revisiting memories
while laying in bed late at night

"every woman's memory is her private literature."
-aldous huxley

last night i felt this intense craving for the samoan dish taro with palusami.  i haven't had it since i studied abroad in the south pacific in 2003- getting close now to 10 years ago!  something though in my mind conjured up the smell of taro baking- and of course you can't have taro without palusami!  haha- what the hell am i talking about right?!  what are these foods?!

taro and palusami

late night in bed are some of my favorite moments in my life.  my mind travels to thoughts and memories i haven't visited in ages, places in my mind i forgot even existed.  and, i get to share these nooks in my brain with my partner patrick; revealing to one another ideas and remembrances, always inspiring the other and learning about our own minds.  

beach fales in savaii, samoa

last night my mind was drifting to the other side of the world, and as it often does- to my desire to travel again.  i thought about my adventures in samoa, hawaii, fiji, and western samoa.  i told patrick about living in a village for a few weeks with a sundown curfew, showering under an outdoor faucet with only cold water in a lavalava (a sarong type thing), staying in fales (little beach huts) on the beach and having the tide come in right under your floor for only $10 a night, and of course the delicious food!!  it was a bit of bad timing that i was trying out this whole raw vegan lifestyle while there, but still i got to sample some incredible dishes.  the papaya was out of this world, the bananas were tiny and so sweet, coconuts were phenomenal, and the breadfruit- don't even get me started! 

the amazing and tasty breadfruit

the best bananas ever!

i also remember all the people i met there- my host families and my "team" from america- and i often wonder what they're doing, wishing i was better at keeping in touch.  

the gorgeous beaches

i want my memories to remain vivid, but i know that's impossible with the collection of time.  i already struggle remembering the samoan language, what the streets looked like, and how the island "felt" and smelled .  but talking about my memories helps, and remembering the samoan flavors brings me back...     

so i got to thinking, i should prepare a samoan style dinner sometime soon.  smells and tastes are such powerful memory inducers, and i haven't thought about samoa in a LONG time.

so this week i'm going to make taro and palusami, and breadfruit, maybe a side of pork of some sort.  i actually can't believe it's taken me this long to think of cooking a samoan meal!

trust me when i tell you, taro and palusami are some of the best foods in the world!  

here's a recipe i found:

1 lb. young taro leaves
2 c. coconut milk
1 c. water
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 sm. onion, finely chopped

Wash taro leaves and remove outer part of spine. Alternate four leaves and place on a sheet of foil 12 x 12 inches and form into a cup. Pour mixture of remaining ingredients into taro leaves. Place bundles in a pan. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour.

pretty simple.. i just gotta hunt down some taro and breadfruit.  asian grocery store maybe?

i'm thinking i'll just bake the breadfruit and the taro... go from there!  if anyone has any suggestions for samoan cooking please let me know!  

enjoy your memories and share them with people you love often.  this will help them stay fresh and alive!  and, if you can't afford to travel like me, let the scents and flavors of other cultures transport your mind to new ways of thinking!  

paradise can be found within your mind

alofa (love in samoan!) to you!     


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