30 days in USA: day 24 – the South Point and Green sand beach

Looking for a morning coffee in Kona… Kona is a coffee town, isn’t it? But I couldn’t find my coffee there. Green Flash – yucky, Lava Java – watery. Seems I stop to drink any coffee with milk in Kona. Well damn, if its hot and has a coffee flavor, let it be. We are sitting in the center of Kona, having breakfast with a sea view with Ali Drive by one hand and the ocean by another.

I believe I start to understand why Americans shocked about European, especially Italian coffee. First thing might be, where is my coffee and what is that thimble about?  But trying that deep thick aroma you can’t stay indifferent. There are good coffee shops in USA also but mostly they look like an insider’s shops, garages or small rooms whereas you get such a good coffee even in a gas station in Italy. Food theme in USA is very strange to me and I have much more to say about it. Probably, I’ll get back to the theme later.

We drive to the South point and Green Sand beach today. Calm nice road is ahead. South Point is the southern point of the USA (really, its not Key West) and a national historic landmark.You can spot a wind farm close to the point.

I made a small video about the trip.

It does feel as the end of the Earth, even thou that wind you can feel a vitality of nature’s power.
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By the way the point is one of Hawaii’s most popular and bountiful fishing place. You definitely meet a lot of fishermen.

_DSC5364-18Jul2015And cliff jumpers as well. I wish I could jump. But I didn’t. Continue reading

Thai style mussels recipe and kaffir lime tree growing from a seed

kaffir-lime-treeAs far as you don’t know yet I am addicted to Thai food. I love to cook Thai curries all ways and noodles and everything about that. I adapt it to myself as far i don’t eat so hot dishes as they usually are. One day I decided to have Thai herbs garden. Well, it’s cold outside and I was thinking about starting indoors. I bought seeds of thai basils and the Kaffir lime at thaiseeds.com and started to propagate the Kaffir.

The first experience was bad. They died under mildew. I gave it a try for a second time with extra re-hydrating them in wet cotton for 24 hours before I put them into Jiffy’s tablets. The tablets are made from substrate for propagating seeds and easy transplanting them in a pot or a garden.

After almost 2 weeks I saw the seed raised a bit and the next day it was like on the picture one. After 4 more days it looked like at the picture two. It’s growing fast. i transplanted it in a pot and covered with a jar until it gets bigger.

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Kaffir lime leaves are most often used as an essential ingredient for flavoring many Asian dishes. I found fresh in local Mars and Spenser store for USD2.5 for just 4 leaves.

The dark green leaves come in double form – a more pointed top leaf joined to a more rounded bottom leaf. They impart not only a sweet, lemony scent but a wondrous flavor of their own to soups, salads, curries and stir-fried dishes. For watery simmered dishes, the leaves are bruised and added whole; for dry dishes, they are cut into very fine hair-like slivers. To sliver, stack a few leaves at a time and cut at a slanted angle with a sharp knife; or use scissors.

let’s return to our muttons, I meant mussels. We stuck to some Belgian restaurants for a couple of months and, of course, all that is about mussels. We tried different but the most favorite is Thai style in coconut milk.

Remembering mussel’s evenings in France we decided to repeat it here. We bought 4 kg of fresh mussels (it should be for 5 persons). My husband always wash and clean them. I tried once and all my hands was scratched and in pain, mussels still were not good enough and since then I have never tried it again. This is the most unpleasant part about cooking mussels.

The recipe contains two parts: mussels boiled in white wine with celery and onion and Thai sauce.

I prepared spices and herbs for the Thai sauce.

You need:

  • lime juice
  • lemongrass 2-3 sticks
  • ginger (I love to eat it cooked if to cut in thin pieces)
  • galangal (optional but worth to find) It’s a type of ginger but it has more specific aroma. It’s not edible by the way. Too hard.
  • chili fresh or dried
  • 2-4 kaffir lime leaves
  • coconut milk 1-2 cans depends on how thick sauce would you prefer
  • a pinch of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of green curry paste (as for me it would be good enough and without it)
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil or any oil

Preheat oil and curry paste, add one tablespoon of coconut milk and stir the paste.

Add all milk and all ingredients all together (except lime juice) and cook for 5-10 minutes after boiling. Add lime juice at the end and leave by side.

For mussels you need:

  • about 1 kg of them per person if it’s a main dish
  • 1 celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine

Cut celery and onion into small pieces. Put mussels and vegetables in a pot and add wine. Cook them about 3-5 minutes after boiling. Than pour off the wine to another pot. You will probably want to mix it in Thai sauce later. Put mussels in a big pan by portions. Pour Thai sauce and wine sauce on top.

Precooked mussels and prepared herbs and spices.

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Can be eaten with jasmine or basmati rice.

Ready to eat

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Day 23. Captain Cook trail. Honaunau park and coconut hunting.

This funny film where I am snorkeling and cracking whole coconut speaking Russian.

And the day 23 – trail to Captain Cook monument.

You have to be scared before the trail. Not all trails in Hawaii are like that but we chose challenging ones. It the trail is not as missed workout, it doesn’t worth doing. This one is short but good. Even to go downhill is challenging enough. My husband fall on the rocks and miraculously didn’t get crashed himself and the camera. After that he put in in the backpack and we don’t see any pictures from this trail until the very end.

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The only I have from my camera. 1/3 of the way is in high grass, which you can spot on the video above. Its disgusting enough, so you’d better wear long sleeve AND long shorts, which I didn’t have.

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Continue reading

Waipio Valley and Kona. Big Island. Day 22.

Ok, I was naive enough to think I would translate all my Hawaii and USA posts later but it had never happened. I even didn’t finished “USA month” yet. So from day 23 I decided to write it here directly.

Maybe not so huge posts but still something and of course a lot of pictures.

First of all I have short videos for each day, well, almost each day in Hawaii. And a lot, lots of pictures below.

This day we had to move from our jungle house in nowhere to Kona. This house was close enough to Waipio Valley, so we packed everything and went out to find it.

I read many warnings not to leave anything in a car while you are on a hike, so I was pretty nervous about that fact that we have all our stuff in the Jeep. On the parking close to Waipio was a booth with a guard, who was kind enough to promise to look after the Jeep. But still we packed our notebooks and camera and all passports backpack with us. Mine was ok, but my husband had on his back about 15 kg (28lb).

Of course, we knew that the road is steep but you know what we didn’t knew, it is the steepest road of its length in USA, for example.

The valley floor at sea level is almost 2,000 ft (610 m) below the surrounding terrain. A steep road leads down into the valley from a lookout point located on the top of the southern wall of the valley. The road gains 800 vertical feet (243.84 m) in 0.6 miles (0.9 km) at a 25% average grade, with steeper grades in sections. This is a paved public road but it is open only to 4 wheel drive vehicles. It is the steepest road of its length in the United States and possibly the world. The shore line in the valley is a black sand beach, popular with surfers. A few taro farms are located in the valley. Several large waterfalls fall into the valley to feed the river which flows from the foot of the largest falls at the back of the valley out to the ocean.

The warning sign which meets you at the start of the hike_DSC5147-15Jul2015And stunning view from the very beginning. I want to cry when I see this pics now in winter in Europe. Its freezing and gloomy and I wish to be there._DSC5207-16Jul2015Hiking lower_DSC5205-16Jul2015 Continue reading

February update

I decided to order skating dress from Thuono and I have to say it was right. The dress is super warm so I don’t need to wear many layers anymore. The only thing it is made as a body, so if you need to go to the restroom that would be a problem.

I was advised to buy L size because of the length and still, despite I am not a tall person, I feel a kind of short in the shoulders inside the dress. I wish it would be longer.

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I had long flue and after flue recovery. I lost more than one month in total. Finally I feel I am as healthy as I was before the flue. But unfortunately I am not as strong as I was what makes me quite sad.

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February is here and its windy. I gained few kilos this winter and started 100% protein diet for two days today, then I am going to continue with high protein meal plan to be ready for the spring.

My garden is starting blooming. I have many plans to grow veggies this year. I will keep it updated soon. I propagate a lot of seeds at the moment. Asparagus, 7 kinds of tomatoes, melon cantaloupe which I bought in CA this summer (see below),

melon

4 types of basil (2 of them are Thai for my curries) and normal for pesto and tomatoes.

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And my baby girl was eight this month.

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Oahu. Part 1: Lanikai Beach, Pillbox trail, Waimanalo Park and Sandy Beach.

Let me skip first two day for one simple reason – we didn’t take our camera and relaxed with snorkeling and walking around. The third day my husband was totally sick with his throat and nose and fever so I had to tell “Good Bye” to my dreamy Olomana trail and turn to the beach.

The Lanikai beach was nice and very calm as recommended in Lonely Planet guide for families and snorkeling. But I wanted to have an adventure.

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You can take a kayak to the islands in front of the beach or even swim there. I was afraid to swim alone but it didn’t seem too far.

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Once I saw people climbing somewhere not far from the beach. And I said myself, if Olomana is not an option for us today, I can take this hike alone. My husband was bored and decided to join despite of his health condition. The trail named pillbox trail wasn’t very hard, but you need to have good shoes. It is muddy and many people fall.

Can be dangerous after heavy rain

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Watch some people climbing on the picture below.

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A piece of ridge and the view to Lanikai beach front_DSC4303-08Jul2015

Lanikai beach and many many kilometers of water. Amazing!

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The view from the other side of the ridge

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Wonky stairs to the pillbox. Many people make pictures there.

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And finally

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Running down is an option. Maybe the one safety option.

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Sandy beach is told as a beach for brave. And that is true. i wouldn’t ever enter even with a bodyboard.

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There were a lot of rainbows there. Several tropical rains were passing by during that time.

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My favorite picture

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Selfie lovers. As you may guess they were washed in the water by waves. they were happy to get out quickly._DSC4391-08Jul2015-2

I would stay here forever

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In the mirror

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Trying to pose according to my beach mood board collection. It wasn’t as easy as it looked indeed.

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Ice skating in Prague and autumn pumpkin soup recipe.

Hello everyone!

Seems, I have been lost for a couple of weeks. I am all gone to figure skating and, I must admit, it is not so easy. I decide to work hard and I am so exhausted all the time now. I have long lasted health issue because I have to breathe with my mouth on the ice my throat is sick all the time. I could not run for those reasons, I skipped many swimming workouts but I am very very happy. The ice gives me a feeling of childish joy and forgotten chill on my cheeks. We have almost no freezing here and I found that I missed that a bit.

I am training with Ice Skating Ligue with small girls but I don’t care much about that. The only problem I faced with is that they think I am a trainer and I am better than they what is very very false. I hope every girl soon will understand that fact:)

I got my new skates Riedell Diamond133. We baked them in an oven and they fitted so well that I completely forgot I have skates on after an hour.

Screen shot 2015-11-09 at 6.06.49 PMWhile I am trying to get well I cook a lot of vegetables. The pumpkin season is here now and a very popular pumpkin coconut soup. Easy to cook, warming and delicious.

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Recipe of Pumpkin Coconut Soup

1 small pumpkin about 1kg or 4 lbs

1 can of coconut cream (400 ml)

2 teaspoons of red curry paste

seasoning salt, parsley, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin oil – all optional

  1. Cut pumpkin into halves
  2. Bake in the oven with salt until soft
  3. Peel it and put in the pot with coconut milk and curry paste
  4. Boil it all together for few minutes and blend with a blender
  5. Eat immediately 🙂

Have a good and fit week!