It’s Linda on post patrol today. The Boss is still under the weather, but then the weather in her neck of the woods is under-whelming. <LSMH> (Winter’s on its way and she’s not overly excited about it.)
Given I’m a food and wine blogger when I’m not a P.I., I thought I’d post about poi—firstly, by explaining the significance of “Forever Poi”, the fourth Triple Threat Investigation Agency case and, secondly, providing a little background about poi (with recipes).
The Boss explained it quite nicely, succinctly, in her new Smashwords interview: “In terms of me: it’s an homage to Hawaii. Poi is a Hawaiian staple, a delicious food made from taro. Hawaii [a hope, a dream] is in my heart and soul and always will be; hence, forever poi.”
In terms of the case, there’s mention of “Forever Poi” as associated with a comment from an intriguing [if not dangerous] individual who shall remain nameless. (Alternatively said: please read our new adventure.)
The three of us enjoy poi different ways. I love poi as “cereal”, sprinkled with raw sugar and cinnamon. Rey prefers taro in the form of chips. And JJ likes it in the form of soft-serve ice-cream or mooncakes.
For those not in the know about poi, it’s an essential Hawaiian staple, made from the underground plant stem of a root vegetable known as taro. There’s a lot of fascinating information re its origins and where and how it’s used, but I’ll leave that for another time. Feel free, however, to go Googling.
A quick note, though: traditional poi is made by mashing the cooked corm (plant stem) of the taro. The time-honored method is performed on a wooden board with a pestle (pounding implement) while the modern method involves a food processor (I’ll opt for traditional anytime, thank you). You can enjoy it fresh or allow it to ferment.
There’s an intriguing way of measuring consistency: “one finger”, “two finger”, and “three finger” poi relates to how many fingers are necessary to scoop a mouthful of the delicious mashed product. The thicker the poi, the fewer the fingers. Thickness or runniness is a purely personal preference.
Now that I’ve condensed a plethora of info into a pint-sized post, let me share some easy-peasy recipes: Simple Poi (a fav of mine), Simple Poi Mochi (a fav of JJ’s), and Simple Poi-Nut Bread (a fav of Rey’s). . . . Can you tell the three of us really like “simple”? <LOL>
♥ 4 lbs taro root 2 ½ tbsp coconut oil ♥ 2 ½ tbsp butter ♥ 2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt ♥ 6-8 tbsp celery or asparagus juice ♥ water
⇒ Preheat the oven to 300°F. ⇒ Wash the taro root and pierce consistently all over. ⇒ Bake for about 2 hours (until soft all the way through). ⇒ Cut open the taro root and spoon out the taro into a large bowl. Throw away the skin. ⇒ Add the salt and juice. ⇒ Mix well. ⇒ Cover with a cloth and leave to ferment for a minimum of 24 hours. ⇒ Once fermented, melt the butter in a saucepan. ⇒ If you’re going traditional and mashing the taro with a wooden board and pestle, do so, and then add to a bowl. If you’re going modern, add the taro to a food processor and “mash”. ⇒ Add the oil and butter. ⇒ Add the water and blend to the desired consistency.
(You can add various “flavors” or serve it as is. As mentioned, I like sugar and cinnamon, but anything’s doable. Feel free to experiment.)
Simple Poi Mochi
♥ 1 lb poi, ready-made/bought or homemade (see “Simple Poi” recipe above) ♥ 2 cups water, give or take ♥ 2 10-ounce packages Asian sweet rice flour ♥ 1 ½ cups sugar ♥ 1 quart canola oil for deep frying
⇒ Combine everything except the oil. ⇒ Add water slowly (you want a thick batter). ⇒ Drop by the teaspoon into the heated oil and deep fry until slightly crisp. ⇒ Drain. ⇒ Makes about three dozen pieces. ⇒ Feel free to dust with sugar or a sugar-spice combination.
(You can add various “flavors” to the mixture before frying. JJ likes red-bean paste.)
Simple Poi Nut Bread
♥ 1 lb poi, ready-made/bought or homemade (see “Simple Poi” recipe above) ♥ ¾ cup water ♥ 2 cups flour ♥ ¾ cups brown sugar ♥ 1 tsp cinnamon ♥ 1 tsp nutmeg ♥ 2 tsp baking powder ♥ 1 tsp sea salt ♥ 3 eggs, beaten ♥ 1 cup oil ♥ 2 tsp vanilla ♥ 1 ½ cups macadamia nuts (or substitute your favorite nut, or a combination thereof) ♥ ½ cup currants (or dried fruit of preference)
⇒ Mix the poi and water together. Let stand in a bowl. ⇒ In a second bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. ⇒ Combine both mixtures. ⇒ Add the remaining ingredients. ⇒ Add to an oiled/buttered pan and bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes.
Hope you enjoyed the post about poi. It’s a bit of a departure from the usual, but what’s wrong with digressing now and again?