Thankful for Purple Pie

As we are now a week from Thanksgiving and finalizing exactly what we are going to cook and feast on for the holiday of thanks (myself included), I can’t help but share what I plan to serve for dessert at my Thanksgiving dinner. First, a little background. Obviously, I love vegetables. In fact, for a few Thanksgiving dinners in the last decade, I prepared and served more than 10 (yes, 10) different vegetable dishes. Admittedly, 10 was probably a bit much. In the last few years, my daughters, Alex and Sophia, have joined me in my cooking adventure. So it’s become quite fun to hang out in the kitchen while preparing dinner. Each year we make a few family favorites—roasted root vegetables and Stokes Continue Reading

A Visit to Pearl Harbor

I would imagine that most of us were not around on December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy. That was the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. The only reason that I know something about Pearl Harbor, is that when I took an oral interpretation class in 7th grade, I had to pick a speech and give it to the class. The speech I chose was that of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, given on December 8, 1941 to Congress. During our … Continue reading

How to Pick a Pineapple

While vacationing on Maui last week, we decided to take a day trip over to the island of Oahu. My husband Garry asked if I could get a private tour of the Dole Pineapple Plantation there, since I am a member of the produce industry. So, I emailed my longtime friend, Mike Cavallero, an executive with Dole, and he was kind enough to arrange a tour for us. (Garry read that over 1 million people visit the plantation every year and go through the biggest maze in the world.) It … Continue reading

Aloha from Maui

Being a West Coaster, Hawaii is a favorite vacation spot, and I feel very fortunate to be going there again this year! Garry and I and two other couples are going to spend a week on Maui this month. One of my favorite parts of the Hawaiian vacation is the food (no surprise there, I guess). When we arrive, I like to drive to the nearby Safeway and Star Markets in Lahaina and see how the produce looks. I always stock up on the local fresh fruits, like apple bananas, … Continue reading

Time for Fresh Figs

When I think of summertime, I can’t help but think about fresh figs. Most people think of fresh peaches or nectarines as symbols of summertime. But I was raised by the “Queen” of specialty produce, so of course summer would remind me of figs. Back in the early 1980s we were introduced to a small farmer by the name of Don Wessel. He and his family had a small fig farm near Visalia, California, and he shipped us the most beautiful yellow-greenish skinned figs – the Calmyrna variety. I remember … Continue reading