We shopped for our Thanksgiving feast yesterday. Uwajimaya is our favorite place to get a hit of shopping that’s almost like being back home. This landmark store is part of the wonderful neighborhood that is China Town and the International District of downtown Seattle. Food – fresh, packaged, cooked/fried/roasted/baked/broiled is on offer in this warehouse size establishment. The sounds, voices and faces make this shopping fun. I always travel with my mask when I shop never knowing what smells might trigger a sensitivity. Some stores are just a ‘no-go’ fortunately Uwajimaya is not one of them. It’s not far from the Kitchenette, and just enough of a jaunt to get us out of house. At least once a month we break the routine of Co-op shopping and find the foods that warm the soul: long rice, Chinese long beans, fresh mochi with black beans, kabocha tempura and of course, poi.
We went looking for kalo, taro root. The big root vegetable is the original Hawaiian soul food, the embodiment of ancestral beginnings and the food from which comes pa`i `ai … poi. Pete loves to steam chunks of peeled kalo like potatoes and would eat it at least once a week if not more. When we got there the kalo was LARGE but already starting to mold not a good way for the precious root to be eaten. Around the corner bags of TARO BRAND Poi filled the shelves. I shouted, “There’s poi!” “That would be fun.” Pete was glad to here it. If the poi is fresh, I simply open the plastic bag, pour a scant maybe quarter cup of filtered water to the poi, squeeze the poi a little and turn the mixture inside out into a waiting bowl. We eat the poi thick rather than runny. Freshly cleaned, bright rock fish caught my eye. I chose two fillets. Cut into thick chunks, steamed with chopped Chinese parsley, sliced white onions and a sprinkle of wakame (dried sea weed) and grated ginger, and the simple and delicious dish is ready. Organic broccoli, carrots and cauliflower also steamed and our feast is complete. I did buy a can of organic pumpkin pie filling from the Co-op thinking I might experiment with something that could bake in our toaster oven … the concoction hasn’t come to me yet. So, we’ll see.
We send you a hearty blessing and give thanks to you, our visitors who may be celebrating a Thanksgiving meal today, or celebrating simply because it’s another day to give thanks.
Mokihana and Pete