Food and animals. Those were the most read articles for 2011 on OutriggerHawaii. I’m not surprised, especially this time of year. We’re all talking about—and eating—food during the holidays. And the animals? Well, Hawaii is blessed with a variety of unique creature—in the sea, in the air and on the land. Of course, a few non-food and non-animal articles made the list, too. Here, starting with THE most popular, are OutriggerHawaii’s top 10 most-read articles for 2011. So, remove the gift wrap and ribbons from that new iPad or eReader you just received and settle in for some reading. I hope you enjoy.
1. Holiday Recipe Ideas
Fresh ahi cut in bite-size cubes and tossed with green onions, a pinch of chili pepper flakes, a sprinkling of sea salt, some shoyu and sesame oil. Pork and butterfish seasoned with crushed garlic and wrapped in leaves of taro. Grilled chicken topped with a sweet and sour sauce of pineapple and papaya. These are classic tastes of Hawaii.
2. Favorite Movies Made in Hawaii
Hollywood has had a long relationship with Hawaii, our golden-sand beaches and distinctive mountain peaks have served front and center and as backdrops to hundreds of feature films and dozens of television shows. Through the years, Hollywood has given us an intriguing way to get to know Hawaii. Here's a listing by year of movies made in Hawaii, starting back in 1937 with Bing Crosby’s Waikiki Wedding.
3. Get to Know Hula. Get to Know Hawaii.
Aloha. Surfing and luau. Ukulele and slack key guitar. These things have come to define Hawaii. The same is true of hula. Hula is a uniquely Hawaiian dance performed with oli (chant) and mele (song) to convey the many stories and traditions of the Hawaiian people. Get to know hula here.
4. Top 10 Omiyage (Gifts) from Kauai
For Father's Day, I sent my dad dried mango coated in li hing mui. My father-in-law received dried fish. When my college roommate came for a visit with her children over spring break, I greeted them at the airport with lei, of course, and a box of snacks--Mele Macs, Kauai Coffee and furikake popcorn. My friend Wendy gets Aunty Lilikoi's Passion Wasabi Dressing. Omiyage. The practice of gift-giving is an art in Japan. Those roots sprouted easily in the welcoming soil of Hawaiian culture when Japanese immigrants arrived. I've learned not to go anywhere with empty hands. Thankfully, these Hawaiian Islands offer a never-ending supply of gifts unique to Hawaii.
5. Big Bertha the Manta Ray Gives Birth
Boy, that girl was hardly showing when I saw her last February. I couldn't even tell she was pregnant, and by then, she was a good 8 months along. The mother of all manta rays, Big Bertha, gave birth this summer to possibly two baby manta rays.
6. Another Friday Afternoon at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
The skies overhead are clearing, after a surprising squall provided a bit of cloud clover and respite from the hot sun. Not enough rain fell to clean the windshield, much less soak the soil outside the wedge-tailed shearwater burrows and leach its nourishing bird guano deep into the ground. Hawaii skies are like that. They sneak up on you. It’s just another Friday afternoon at the refuge, and I am blogging from “Birdville,” a.k.a. Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
7. Hula Pie is Hawaii Heaven
Picture this: A nine-year-old boy at the dinner table. Fork in one hand, spoon in the other. Disheveled hair. Crooked smile. Grains of sand on his sun-kissed cheeks. Eyes rolling back. This was Jake, pounding his fork and knife, exclaiming, “Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie. Hula Pie.”
8. Hanging out with Sharks
“If you come across a shark, don’t look it eye to eye and maybe it will hang around a while,” said Wayne, our dive master with Watersports Adventures. “Right, Justin?” Wayne pointed his chin in the direction of one of my dive buddies for the day, a young 23-year-old who grew up scuba diving with his dad. On a recent outing, Wayne and Justin had encountered a shark here—in this very same dive spot—and the three hung out “for a while.”
9. The Bountiful Garden Island
If you want to enjoy the fruits of what Kauai literally has to offer, a visit to a nearby farmers’ market is a must stop on the Garden Island. Bring plenty of singles and quarters, your own re-useable shopping bag and—most importantly—arrive on time. And don't just buy fruit to snack on, take advantage of that kitchen in your condominium resort and whip up some simple and delicious treats. If you're a little bit intimidated by those hairy, knobby, scaly and generally funny-looking items, don't be shy about asking the vendors questions at these markets; they'll be happy to talk-story and give you tips on buying--that is, if they're not too inundated with people. Depending on the farmers' market, you may even be able to enjoy some ready-made foods, smoothies and other delicacies and/or shop for take-home gifts made by Kauai artists and craftspeople.
10. Historic Hawaii Island
Andrea—The Dude—and I went snorkeling at Kahaluu yesterday. Even before we’d dipped our heads under the water, Andrea called out, “Turtle.” And, indeed, there were several along the rocky shoreline. They paid us no notice, just went about noshing the particularly delectable kind of limu, seaweed, which grows here thanks to the underground springs releasing its cool, fresh water into the ocean.