Of sequels and such

I’ve always enjoyed reading fantasy (Lord of the Rings being one of my favorites!) and when I was a teenager, I enjoyed reading David Eddings’ fantasy series—with his Belgariad series being another favorite. Lately, I have found it hard to get into fantasies.  Several series start really promising and then get frustrating as you continue on.

I remember starting on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series (even introducing it to other friends) and then getting really frustrated as it slowed down and never seemed to end—the main character got really whiney and the female characterization was making me unhappy.  I stopped at Book Four and never looked back.  Turns out, he died before he even finished, though I hear that his son is finishing the series for him.

I’ve been really put off by fantasy series that start off really well, but don’t follow through. For instance, I enjoyed reading Eragon, only to struggle with the second book Eldest.  The story dragged and I could not get past page 100.  I don’t know if I am willing to invest the time in reading it if the third and fourth turn out to be just as problematic. 

Then one day, as I was browsing in Amazon, I came across a fantasy book that had been given really good reviews—The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I borrowed the book from the library and ploughed through it in no time at all. I recommended it to many fantasy-loving friends.  I was thrilled to find a new author I could get into.  Then, I had to wait for the second in the series to arrive.

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Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant, Kaneohe

A neighborhood Chinese restaurant cooking up dishes influenced by the top chefs in Hawaii Regional Cuisine and serving world-class Western desserts. It’s enough to make your head spin!


Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant

Pah Ke's Chinese Restaurant Kaneohe

One of the things I was craving for when thinking about our trip back to Hawaii was Minute Chicken Cake Noodle. This is a dish that was originated in Hawaii, at the On On Chinese Restaurant on McCully Ave in Honolulu. Wheat noodles are cooked, pressed down into a flat cake, about a half an inch thick, and then pan-fried until the outside is crispy. Top it with some fried boneless pieces of chicken and an oyster-based sauce, and you’ve got a delightful meal.

We hadn’t had a chance to get Minute Chicken Cake Noodle on our two previous trips back to Hawaii, so I was really looking forward to going to On On this time around. But then my friend Billy said that the Minute Chicken Cake Noodle at Pah Ke’s was better than On On. I hadn’t heard of Pah Ke’s before. Intrigued, we set up a time to meet there for dinner.

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Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, Honolulu

One of the things I put on my list of “things to eat” when on our recent trip back to Hawaii was a good burger. Fortunately, there are a few establishments that contend for “best burgers in Honolulu”. After reading this piece on The Gathering Place called “Battle of the Burgers”, I decided to try Teddy’s Bigger Burgers at their new location on Beretania Ave in Mo’ili’ili near University. Annie’s friends took us there for dinner one evening.

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers – University Location

teddy's bigger burgers

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Malasada Day

The day before Ash Wednesday (when the Christian season of Lent begins) is known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. It is celebrated as Mardi Gras in places influenced by French culture, like the bawdy celebrations down in New Orleans. But in Hawaii, it has another name: Malasada Day.

Happy Malasada Day in Hawaii

Leonard Jr's Malasada Stand Waikele

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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