Monday, October 26, 2015

Sunday Dinners - Six Years Later

This blog started with one idea on July 5, 2009, create at least one year of Sunday dinners. six years later, some things have changed, the usual guests remain but we have added, subtracted, switched out. Sunday dinner used to always be at our house because my parents moved to a smaller house. My mother in law stopped driving, so we would pick her up. Then it came to the point where she couldn't take care of herself so we started moving in with her at the same time that I took a job in Honolulu again, now at UH West O'ahu and not a one-year stint either, but a tenure-track position in a building program.  Two of the three boys got married and moved to Oahu too so there are 5 of us for Sunday dinner on O'ahu and 5-7 of them for Sunday dinner in Hilo depending if I'm in Hilo or Honolulu for Sunday dinner.

The picture at the top is our Sunday dinner at Buca di Beppo for my daughter-in-law Pomai's birthday. It was fall break, so boy 3, now a senior in high school came to Honolulu to hang out. In both locations, 3 "families"take turns "cooking." My mother in law does not cook anymore either, she is almost immobile, so we either go out on her turn or Ken or I cooks. Whenever I go home, I try to cook. On Oahu, the 2 boys and I take turns so I make sure I am home to cook and I don't go back to Hilo on my turn. 

Dinner is still at 6. Dessert is still not optional. For Ken, pupus are not optional, but the kids and my mom don't seem to need this or spend time worrying about pupu, and the kids are not always dessert people either, but they are still in training. 

What happens when we do this for 6 years rather than the 1 I was trying for?

Our adult children, our daughters-in-law and hopefully soon our new grandchildren who can actually stay for Sunday dinner feel like this is just what we do as a family. It is our one day a week to sit down together. It has become a part of our culture and a part of our genealogy. My mother often asks, shall we stop Sunday dinner? 

No. For a long time, that was the only socialization my mother in law was getting. If we don't hold on to Sunday dinner, we will drift away and we won't even notice until it's too late. 

I think we will eventually end this because people will have not enough time, too much distance, too much chaos, too much kuleana, but for these six years and for as many years as we can swing it, we will hold on. I may not be blogging because I am not going to make something new every week, but we are still here.

Blessing on you and your 'ohana. #sundaydinnercrew

Easiest Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I admit that I am slow to learning to like Brussel sprouts. I was well into adulthood before I really got into eating and making these mini cabbages, but now I love when it is roasted and the leaves are a little burnt and crispy. This is my favorite and I will buy a bag from Costco, take a Sunday to make the whole bag and eat it the rest of the week. 

  • 1 bag of Brussels sprouts
  • good olive oil
  • Hawaiian sea salt (or my mom's Rocking H seasoned salt)
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Trim off brown or yellow leaves and cut the larger Brussels sprouts so they are almost even in size with the smallest of them
  3. Put the sprouts in a large bowl, drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper
  4. Lay the sprouts as flat as possible in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for about 35-40 minutes
  5. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hawaiian Pineapple Delight Cake

I made a Hawaiian style hamburger curry stew for Sunday dinner so I wanted to do some other nostalgic dessert. I tried this Hawaiian Delight cake from HECO and it was a hit! My brother, who is not a dessert person ended up taking pieces home.

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (read the back of the box to ensure you have enough eggs)
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, drained, reserving liquid
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 c. cold milk
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen Cool Whip 
  • 1/2 c. toasted macadamia nuts (chop up after toasting)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 13x9x2" pan and prepare cake mix according to box directions, BUT replace water with the drained pineapple syrup and add water to make up the difference if you are short on syrup. 
  2. Bake the pie according to the box times, let cool.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix cream cheese and pudding. 
  4. Gradually add in cold milk; beet until mixture is smooth and thick. 
  5. Fold in the pineapple.
  6. Fold in the Cool Whip.
  7. Spread topping over cooled cake.
  8. Sprinkle top with toasted mac nuts and chill in the refrigerator before serving.