Friday, March 10, 2006

Good Ol' Childhood Comforts

I am in comfort food heaven right now! My family doesn't know this, but I've been pretty home sick lately. We haven't been home to Hawaii since 1998 and being that my brother, sister and their families are still living there, not to mention close friends that I grew up with in that island paradise, it gets harder to be away as the years go by. You would think that it would get easier to be away, but nothing truly beats the comforts of home and your childhood. So what did I do? I ordered myself a care package of comfort snacks from Crack Seed Center! Mmm...onoliscious! I guess I got a little carried away $48 later (not including the $16 in shipping because of the weight) but I'm loving it now! This is what I ordered:

1/4 lb. of sweet sour lemon
1/4 lb. of shredded li hing mui
1/4 lb. of rock salt plum
1/2 lb. of pickled peach
1 lb of pickled mango with li hing mui
1/2 lb. of pickled apricot
1/4 lb. of komaru senbei
1/2 lb. of hachimitsu balls (kimi balls)
1 box (60 pcs) of Fusen Gum

Now I wasn't being a glutton...although I probably will have a taste of everything. I ordered the senbei for my husband to try and the hachimitsu balls and the gum for the kids. Yesterday my package of delights arrived and I not only had to tear into it right away, but couldn't stop eating! HAHA My husband had to pry the package out of my hands! First I thought that I would just have a little taste of the tourist seed sample that they included, but there was just no way that I could stop at that. One pickled peach, two pickled apricots, two pickled mango pieces with a li hing mui seed that was in it, one sweet li hing mui, and red fingertips from the pickled mango later, my husband was intervening for the sake of my high blood pressure and hiding the box from me! It may not sound like I ate much, but I had all of this AFTER we had gotten back from Alex's birthday dinner at the Outback Steakhouse and AFTER we had his Haupia birthday cake that I ordered from Zippys. (Sidenote: Outback's french onion soup, bleu cheese chopped salad and lamb chops are all soooo delicious and mail order from Zippys is always worth it, even if the price of shipping is more than the item ordered!) I was sooo full, but I had to have a taste of home. :) It was nice! it!

When I was younger, I would go to the crack seed store every single time we went to Pearlridge or Ala Moana Shopping Center or would always wind up getting some from Gibson's whenever we were there. You could kind of compare it to Pavlov's experiment with the dogs and the association with the bells, because just seeing those huge jars with the bell-shaped dome lids would be enough to make anyone's mouth water! If you grew up from Hawaii or have ever been there, you would know what I'm talking about. They always had such a HUGE selection to choose from and sometimes it was hard to decide what to get. Would it be the juicy li hing mui? Pickled apricots? Rock salt plums? Ahi jerky? Oh the decisions! When you tell them what you want, you order by weight. For example, "I'd like a 1/4 lb. of li hing mui and a 1/2 lb. of shredded ginger please." I always found it funny how the counter person would always get it to the precise weight, picking and choosing the size of the seed or just the right pinch of the shredded stuff to get you to that amount. I would never think about complaining about paying a little extra because it came out to be a few ounces over. LOL It's interesting how they take such care in precision, and if it was over, they would take a little out and put some back in until it was exactly that weight! What customer service! And as for the gum that I ordered? I used to buy it for 2 cents a piece from the candy counter at the shopping center that I rode my bike to when I was little. I loved the little Japanese blue tatoos that were on the other side of the wrapper and the gum itself is so yummy! Anyway, it was nice to be transported back to my childhood for a little while. :) If anyone needs me, I'll be here with my goodies! ;)


Consuella said...

If I didn't have a "stash" of red li hing mui in the pantry, I'd probably be pretty irritated because my mouth started watering halfway through your post! But lucky for me I am now happily enjoying an especially delicious li hing mui even as I type. My feet are going to swell to the size of irons tomorrow but it's worth it! Yum.

Don't eat too much of that stuff at once, though, Stac -- you'll be sorry!!!!

And you wouldn't have to pay so much shipping for your fix if you'd just come visit! We can squeeze you all into the spare bedroom. =)

allkindsofstaci said...

I know...we're WAY overdue for a trip home! =( Hopefully soon! And speaking of eating too much--

I was snacking all day yesterday! Pickled apricots, pickled peaches, pickled mangoes, shredded li hing mui...ok, I had a little of everything that I ordered and I know it was just so bad for my high blood pressure. Last night I willingly handed over the stash and asked Alex to hide it from me for a couple of days. LOL (sigh) You would think that there's so many Hawaii people living here, that you could find this stuff here! Atleast there's always L&L and Hawaiian Style Grill! =)