All posts filed under: Marshall Islands

Michelle and Alan join us to try the papaya.

Monday Meal Review: Marshall Islands

THE SCENE Things are getting a bit hairy on this Adventure. I’ve tried not to mention it – to just carry on as if everything is ship-shape, flowing easily. Unfortunately, it’s not. Somehow, over the last month or two, I find myself buried in an avalanche of unfortunate circumstances. I already told you about when I burned my hand, which thereby postponed the making of the Maltese cookies. But there’s been more drama that I’ve shared here, if only because I thought it was all just a temporary drag in performance. Now that it’s added up I feel as though I have to share – the five times Ava was too tired to try the food. Or too cranky. Or too full. The handful of times when Keith had to work late and I found myself sitting down alone to a dinner for four. The times when I burned the food and had to make it all over again. It feels like a full moon all the time. Like the project is short circuiting. So …

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Baked Papaya with Sweet Coconut Cream

When Ava says it, Keith comes running. “Pa pa pa pa yapa” Even for me, papaya is fun to say. Beautiful to behold. But here the thing. I never, ever buy this tropical fruit because I cannot figure out what on earth to do with it, aside from enjoying fresh, cool slices. Preferably poolside. Enter our week at the Marshallese Global Table, where I learned that these easy, breezy, island people bake papaya with a bit of sugar and enjoy with warm coconut milk. Hello. Okay. Let’s just say I’m intrigued. Once baked, the hot, creamy treat reminds me of peach pie, but without the crust. And without all the work. For more exotic flair, I decided to add the Pacific’s ever-popular pandan leaf, which is available frozen in Asian markets. Pandan adds a vanilla/rice floral note… (Use pandan like bay leaf – use it to infuse flavor, and then remove before eating). Ingredients 1 ripe Papaya, cut in half lengthwise and seeded coconut milk, as needed (about 1/4 cup per side) 4 Tbsp sugar, …

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Sweet Potatoes & Fried Bananas

The thing about eating our way around the world is that it makes me realize how very similar we all are. I don’t mean the little things. I mean at our core. We all want to be happy. We all want love. We all get tired and we all get silly. I’ve even come to learn that we eat mostly the same foods, just in different combinations. Take today’s recipe, for example… I’ve spent most of my life eating bananas in cereal and sweet potatoes with butter and chives. But today … today we’re going to the Marshall Islands via stove top travel. And there, the Marshallese add their bit of love to these ingredients. They take bananas, sweet potatoes, and butter – and make a potluck worthy bowl of magic I like to call “Sweet n’ Fried.” Since we’re coming up on barbecue season, let me just plant a little bug in your ear – the next time you have a tender, slow-roasted barbecue – pork or fish especially – make this dish. There’s …

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Sweet Macadamia Pie

For some reason I’m having a hard time telling you about this pie. It’s so familiar and yet so exotic. So comforting, yet so classy. Something so obvious and lovely, yet nothing I’d ever heard of before. . Think pecan pie, but more toothsome. Think honey sweetened, and coconut enriched. Think clouds of whipped cream spiked with coconut milk. Think tropical elegance. . I take a bite. I shut my eyes and feel a breeze. And, just like that, I’m in the Marshall Islands. . Like most countries in the Pacific, the Marshall Islands is known for importing much of their pantry ingredients. While Macadamia nuts aren’t Marshallese per se, the rich nut goes perfectly with local coconut. Bottom line: it’s one heck of a pie. . Note: I am 110 countries into this Adventure and, yet, this is the first time I’ve made pie. That’s not to say there isn’t pie all over this great big world. And I suppose the empanadas I made (both sweet and savory) are a variation on the theme – after all, they …

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Menu: Marshall Islands

This is the time of year, as the seasons change, that I feel the “tradewinds” of life blowing me in new directions. I have more energy, but am also filled with more frenzy. Spring fever. This is what the Marshall Islands does for those familiar ingredients we all know and love – bananas, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, macadamia nuts. She shakes them up, makes new combinations (to me at least), and serves up a hearty platter of “good.” I find myself gravitating towards this type of food – simple, yet big on flavor. Decadent but uncomplicated. Now, if I could just bring the ocean to Tulsa, Oklahoma, I’d be all set. But I wonder if Ava would agree. What Ava’s thinking (above)? Any caption ideas? Sweet Potatoes & Fried Bananas [Recipe] Bolster up your next barbecue or roast with this sweet and savory concoction. This is simple as it sounds – cubed sweet potatoes tossed with crispy, fried bananas. Baked Papaya with Coconut Cream [Recipe] This is warm dessert goodness, baked until happy and served …

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The Marshall Islands, Majuro, Photo by Stefan Lins.

About the food of the Marshall Islands

When I first read about the Marshall Islands, my mind immediately went to Lost, the epic television series that most people started watching almost a decade ago. We started watching it last month on Netflix. Please excuse me for being a little out of date, but in all honesty, thinking about these hundreds of tiny, tropical islands floating in the vast Pacific Ocean, I can’t help but think how easy it would be to get Lost there – hidden away forever. Part of me desperately clings to the idea of a life filled with peace and solitude, where there is nothing to do but watch the tides come and go. I am comforted to know that, in some parts of the world – like the remote corners of the Marshall Islands, this is a reality. Upon further investigation, it turns out there’s also a healthy tourism trade – if only among those rare people who celebrate and enjoy peace, snorkeling, and a total lack of timepieces. Sure, there’s a capital city with thousands of people who have their own …

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