July 2011August 2011 September 2011

08/29 - Watermelon Salad Recipe

We had this watermelon salad at the breakfast buffet at the Halekulani Hotel in Honolulu. We liked it so much that we had it a few times and reversed engineered it. At first, we thought the little white things were chunks of tofu, but further tasting revealed them to be mozzarella. It was an interesting salad and a real mixture of cultures, so we've adopted it as one of our luau standards. Either that, or make a jack-o-melon.

Watermelon salad - up close and personal
  • 1/2 a small watermelon, just the meat, cut into mouth sized chunks
  • 1 large purple onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 big fistful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1 large or 2 smaller tomatoes, cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 - 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar, to taste
  • black pepper
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl.
  2. Serve.

SOME NOTES Use the best ingredients you can get. One family staying at Lake Crescent Cottage had a jack-o-melon on the cottage steps. We remarked that carving a watermelon in the manner of a jack-o-lantern was a neat idea. They explained that the watermelon had been so awful and flavorless that they couldn't think of a better use for it. It would have made an awful watermelon salad. So, buy a better watermelon than that.

Keywords: luau, recipe

08/23 - Hawaiian Luau

All the regulars were there for the 2011 Kaleberg Luau. The lau lau were front and center, flanked by our heavy on the turmeric Balinese chicken, and a plate load of ahi tuna sushi. The punch bowl was an ocean of Mai Tais, but the real favorites were the Test Pilots and Hells in the Pacific. There is nothing quite like a Hell in the Pacific served in a skull mug. We also had our traditional cupcake heiau, which is an important component of any true luau. One big favorite was the watermelon salad. It was a side dish, but so many people asked for the recipe, we'll include it in another post.

Test Pilots and Hells in the Pacific

This year's cupcake heiau

Lau lau in close up

Keywords: luau, kale

08/22 - Some Notes on Morse Creek

When we are lazy, we take the trail west of Morse Creek down to the strait. It's an urban trail, but it is green and relaxing, and just a short drive. It changes with the seasons, and here we found the first sign of autumn, falling leaves from the old maples along the trail. The trail shoulders have been freshly trimmed to the ground; the peak growing season is over. That's probably another sign of the summer passing.

We also noticed a new fence in Morse Creek proper, visible from the old, lovingly restored railroad bridge. Our guess is that they are counting the fish, first funneling them through the gate and recording them on video. Somewhere, someone is watching the Salmon Channel, and mainly seeing water, but now and then a fish or two. (That is so much like life.) It doesn't sound like a cable option we'd be interested in, but we're hoping for good news on the fish population at Morse Creek.

Signs of fall

Freshly cut

Fish management

Keywords: autumn, morse creek, salmon, summer

08/18 - Summer Comes to the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

Let's see, there are all sorts of greens, lettuce, chard, carrots, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, basil, summer squash, bok choy, cucumbers, cabbages, raspberries, and even tomatoes. Don't forget the oysters, salmon, beef, lamb, bread, rolls, croissants and cheeses. You can do an awful lot of your grocery shopping at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market on Saturdays (10-2) and Wednesdays (2-6). (We're guessing on the hours. The official web site doesn't seem to have them anymore.)

West Wind Farms

The Korean Garlic Lady - with a lot more than garlic and dumplings

Johnston Farm

The market survey, preliminary results

The venerable Nash Huber

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, shopping, summer, garlic lady

08/17 - Pacific Mist at Dungeness Spit

Dungeness Spit is a narrow strip of land that juts five miles out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. When Pacific mist has settled along the coast, visibility is minimal. On a clear day, one can see the San Juan islands and even Mount Baker, but when the mist settles in visibility can be measured in feet. We took a short walk along the spit, and very quickly we had no idea of where we were or how far we had walked. The familiar visual cues were gone.

The mist lifted as we walked, as it so often does towards the middle of the day. On our way out, we walked in a tiny sphere with the driftwood spine of the spit barely visible through the gray. On our way back, we could see farther and the driftwood was clearly visible. By the time we reached the climb from the spit to the bluffs, sunlight was breaking through and most dramatically.

Some of the driftwood, feathers and sea stone artwork - This was gone when next we passed the area.

Driftwood and mist

The mist lifting a bit, hence the blue

Light breaking through

More light

Looking down at the mist

Another view

And yet another to pad out the series

Yet more of the remaining mist

Keywords: dungeness spit, mount baker

08/16 - Hurricane Hill Corn Lily Update

We took the side spur off the Hurricane Hill trial to check out the meadow where the corn lilies grow. They are most definitely growing. They are even spreading with corn lilies appearing in areas we had not seen them in before. The views, not surprisingly, were spectacular. The corn lilies have not yet bloomed, but lots of other flowers have.

Corn lilies of the field

The corn lilies are not blooming yet.

We always take a picture or two of these rocks for some reason or another.

It pays to look closely.

The snow is melting and the water is trickling down this part of the trail.

Some anemones

Among the other flowers, a glacier lily, a sign of recent melt.

Corn lily shoots coming through the snow

More scenery - There is more to life than corn lilies.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, summer, high country

08/15 - Hurricane Hill Revisited

We took the trail up Hurricane Hill again today. It has been a few weeks, so we expected the snow to be gone and the season to be passing. It is mid-August. In fact, the snow was more or less all gone, but the flowers are still blooming in earnest.

There are still some pretty spectacular views, even this late in the season.

Yep, another spectacular view

The blue seasonal snow melt lake is forming

Is this sweet cecelia? We aren't sure.

Lupines, apparently good for the memory

Pink paintbrush, or so we believe

There are lots of flowers

There are avalanche lilies under the pine trees where the snow lingered.

Bright colors

Our camera does not do justice to the scent of wild roses.

Those masses of white flowers are dirty sock plant. We call this area the hamper.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, high country, summer

08/13 - Klahane Ridge Success

This time we made it up Klahane Ridge. We really didn't think we were up for it being a bit out of shape, but we dragged ourselves up, stopping often to catch our breath. The high country flowers are in magnificent bloom, though the glacier lilies are gone. Still, we have no reason to complain about lupines, paintbrush, yarrows, and the hosts of others the names of which we still haven't learned and memorized.

We even saw a family of mountain goats safely perched on a snow ledge far away and above us. That's about the right distance. That's why we bring binoculars, not that the Klahane Ridge climb is in need of scenery what with the distant mountains, alpine flowers, rocky crags and great sky.

The climb

Look carefully at that snow ledge to the upper right.

There are mountain goats there, at a safe distance.

The view from the ridge

Sunrise point and the high Olympics

Mountain flowers

Rock flowers

The mountain goats on the move

More flowers, fields of them

Even more flowers

Lupines, among others

Keywords: flowers, high country, klahane ridge, mountain goats

08/03 - Klahane Ridge, But Not Very Far

We recently made an attempt to climb Klahane Ridge via the Switchback Trail, but we didn't get very far, only 850' above the parking lot. We did get up into the hanging gardens, past the junction with the trail to the lodge. All told, it was a beautiful climb. There were some flowers, but the hanging gardens were lush and green, not yet in bloom. We turned around at the first patch of snow on the trail, poor spirited. We'll be back again, and we are hoping to go higher. Every season, the challenge begins anew.

Up the steepy mountains

On the trail

Glacier lilies

Another view of the mountains




Ants swarming

The umbrella forest

A bog orchid

Spring flowers, yeah in late July

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge

July 2011August 2011 September 2011