Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Shave ice & finally confronting the swimsuit

I thought shave ice was going to taste just like a sno-cone, the most disappointing frozen "treat" ever invented, but it doesn't. It's fantastic! I'm sure everyone has had Hawaiian shave ice except me so I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but wow. The satiny texture of that ice is almost like ice cream. Eating a sno-cone, at least in memory, is more like sucking artificially-flavored syrup through broken glass.
I'm in Maui on a writing assignment. Sometimes it's okay to be me, though I wish I enjoyed running around in a swimsuit a bit more. The eggnog pie did not help. In roughly 48 hours I've taken a ukelele lesson, observed a pineapple carving demo, ridden a sugar cane train, eaten a plate lunch, visited a farmers' market, toured several history museums, read 2.5 books, and purchased local honey, but have not yet managed to find time to get in a swimsuit the water.

This is the small but pleasant farmers' market, which is attached to a health food store that sells hemp bread. 
They had big, lumpy local avocados, passion fruit, and tiny, delicious "apple" bananas, as well as fresh pineapple bagels, which I didn't try because I'm saving up calories for tonight's luau. The shave ice was lunch.

Now: ocean.


  1. So. Jealous.

    I love me some shaved ice, but I hear that real, no-foolin' Hawaiian kind IN Hawaii (very important) is a whole different breed of cat.

  2. One of the most amazing experiences of my life was the "snorkelboard" at Kapalua (near Kanapali). There is a public beach with rental cabanas etc., and huge kickboards with big windows at the top. They give you flippers with them and a laminated guide to fish. All you need to do is lather up your back and float along the crescent shaped beach and pretend you get to live like this all the time. It was amazing.
    Enjoy! And if A Pacific Cafe is still open (near the Aston Kaanapali Shores), it was a truly fabulous experience all around.

  3. If you pass by the farmers' market again, get a dragon fruit. I did that this summer and now I'm the owner of two dragon fruit plants. (I'm sure the neighbors are wondering why I have two potted cacti in my front yard.)

    Did you get ice cream or red beans in the bottom of your shave ice? The ice cream tastes great; the red beans, not so much.

    My parents gave my daughter a ukelele for Christmas (they live in Hawaii). I tried to sign her up for lessons. Not an easy thing to do if you don't live in Hawaii! The only person close to me charged $50 for 1/2 hour. No free group lessons at the mall around here.

    Don't feel self conscious about the swimsuit in Hawaii. Hawaiians are large people. Find a beach with locals and you will feel svelte (albeit pale).

  4. Layne -- I've never had shave ice any other place. This was a small revelation.

    MemeGRL -- Thank-you for that recommendation. I'm going to go up to Kapalua tomorrow and try to see what those kickboards are about. And I'm going to look up A Pacific Cafe right now.

  5. AzureSong - I got over the swimsuit thing. It was fine.
    And no, I didn't get ice cream in the shave ice, but the hula teacher said it was even better that way. And now you. . . maybe tomorrow.
    Saw no dragon fruit this morning, though I have fond memories of it from Vietnam. Does it grow well in southern California?

  6. I bought my dragonfruit plants a couple of months ago from a commercial grower who owns a dragon fruit orchard (is a bunch of cactuses an orchard?) in Southern California. But she is inland where it is hot. We'll see if it grows along the coast. If all goes well, I'm supposed to have fruit by July. (All going well includes me remembering to pollinate the blossoms at night with a paint brush.)

  7. What is it about women and swimsuits? Why is it so hard to get beyond that? Some vanities die hard.....