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Monday
May152017

It’s time for English Peas

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

My best memory of English peas is of shelling them on a sunny day in the courtyard of a country house in France. Our friend Carol, owner of the house, lives in a small town outside of Bordeaux.

I don’t remember what she did with the peas, but the simple act of tearing apart the pods and coaxing out the little green jewels inside, while sitting companionably, catching up on family news, was one my most delightful memories of that vacation trip.

For me, the problem with buying fresh peas is that I can’t resist popping them I my mouth while shelling them, reducing the yield before I even begin to cook. So, I make sure to buy more than I need. As I shell them, it’s one for me, and one for the pot!

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Monday
Apr242017

Steamed Asparagus with Miso Dressing

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I never had fresh asparagus until I moved to the Mainland. Growing up in Hawaii years ago, asparagus only came in cans—and we considered it a treat.

Of course, that’s no longer true today. In fact, in addition to importing fresh asparagus from the Mainland, some of it is grown in the Islands these days.

If we had had fresh asparagus when I was a child, I’m sure mom would have steamed the stalks and served it with sumiso. Sumiso (which translates into vinegar miso) is a classic Japanese sauce that goes well with steamed vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli or cauliflower. You could even serve it with poached prawns or to dress a cucumber salad. Mom used to love that flavor because she was fond of anything tart.

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Monday
Apr172017

Comfort Food for a Rainy Spring Day

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I’m not quite ready to think spring yet. We’ve been having rain and dreary skies between bouts of stunningly beautiful weather.

So, last week, on a dark and wet day, I made spaghetti and meatballs. It was so satisfying, I’m sharing this recipe for the next time you have inclement weather and need some comfort food.

This is really a simple recipe if you take it in easy steps. 1) Shape and bake the meatballs. 2) Make the sauce. 3) Cook the pasta. 4) Toss together.

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Monday
Apr102017

Easter Bunny Cupcakes

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Since I love setting the table for all the holidays, I’ve been thinking about what to do for Easter. It’s just a dinner for our family, but I still want to create a festive mood.

This year, I’ve decided to make very simple Easter bunnies from marshmallows and set them on chocolate cupcakes, with some coconut “grass,” and jelly bean eggs.

I’ll group the cupcakes together on a cake plate and use them as a centerpiece, or pre-set a cupcake at each place to dress up the table. I’ll have to caution my 3 ½-year-old granddaughter that even if it’s sitting at her place, dessert doesn’t get eaten first!

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Monday
Apr032017

Taste Memories of Bread Pudding

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Recently, I’ve been dreaming of Mrs. Victorine’s bread pudding. It was a dense, custardy block of deliciousness, dotted with raisins and presented chilled.

Mrs. Victorine was our neighbor across the street in Hilo, Hawaii, where I grew up. As neighbors do in Hawaii, we often shared food back and forth—fruits and vegetables from our backyards, and food we cooked and baked.

After Mr. Victorine died, for quite some time afterwards, my mom would send us over with a plate of dinner for Mrs. Victorine.

In return, Mrs. Victorine baked us bread pudding, which was always a hit with our family. But she would never divulge her recipe and since she passed away years ago, that recipe is lost forever.

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