Friday, May 14, 2010

“Names are ships to carry dreamers . . .”

Do you ever yearn for a taste of paradise?

Ted and I have a saying when the pressures of business get too intense for too long: It’s either Hawaii or the hospital! So, we are here for three nights to gain some perspective on our lives. To change our channel. To do a little dreaming . . .

We are enjoying breakfast on the patio of Orchids Restaurant next to the beach at the Hotel Halekulani or “House Befitting Heaven.”

Our steaming hot popovers remind me of my first trip to Honolulu with my parents many years ago. The original restaurant was just a hint of what it is today. My Mom was so taken with the steamy, custardy goodness of popovers she dove into cookbooks immediately on our return to duplicate them for us at home. They were never quite the same absent the tropical beauty, the fragrance of plumeria, the sound of waves lapping on soft sand.

And, how auspicious that the whole month of May—Mother’s Day or Memorial Day—is the ideal time to be here. May means dryer weather, and lower airfare and more affordable rooms because it’s off-season.

Don Blanding, Poet Laureate of Hawaii, says it all in Names Are Ships excerpted from his book Vagabond House:

Names! The lure in names of places

Stirring thoughts of foreign faces,

Ports and palaces and steamers,

Names are ships to carry dreamers.

Pago-pago, Suva, Java,

Languor, lotuses and lava,

Everything a dreamer wishes,

Buried treasure, flying fishes,

Coconuts and kings and corals,

Pirates, pearls and pagan morals,

Rum and reefs and Christian teaching,

Gin, and jungle parrots screeching. . .

Dreams and names are here on our verandah with an expansive ocean view.

Right after breakfast we’ll be off on an early morning walk along the Waikiki shoreline to the healing stones where we have a personal ritual of visualizing what we want to bring into our lives as we circle the sacred relics three times.

Then back here for a swim in the Halekulani pool.

We will be refreshed and recharged and home too soon! Before we leave, I’ll stock up on the hotel’s own brand of Heavenly Tea, the blend called Jasmine Earl Grey, for a little taste of paradise, and I’ll serve it with . . .


(5 to 8 popovers)

Melted butter for brushing the popover pan

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Generously brush iron popover pans, muffin tins or Pyrex custard cups with melted butter. If using custard cups, arrange them on a cookie sheet for easier handling.

Combine all the other ingredients in the container of an electric blender and blend at high speed for 10 to 15 seconds. Turn off the motor to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend at high speed for 10 to 15 seconds longer, until the batter is completely smooth.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill the cups half full of batter and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes if using an iron popover pan or muffin tins, or for 40 minutes if using custard cups. They should be well browned and crisp when done. To be sure they are firm and will stay puffed, remove the popovers from the oven and, while they are still in the pan, pierce the side of each one with a sharp knife. This will allow the steam to escape. Return them to the turned-off oven for 2 to 3 minutes to dry the insides.

To prepare in advance: The batter may be mixed and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two, but be sure to reblend it for 10 to 15 seconds just before using. Leftover popovers can be reheated on a baking sheet, not touching at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diana! It's been a while since I visited your blog. Your trip does sound heavenly. And we are big popover fan here!

    The photos are gorgeous, tranquil...I like this: "names are ships to carry dreamers."

    Wishing you safe travels,
    Lori Lynn