It started with the cranberry pie.
My aunt’s cranberry pie recipe, to be exact. I was in high school and it was Thanksgiving. My mother and I were making pies, and I decided to make a lattice crust for the cranberry pie. Taking her battered and stained copy of the McCall’s Cookbook from the shelf, I taught myself how to interlace the strips of pastry into a woven lattice crust (my mom still rolled out the pastry) that turned a wonderful pie into something beautiful as well as delicious. The compliments (and requests for seconds) poured in. I was hooked.
Since then I’ve come a long way. I still make the cranberry pie (and still get asked for seconds), but I expanded my Thanksgiving dessert repertoire into pumpkin cheesecake last year. And I moved out of the oven and onto the stove top for savory fare as well as sweets. I moved out of my mother’s house and into the dorm and, eventually landed in my own condo in the Makiki neighborhood of Honolulu.
I’ve grown up in Honolulu and my palate has been influenced by the international flavor of living in the islands. My ethnic roots are German but my soul belongs in the multicultural kitchen of urban Honolulu. I’m just as likely to make a Thai curry, or Chinese-influenced stir-fry as I am to put together a Pennsylvania Dutch style potato salad or apple pie.
My name is Janine and I’m calling this blog the “Haole Girl Gourmet.” In today’s Hawaii “haole” means “white/caucasian,” somebody who looks like I do. I cook fresh, tasty, casual gourmet food. I love to cook with and for my friends and family. I’m not afraid of rich ingredients like butter and cream, and I love cheese of all kinds. But, I also strive to eat in a heath-conscious manner and I make good use of the farmer’s markets as well as my mother’s garden. I eat just about everything, but you’ll find my cooking leaning away from red meats and prepared foods, and towards seafood and fresh veggies. If pressed to define my style of cooking I’d have to say that it comes closest to the “Mediterranean Diet” in substance and style.
Lately I’ve been wanting to share my culinary explorations with a wider audience. I hope to find one here.