Last spring, my husband, David and I decided we'd try something new: Thanksgiving in Hawaii with our three now grown kids. Years ago, when they were very young, we enjoyed an exotic Thanksgiving in Luxor, Egypt where the waiters wore fancy white, starched turbans and the cranberry sauce was made with unknown ingredients. This time it would be mango, red pepper, ginger, curry and many more ingredients. 

In spite of a few recent colorful Thanksgivings in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico as well as in LA, our timeless tradition had always been to celebrate this special and non-religious holiday in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. Back at Seekonk Farm in our 18th century New England home, surrounded by family and friends, the late November Thursday perfectly fits the scenery. And while roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy and mashed potatoes might be run of the mill, the occasion was always one of gratefulness and joy.

Like Egypt, Hawaii didn't quite seem to fit the bill. Of course, at Safeway in Kahului, Oahu we were hit with a steep grocery bill. At our rented home near a three mile beach I've been sworn to secrecy by our daughters not to mention, the girls prepared a sumptuous meal while the guys luxuriated in the hot tub and I flitted about attempting to stay out of the way of the cooking when possible. Below are a couple of recipes for the mango chutney and a lime pie. Unfortunately, our Macadamian nut hummus from United Airlines magazine, was sadly left behind.

Going down memory lane, we took Maui's famous road to Hana with its 108 bridges and gorgeous waterfalls. This time though after leaving Hana we would make the entire loop which involves some rough surfaces— but with a stop at a winery. A highlight was a late afternoon sun on the 10,000' tall Haleakala volcano. It seemed to be tumbling towards the ocean in a sea of tall, golden grasses. 


Below is a short piece David wrote for an online publication of the Berkshire International Club:

Returning to Hawaii for Thanksgiving

In 1989 our family, including Honey and our two daughters, Alexandra and Nadia spent six months in Hawaii. The girls went to a Waldorf school in Honolulu and I worked as a psychiatrist and studied public health. Our son, Daniel, now 26 had never visited the islands so we decided to have Thanksgiving in a rented house on a beautiful beach in Oahu — not far from where the Obamas have a home. We also visited Maui where we stayed at the Haiku Plantation Inn dating from the mid-1800’s and now a lovely B & B.

Some of our highlights included ascending Maui’s 10,000 foot volcano, Haleakala (by car), and taking the famous coastal route to Hana with its steep cliffs, crashing ocean waves, waterfalls, and lush tropical forests. We continued on the less-travelled road back to Haiku.

Once in Oahu we enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal, Hawaiian style prepared by our daughters. While making dishes such as Macadamia nut hummus, a mango chutney for the chicken (not turkey) and a delicious key lime pie, Honey, Daniel and I relaxed in the hot tub. Waimanalo’s beach was always inviting in spite of rough waves and often recurring rain.

The famous Hanauma Bay where we had once snorkeled also beckoned. Honolulu’s museums such as the Bishop, the Honolulu Museum of Art, great Asian restaurants as well as Chinatown were the final cultural treat. For Honey of course, Hawaii’s plants including Hawaii’s plumeria used for leis was always a source of delight. For Daniel, a highlight was his surfing lesson where he rode a wave on his very first attempt.

Thank you to our three wonderful children, now in the throes of their careers: Alexandra: cultural anthropologist, Nadia, independent film maker, and Daniel, journalist, for taking a journey this far across the Pacific to islands which happen to be the furthest away from any continent on the planet — but not of our heart.


And now our daughters' well-researched recipes: Yummy Mango Chutney great with grilled chicken or fish:

To top it off: Creamy Lime Pie for which Alexandra used instead a graham crust for simplicity sake. (Interestingly the recipe is from Oaxaca. Can't seem to get away from Mexico...)

Honolulu's charming and funky chinatown

Honolulu's charming and funky chinatown