squeezes of lemon juice from my trees.
There were so many terrific dishes… just to name a few: Bonnie’s assortment of homemade breads delicious. She shall forever more be named Bonnie the Baker! Once I get my wood burning oven made and running I am going to invite her to our communal baking days. We had dolmas made with local lamb by the Richards, Liz made incredible spinakopia (sp?) with chard from her garden. Ron made a tasty pear salad with one of the best dressings I have ever had. Noel made a pu pu with asparagus that was rolled and fried. They were one of my favorite things of the evening. There was delicious Portuguese Bean Soup (one of Wes’ favorite “Hawaiian” foods), a lovely tomato and mushroom casserole, fluffy polenta ala fungi, there was a chick pea dish to die for by Noel, Ron made grilled Greek chicken that brought me to the “other” islands, there was a pasta salad dish and a tomato and cucumber salad too. Russel mad a delicious Paella. The dessert table was laden with amazing things like an almond cake with whipped cream, Maria’s Coconut Flan, a apricot and chocolate flourless cake/torte drizzled with a dark chocolate ganache and studded with almonds and baklava!
The entire evening represented a lot of what we love about Hawaii. The importance of good friends and new acquaintances always welcomed with aloha and sharing foods from the land, prepared with heart and soul. Dining with balmy breezes on lanais, laughing, drinking great wine and sharing the truly great moments that matter around the table (in this case several tables). It just gets better and better.
We will be hosting the March dinner which is penciled in for March 28th right now. It will feature regional Italian foods. If you are interested in joining us, send me an e-mail . Note: most of the people in the club live in Puna and a few of us are in Hilo.
There is a cruise ship pulling in just now… the Spirit of America. Here she is:
When the sun comes out, we are heading downtown for the Bob Marley Day celebration and the Ag Fair. It seems like there is always something going on here, in fact many times we have to choose between 3-4 events.