Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.

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Hawaiian Thanksgiving
by Don and Peggy Doman

Peg taking in the view from atop the lava cliffs in front of the House of the Deep Blue Sea in Paradise Park, Puna District - Photo.

A golden mongoose.Thanksgiving is always about family, friends and food. It's not much different in Hawaii, except perhaps for having a backyard mongoose family.

Thanksgiving morning started like most of our mornings with a quiet cup of coffee or two and reading on the lanai. Between page turns and pouring a new cup, we would stare out at the ocean searching for spouting whales and watching the backyard for the cavorting mongoose family, with three kits, which inhabits the nooks and crannies of the lava. As more people woke up and joined the early-risers, we began formalizing the loosely made plans from the night before.

A group effort cooking for breakfast - Photo.Special days require a special breakfast: eggs cooked your way and a combination of Portuguese sausage and Spam . . . and toast with macadamia nut butter and Kona Coffee Jelly along with a combination of passion fruit/orange juice. Randy Lord is a super fry-cook. He doesn't mind taking orders for over-easy, fried hard, or whatever your preference. I never heard anyone complain nor be served the wrong order.

One of the morning's big decisions or course is to have your coffee with or without Bailey's Irish Cream. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Light pu pus - Photo.After breakfast we all went back to relaxing, reading, talking and snacking on "pu pus" or appetizers.

We had fresh papaya, toasted coconut, smoked oysters, and cheese and crackers.

A couple of days before, Randy had drilled through a couple of coconuts for the coconut water and then beat the nuts with a hammer to get to the meat. We ate the meat raw and then later it was cut into strips and toasted.

With a big breakfast, pu pus, cocktails, coffee, and an occasional beer, we made it through the rest of the day.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Photo.We had made the decision several days before the holiday to have a traditional Thanksgiving feast, with a roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls, and cranberry sauce. Safeway as well as several other large grocery stores around Hilo had complete packages. By ordering the package, we would have an easy day of relaxing and not have to worry about doing all the cooking. We could warm up the food, serve, and eat.

Since we would have a 10-12 pound turkey, there would be plenty of turkey for sandwiches for a day or two afterwards as well.

Unfortunately, in our decision to have the traditional turkey dinner package, we somehow left out the important step of ordering the package in time. When we finally tried to place our order everyone was already sold out. Thanks to Costco where we had bought some dark turkey meat and turkey breast portions. Suzie made roasted yams and Peg made her famous stuffing and everyone else pitched in for a beautiful and tasty Thanksgiving dinner.

Carmelized Onions for the stuffing - Photo.

Randy dislays the wonderful stuffing - Photo.

The left half of the Thanksgiving table - Photo.

The right half of the Thanksgiving table - Photo.

A typical plate of foor for our Thanksgiving dinner in Hawaii - Photo.

Our two pie dessert - Photo.

The Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely wonderful. One joyful surprise was the cranberry sauce we bought in the Keaau village Foodland. It was a cranberry-pineapple combination. Fantastic. One surprising disappointment was the macadamia nut chocolate cream pie. The nuts were almost non-existent and it basically tasted like Jello instant pudding. For the price, it should have been much better.

With a few Thanksgiving toasts and full bellies, we had a great holiday celebration.

Hawaiian Flowers - Photo.

Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.

Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.

Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.

Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.

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Hawaiian Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving on the big island hawaii.