Sunday, June 19, 2016


Well, summer is finally here. The kids are out of school, and the temperatures have been in the 90s for the past few days. While I’ve been enjoying sleeping in, I also had two job interviews: one for a position I didn’t necessarily want and turned down, and one for a position I very much would like to have. I’ll find out more this week. So, we’ll see. But today is also Father’s Day, so while my husband went to a car show today (the graphics he painted on his friend’s car won “Best Graphics”), I spent my afternoon cooking up food from the Marshall Islands.

This was the best part of the meal. Definitely a recipe worth repeating.
The first thing I started with was the Crab and Potato Cakes. I started with browning five strips of bacon, setting it off to the side to pat the extra oil off. Then I broke it up into a large bowl, adding in a 14-oz can of salmon (all of the cheaper cans of imitation crab was sold out, and I couldn’t afford to spend nearly $10 for some crab—and salmon made a nice substitution), some diced onion, diced green pepper, and minced garlic. After this, I added in some boiled and diced potatoes, green onions, mustard (I went with ground mustard instead of prepared), and some salt and pepper. Then I stirred in some mayonnaise, some coconut, and some breadcrumbs before putting it in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours. When it was time to cook, I formed it into patties, dipping it into beaten eggs, then flour, then the eggs again, then breadcrumbs, and then frying it in a little oil until it was browned on both sides. I thought these were quite tasty. They reminded me a little of the salmon patties my mom used to make when I was a kid. I thought it was excellent with the salmon, but I definitely want to try this again with the crab. I bet it would be good with a little sriracha mayo perhaps.

This needs a little work. Unless you're a fan of diabetic shock. Then by all mean, go ahead, have my piece.
Then I made what is considered one of the more iconic dishes of the Marshall Islands: Macadamia Nut Pie. It’s strange because macadamia nuts aren’t necessarily native to the Marshall Islands (but rather nearby Australia), but this pie became quite popular. I cheated big time with this pie because I didn’t make my own pie crust, which sort of defeats the whole idea of “making my own breads/pastries/cakes/pies from scratch.” So, forgive me—I used a frozen ready-to-bake pie crust. I let it thaw and then pressed in a little bit of coconut flakes into the crust. Then in a bowl, I poured in 4 eggs, a cup of light corn syrup, ½ c of sugar, 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract, and a ¼ tsp of salt and mixed well. Then I folded in 1 ½ c of macadamia nuts (I crushed mine up a little bit). After I had everything mixed together, I poured it into my pie crust. I put this into a 350ºF oven for 15 minutes, then turned it down to 325ºF for another 30 minutes. It looked brown on top, so I took it out. I let it sit for probably a good 45-60 minutes before I attempted to cut it. I figured it was like a pecan pie and needed time to set up. I mixed some cream of coconut into some whipped cream and spread it on top. But when I cut into it, it was still quite liquid in the center. And it was way too sweet. I took two bites, and my stomach hurt from the sweetness. Even my 10-year-old daughter who typically has a stronger stomach for sweet foods thought it was too sweet. Perhaps the sugar and/or corn syrup could’ve been reduced. It was just too much. Otherwise, I liked the flavor of the nuts, though.

Not bad. I think my potatoes were a little old, and sometimes I could taste it, which gave me the feeling I was poisoning myself and my family.
Lastly, I made Sweet Potatoes & Fried Bananas. It sounds like a strange combination, but it really wasn’t that bad. I boiled some diced sweet potatoes and drained it. In a skillet, I fried some bananas in some coconut oil. After the bananas start to turn a little brown, I added in the sweet potatoes and let them sauté together for a minute. I did add in a pinch of salt toward the end, which seemed to bring out the salty-sweetness of the dish. The kids barely touched this, but I thought it was kind of good. 

Overall, this was pretty good. The salmon patties were seriously awesome.
I learned a lot about the Marshall Islands. Some things were really cool (stick charts), some not so cool (climate change impacts, military weapons testing). But I suppose that’s true about all countries. This was one of those countries that I had trouble finding a lot of information about simply because it is kind of small. The information that I did find was somewhat just repeated across the Internet. But as the week progressed, I got a few comments that so-and-so was stationed there or someone they knew had visited the islands before. The photos I’ve seen probably don’t even do it justice. Perhaps one day I’ll visit. But I better do it soon before they disappear beneath the ocean.

Up next: Mauritania

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