Food, beverages, and entertainment are important features in the Natalie Seachrist mystery series. Each of the casual recipes I share will suggest easily available ingredients that can be portioned to suit your palette. I hope they will enhance your reading of Natalie's adventures in murder and that you will enjoy the discussions of Island food, beverages and entertainment that appear here. Some may be referenced directly in the series, like the Hawaiian potato salad that greets Natalie when she moves into her Auntie Carrie's Lanikai cottage in book two, Murder on Mokulua Drive. Others may be classic dishes that you associate with life in the Hawaiian Islands.
Friends like Margaret-Jean Hansen (with whom I attended classes at the University of Hawai'), often inspired the meals we shared in our homes and alerted me to their favorite menu items at the restaurants we patronized. Sadly, some of the restaurants I wish I could recommend to you no longer exist. Happily, others have become even more popular than they were when I lived on the island of O'ahu, and you may discover them in your own travels in Hawai'i.
When I first moved to Honolulu in 1972, I longed for a few fast-food restaurants and ice cream stores that I had taken for granted on the mainland of the United States. Within a few months however, I had discovered Island delights like scoops of white rice and Hawaiian shaved ice cones to satiate my food cravings.
Each of the simple recipes I share with you will suggest ingredients that are easily available and that can be added in portions to suit your palette. Whether you are planning a quiet night for two, or a large gathering that will overfill your lānai, I join Margaret-Jean in wishing you the vital ingredients of friendship and creativity that are included in all Island cooking. I'm only sad that she is no longer here to offer more of her delight in life and food...but I hope you will enjoy her Island Potato salad recipe and the story of our friendship.
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