My son and I participated in the 2nd Annual Breadfruit Festival at the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook on the Big Island of Hawai'i this past Saturday. This year's theme was 'The Breadfruit Fest Goes Bananas' and it was very interesting and a lot of fun...
I was involved in the Cooking Contest part of the event and Anthony was one of our several volunteers helping out at the contest tent...I will be writing more and sharing about the event and the winning contest recipes within the next few days...but in the meantime, I will share about our picnic in one of our island parks on the way home today.
We left our hotel about mid morning and drove on the southern route of Hwy 11 toward Hilo...We first stopped at the South Kona Green Market which meets on Sundays and got some figs and a couple of other little things, and with what we already had in our "emergency picnic cooler", all we needed was some bread...which we picked up on our way when we passed through Na'alehu making a stop at the Punalu'u Bakery to buy some of their delicious sweet bread and a couple of bottles of green tea flavored with mango and liliko'i (passion fruit)...Punalu'u Bakery bills themselves as the Southernost Bakery in the United States and I don't think anyone else can contest that title!
We decided to stop at Whittington Park. This is a beautiful little park that is easy to miss, although it is by the highway. At one time, this location was a thriving little village called Honu'apo (*) and the village residents cultivated fish ponds in the ancient ways of old Hawai'i. The village was destroyed by a tsunami in 1868. As time went by, a masonry pier was built by Honu'apo Bay to ship sugar cane, but in 1946 another tsunami destroyed the landing and wharf and only some pilings and a few trusses remain today.
We found a table under a beautiful old tree. We were not really prepared for a picnic, and had no tablecloth but when I stay in hotels around the island I usually carry one of my own pillows and I had a flowered print pillowcase we used as our 'tablecloth'.
Part of our picnic fare...hardboiled eggs, chèvre brie, Punalu'u sweet bread, longans, apples, mango chutney and mango and liliko'i flavored green tea...and the cooler had our figs and yogurt...see my pillowcase 'tablecloth'?
Besides our bread and iced green tea we had some hard boiled eggs I had taken with us plus a small wheel of chèvre brie; the figs bought at the farmers market just a bit earlier; a small bag of longans a friend had given us at the festival; marionberry yogurt, apples, and a jar of mango chutney given to us by another friend after the festival. It was a feast!
The day was sunny and breezy. We walked around a bit before reloading the car...The location is lovely and we could have stayed there longer but friends were waiting for us in Hilo with an invitation for homemade cantaloupe and honeydew melon sorbet...
Tomorrow I will start sharing the recipes and photos of the Breadfruit Goes Bananas Cooking Contest entries.
(*) The live link about the village of Honu'apo was written by my friend Alan D. MacNarie for the Hawai'i Island Journal, a publication no longer in existence to which we both used to contribute.