Today the lava is hot, beautiful, deadly. It’s black steamy fingers both scare and fascinate us. Later, it cools and forms mounds of land that become islands and mountains – the land we now call Hawaii.
Haleakalā, which bears more resemblance to the moon than a tropical paradise, shadows over the the beautiful island of Maui. At 10,023 feet, this mountain, the remains of a massive shield volcano, is the highest in Hawaii. Hundreds of visitors a year drive the switchback road to the top to see the beauty of the rock and sand formations, and engage in dangerous activities like biking down the treacherous highway. At this elevation, the weather is chilly and can easily drop into the 30’s by late afternoon. You don’t want to be here unprepared.
Some of the texture of the mountaintop – black, red, brown and gray sand, loose stones and rocky slopes.
The only vegetation you’ll see is on the way up.
The area is so vast, it can’t all be explored in one day.
Near the top, you’re higher than the clouds.
© Huffygirl 2014
Up until my recent visit to Hawaii, I thought banana bread was something one baked only when one wanted to use up over-ripe bananas. I have a family banana bread recipe that I’ve made in this instance for years. It is okay, but not outstanding. It only takes 2-3 bananas, and actually, it’s a little dry, but adequate. And that is how I’ve always thought about banana bread – something that keeps bananas from going to waste, and is okay, but not great. Until now.
Banana bread is a much sought-after delicacy in Hawaii. Much like I might pursue the perfect chocolate cake or the best chardonnay, Hawaii visitors search for the best banana bread. Guide books list the places that sell banana bread and debate which one is the best. At first, I found this laughable. After all, it’s banana bread we’re talking about here. But then, a trip down on side road off the road to Hana to the Keanae Peninsula lead us to Aunty Sandy’s, home of the best banana bread ever. (Aunty Sandy’s also has shave ice, but that is a story for another day.)
Aunty Sandy’s banana bread was soft, golden and crumbly, with a subtle sweetness and an unobtrusive banana flavor. The loaf was still warm when we bought it, and my initial instinct was to buy two. I should have followed that instinct, because when we came back later to get more, Aunty Sandy’s was closed. But on our return trip we did score some photos of a lava rock beach that we had missed before, and the historic stone church which survived the 1946 tsunami.
Since returning home I’ve been searching for a banana bread recipe that could duplicate Aunty Sandy’s. Apparently everyone else is too, because any internet search on banana bread leads you to blogs and reviews praising Aunty Sandy’s. So far I haven’t found a recipe that equals it yet, so I may just need to make another trip to Hawaii.
Aunty Sandy’s, home of the best banana bread ever.
The surf was high on the lava rock beach.
Historic church which survived the 1946 tsunumi.
Keanae Peninsula, lava rock beach
An ethereal mist had settled over the Keanae Peninsula.
© Huffygirl 2014
8 different airplanes
2 old volcanoes
1 5K race
and too many waterfalls and beaches to count.
In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more about my recent trip to Hawaii.
© Huffygirl 2014