A little bit of Hawaii in West Virginia

This is me– in warm, balmy Hawaii.



And this is me today, in West Virginia, where it is 24 degrees.

IMG_5383 - Version 3


That’s right, I am shriveled and furled, trying desperately to preserve body warmth. My hair feels weird. My nose is red. My skin feels parched–wait. What? Are those…. wrinkles? I need to hydrate! I need a humidifier! Where’s my other sweater? What if the electricity goes out IWILLFREEZETODEATH!!!


I’m a sissy when it comes to cold weather. Those of my friends who live in various cold weather parts of the world are now pointing and sneering and telling me to get a grip. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

There are some things that are nice about being here. I get to wear cool scarves and boots and layers and leather. I’m enjoying the colors of the last few autumn leaves still clinging stubbornly to almost-bare branches. I’m not in the very last time zone in the US, which means I can now do that neat trick where I call someone and say innocently, “What, it’s 3AM there? Oh, sorry. I forgot the time difference.”

But the best part about being here is I get to spend Thanksgiving with my son, the college boy. A kind friend is allowing us to stay in her home while she’s away. So we have real bedrooms, bathroom space, and best of all, a kitchen!

My son was excited about my visit because hey, I can cook all his favorite foods, and isn’t that what moms do? For our first meal together he requested his favorite– shoyu chicken and rice. Ahh, you can send him away to university far, far from the land of the mixed plate, but you can’t take the local out of the boy.

So that’s what I made– shoyu chicken, rice and fresh corn on the cob. So easy. So perfect. It’s comfort food, local style.

RECIPE (you’ll laugh at how simple it is)

Chicken parts. I normally use thighs, but the Kroger was all sold out. The legs worked just fine.

About 3/4 cup shoyu.

Maybe a 1/2 cup sugar. Less if you prefer it less sweet. (Nobody said this was health food)

About a teaspoon of that minced ginger you can buy in a little jar. (I use fresh at home)

Pepper and a pinch of Chinese 5 spice, if you have it. (I didn’t. It’s okay if you skip it)

1/4 to 1/2 cup of water

Put the chicken in a pot.

Mix all ingredients together and pour it over the chicken. Bring it to boil, cover and simmer until chicken is almost falling off the bone.


See? Easy peasy. And aloooha!

*You MUST serve this with hot rice. We prefer brown, but most Hawaii folks would wrinkle up their noses at that.

Your comments are welcomed.