good times in hawai’i

Hale’iwa Beach, Oahu

Hello there!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. Thanks SO much for all your birthday and Happy Thanksgiving wishes! Len, Cornelius and I just returned from 10 days in Hawai’i, where we gorged ourselves feasted amicably with ever-charming friends and relatives.

Every day was a delicious new adventure of visiting favorite restaurants and savoring a nice variety of multi-ethnic flavors — everything from teriyaki butterfish to Italian pasta to kalua pig. Of course my mom served mandu (dumpling soup) our first night there, and each morning began with half a sweet, juicy papaya.

You know you’re in Hawai’i when there’s sushi on the Thanksgiving table,

but we did recruit our token haole, Len, to mash the potatoes.

Cornelius was thrilled that instead of pumpkin pie, we got to try something new: Pumpkin Crunch lovingly prepared by my sister-in-law Alison:

To die for: Rich pumpkin pie filling on a buttery cookie crust with cream cheese topping.

It was great celebrating our birthdays together,

Dad turned 97, I turned 29.

having dim sum at the Chinese Cultural Plaza,

lunch at the Waikele Country Club,

Yum, grilled mahi-mahi sandwich.
Green tea ice cream

shave ice at Aoki’s,

and at Kokonuts (where President Obama goes).

I daresay Cornelius got more than his fair share of attention at our Willows family dinner.

The Willows features open air dining.

While we were loading our plates with prime rib, crab legs,

steamed laulau,

fresh salads,

and sides,

Lomi lomi salmon and ahi poke

Cornelius was busy making new friends

My brother Newton

and being positively pampered by several of the beautiful ladies present:

My SIL Alison
Cousin Lori
Cousin Lani

We’ll be sharing a few more pics of our foodie field trips later this week, but for now we’d like to introduce you to Hatley, a birthday gift and the newest resident of the alphabet soup kitchen. So, these questions remain: Can this moose make mousse?


And can Cornelius eat even more desserts?

Haupia cake, chocolate mochi square, haupia.

Stay tuned, and have a terrific week!!

P.S. HAD to share my favorite birthday card, created by Peter Laird (uber-cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle co-creator and husband of dear author friend Jeannine Atkins):

Cornelius adrift on Jeannine’s Borrowed Names (is this COOL or what?!) And that’s Jeannine’s tiny head to the left of the “B”!


Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

24 thoughts on “good times in hawai’i

    1. Hatley sends his regards :). I think it’s my turn to email — sounds like we both traveled many miles and consumed many calories . . .


  1. No matter that we were just there in October… I wish we were back there already! We will have to plan to be there at the same time next time because you seem to go to places that I have never been before!


    1. Yes, we should coordinate our next visits. I think I could learn a lot from you, with your cooking expertise and discerning palate. 🙂


  2. Wow, that is more delicious food than I could ever keep track of. It’s good you took pictures! Looks like a very happy 29th birthday! Pass the pumpkin crunch, I mean green tea ice cream, I mean Haupia square… I hope Cornelius is doing his crunches or laps this week!


  3. How appropriate that you got mandoo/mandu (why the change in spelling?) when you arrived! Sounds like a lovely, delicious trip – and I LOVE the sound of that pumpkin crunch!


  4. Jama:

    Dad was surprised to read your blog description of the pumpkin crunch…buttery crust & cream cheese topping!!!!! He didn’t suspect it when he ate it. Mom & I told him that as long as he liked the taste why does it matter what’s in it!



    1. Yes, well, he seems to like dairy products in dessert — he also loved the long johns, eclairs and coco puffs — all cream filled pastries. 🙂


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