Wednesday, February 24, 2010

....A Tale of a Fat-Full Trip...

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fat-filled trip...
That started at a tropic port
In search of a chocolate chip

The Professor & Mary Ann were the only ones on board
As they went in search of treasure inside a cacao gourd
The tastings were long and hard, at the end they were quite spent
The result of ten flights of cacao averaging 70+ percent

Endorphins started to kick in as they began to feel quite mellow
Hugs were eagerly exchanged between more than one gal and fellow
The quest was rewarded at the end of a three-hour tour
As the chocolate overload provided anti-oxidents for a 2 week cure

Once they finished the adventure of the cacao
It was time to press on for a full-body luau
Thrilled by Hawaiian,Tahatian and Maori dance
They ate plenty and left nothing to chance
As they sampled the offerings of pig,fish,and cow

Got a chance to start our day with a chocolate tour in the highlands of Kapaa. With the decline of pineapple and sugar agriculture on the island, business leaders are exploring the potential of niche crops with value added potential and cacao is one such crop. The growing climate of Kauai is well suited to cacao and vanilla, so we got to see efforts at an experimental farm in the hills of the east side about Kapaa. We joined about 2 dozen our intrid souls as we sampled various tropical fruits and honey and then learned of the process of converting raw cacao into familar chocolate servings. Thanks to Ted's expertise and chocolate tastings we've done back in Hillsdale, much of this was familar, but we some some interesting new techniques and equipment, icluding a chocolate grist mill that will grinf cocoa nibs down to a smooth paste after 24 hours of processing. We tasted 10 differnt types of dark chocolate ( containing no milk solids) with cacao concentrations of 60% -78% and rated them. Our tour guide was knowledgable and entertaining so it was definitely time well spent.

We made a Lihue Costco run and availed ourselves of the $3 Costco gourment lunch for 2 and picked up some staples for the week ahead. We got back to the condo by 2:40 and had about 90 minutes before we needed to head out for our Smith Luau. Played some cards and then all five of us headed back east to the Wailua River, the site of Smith's Fern Grotto boat trips and the Tropical Paradise, where the luau and stage show occur 3 times a week. We toured the grounds, saw the unveiling of the Kalua pig and sat done to a boutiful luau. Teriyaki Beeef, Kalua pork, sweet & sour Mahi-Mahi, chicken, and great coconut custard and coconut cake more than satisifed me. We had center seating for the hour long stage show highlighted a variety of ethic dance styles in the Islands, including an enthusiastic fire juggler. Had a perfect evening to enjoy the experience and we all returned home pleased by 10:00 PM. Tomorrow may be a trek to Waimea Canyon..

I'm having difficulty consistently and conveniently posting pictures on the blog, so we'll be mostly text until I figure this out. I have a good backlog of interesting photos to support my documentation...

Happy Birthday to Rick Seifert and Leah Rutz, two bright stars for their respective generations that, among other things, have nutured the success of the Hillsdale Farmers Market! Thanks for being- right here - right now... MTP

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