In Hawaii homes, there is one staple that is the sine qua non of every kitchen: rice.
Also, your rice cooker.
The custom of rice with meals — in some homes, every meal — originated about 150 years ago, with plantation workers who came to Hawaii from Asia. Eventually pretty much everyone, regardless of ethnic background, came to expect that rice is the go-to side dish in Island homes.
We buy our rice by the 20-pound bag. And will go through 20 pounds a lot faster than you might think.
I used to give bags of rice as gifts during the Christmas season to my children’s teachers, school bus drivers, and other service providers.
Speaking of bags of rice, the last time I brought one home from the store, it had this recipe on the back:
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of cabbage rolls as something to fantasize about.
Anyway, because as I’m writing this after just returning home from a four-day trip to the mainland and I’m just a bit jet-lagged, I’m going to refer you to an essay I read some years ago by a Hawaii author who summed the whole rice thing up rather perfectly.
Rice is more than food; rice is love.
This is the seventeenth post in my series, 31 Days of Life in my Hawaii. Click here to get the links to the other posts in the series.