Marketplace: Video from Lanai, Hawaii

I try not to overlap too much of my day job with this blog but my days have been bleeding into my evening life because I’ve been busy editing some videos for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk. Here’s the latest video about the island of Lanai in Hawaii. Lanai’s residents are in the middle of making some tough choices about their land: preserve land or use the land to create renewable energy. What’s the right and wrong? Here’s a short video that introduces the problem they are dealing with and how this problem may not be isolated just to this region.

Here’s the radio story it goes with.

Island of Lanai: lunch time!

On my short stay on Lanai, I had one meal and random snacks like the icee I previously blogged about. Yes, your dear foodie had just one complete meal. It was a simple lunch at Blue Ginger Cafe in Lanai City and it was a good one.

I got the mahi burger with regular fixings (lettuce, tomatoes, tartar sauce) and a side of fries. I know it sounds and looks plain but the thing is, it’s the best mahi burger I’ve had so far. Why? Because the fish was seasoned just right and super fresh. When you cook with fresh ingredients, you don’t need to cover it up by frying it or covering it with a bunch of spices.

And after lunch, I had to finish it off with dessert. When you walk into the cafe, you’re welcomed by a fresh platter of baked goods. I tried to fight getting dessert at first but when my colleague said she would split something with me, I couldn’t say no. With no hesitation, I requested the blueberry turnover that I saw when I walked in.

The soft flaky exterior was light and sweet and the blueberry wasn’t overly sugary. I could have eaten an entire platter of these if I could. If I find myself in Lanai again, I’m going to start and end everything with this pastry.

Island of Lanai: Dis ‘N Dat Store + Video

I was on Lanai for work but after we finished getting our last interview and footage for our sustainability series, my colleague and I wandered into the Dis ‘N Dat store to look for some souvenirs. It’s a cute little shop with a car in front – it’s hard to miss.

Just steps before you even get into the shop, you hear the wind chimes coaxing you inside. You look up and to the side, and every inch of this place is covered with stuff. I admit it was a bit overwhelming to sift through the selections of souvenirs from jewelry, wood carvings, and wind chimes but it felt magical. For a second, I thought the Mad Hatter would walk through the door because there was definitely whimsy in this place.

I asked where the owners were but they weren’t in. I figured owners of a place like this must have a good story. When I read about them online, looks like they are from Florida and bought this little shop. You can find out more here.

You’ve now seen what the place looks like. Here’s a video so you can hear the chimes and my take on it. My apologies for the poor video quality – I think it may be time to upgrade my camera. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the sounds and my clumsy ways in this video. 🙂

Special thanks to Adriene Hill for filming this for me.

Island of Lanai: Icee surprise!

Don’t you love new discoveries? I admit li hing muy, the salted plum powder, isn’t an everyday ingredient for me but I thought I knew what it was mainly used for – I’ve talked about the amazing flavor that li hing mui brings to fruits and shave ice. On a recent trip to the island of Lanai in Hawaii I found out you can put it on Icees! I had to take a double-take when I saw this sign.

The guy at the cafe first put a little bit of the powder at the bottom of the cup then filled it halfway with the cherry Icee and put more powder on top of that. He finished it off with another layer of the Icee and a few extra dabs of li hing mui on top. My advice to you when you are your sipping this – do it fast. As the flavor seeps to the bottom of the cup, the flavor gets more sugary and syrupy. Warning: If you don’t have a sweet tooth, this may not be for you.

When I got back to Oahu, I did start to notice signs at small mom and pop shops offering this drink. I bought some li hing mui from the market and hope to try this out in LA. If you see me at 7-11 with a bag of li hing mui at the slurpee machine, don’t mind me.