The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Friday, June 29, 2012


Try Singapore kaya breakfast at Pig and the Lady at the KCC Farmers Market Saturday

by Larry Geller

I first visited Singapore in December 1971, to canvas local GE managers on the possibility of using GE’s time sharing services. The job was made infinitely more difficult, as it turned out, because while I was in the air enjoying Singapore Airlines hospitality (and great meals!—they even sell a cookbook), President Nixon had floated the dollar, and so the overseas operations took an immediate hit on their bottom line. Each of my appointments the next day was punctuated by the sounds of teeth gnashing or outright cries of anguish. And they ended quickly. The managers had other things on their mind.

So I was able to escape several times during the day to explore Singapore and check out the food, which I had only read about. I also managed to escape the mad cab drivers who delighted in playing chicken by aiming at pedestrians stepping off the curb on Shenton Way.

There is an incredible variety of food served up in that tiny island city-state, and during a cab ride across town (the cabs were not air conditioned then), the aromas switched from the spices of India to Malaysia to China over and over again.

It was a short visit, but when I next returned in 1974 I was ready to scarf up everything in sight. I knew that Singapore was serving up my kind of food.

Pig and the Lady Singapore BreakfastNow, you can save a lot of airfare by driving over to KCC Farmers Market tomorrow (Saturday, 6/30) and check out the Singapore Breakfast at the Pig and the Lady tent. Check the link for a description and pictures. There’s more information on the breakfast at the Serious Eats website here.

Although I always stayed at the Shangri La Hotel, where the food was top notch, I usually would escape in the early morning to find something local to eat. The streets are busy before sunrise on any day. The days, by the way, are all the same—the sun rises and sets at almost exactly the same time all year round. Any variety is what you make of it. One day Indian food, one day Chinese, one day Malaysian, and so forth. Each category is further subdivided. Chinese came to Singapore from so many provinces that even the variation of “Chinese” food is staggering.

Pig and the Lady is offering a simple but elegant egg dish along with Kaya toast. Check out the explanation at the link. They serve it with Vietnamese ice coffee. In Singapore, most typically coffee would be served with condensed milk so thick that you could –literally– cut it with scissors while it is pouring.  In fact, that’s what happened one day as I visited my favorite tailor to pick up a suit. While we talked, one of the staff poured out cups of coffee, then added condensed milk from a can held high above the table, cutting off the stream with a tailor’s scissors each time, then going on to the next cup. I was thinking: usually we might measure liquids by the ounce or milliliter, perhaps, but he was measuring the milk by the inch.

Anyway, I digress. Just thinking of Singapore food brings back memories. Having some tomorrow should transport me back in time and space.

If you see this in time, try out the Singapore Breakfast or one of the other Pig and the Lady dishes at the KCC Farmers Market. Be warned, though, their cooking is addictive. You’ll be back again. And again. And again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Report: studies show that GMO crops have harmful effects on laboratory animals and on the environment

One of the report’s authors, Dr. Michael Antoniou of King’s College London School of Medicine in the UK, uses genetic engineering for medical applications but warns against its use in developing crops for human food and animal feed.”—Nation of Change

by Larry Geller

A 123-page report released this month will not please Hawaii’s pro-GMO lobby: GMO Myths and Truths: An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops.

Hawaii is a major source of GMO seed crops, and that brings with it a cadre of well-paid lobbyists. Here’s my photo album for a shindig thrown for state legislators on the grounds of the Hawaii State Art Museum on January 11, 2012. The culinary extravaganza was staged by the Hawaii Farm Bureau and the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association. In addition to those two organizations, several big gun lobbyists were present. The lavish event itself was controversial due to an initial Ethics Commission challenge. (click for larger)


The GMO report itself is here. Right-click and save, or read it on-line.

The newly-released report presents a large body of peer-reviewed scientific and other authoritative evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically engineered crops and organisms.

Unusually, the initiative for the report came not from campaigners but from two genetic engineers, who believe there are good scientific reasons to be wary of GM foods and crops.

[Nation of Change, Genetic Engineers Explain Why GE Food is Dangerous, 6/24/2012 ]

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Tuesday night KCC farmers market opens

by Larry Geller

Tuesday June 12 was the first day of the new KCC Tuesday Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. at the same location (Kapiolani Community College Diamond Head Road parking lot) as the wildly popular Saturday market.

While the Saturday market has become a tourist destination, which discourages some local shoppers who prefer a quieter experience, Tuesday should be more relaxed. The tourists are probably off enjoying their luaus, leaving the kale and the mangos to be discovered by us locals.

There were far fewer vendors when compared to the rambling Saturday market, but the number should increase. All the essentials are there, though one could wish for more organic produce. There’s also a row of prepared foods to consume on the spot or to take home for dinner.

Compactness has its advantage. Like the Wednesday market at Blaisdell, it’s very possible to park, shop quickly, and get back on the road headed for home.



Danny Kaleikini opened the market with a blessing. Towards the left are the best pineapples you can find, sweeter than store-bought and starting at $2 each.


If you’ve seen one bunch of kale you’ve seen ‘em all, but what caught my eye was this display at the Hawaiian Cheesecake tent. Too bad I had just succumbed to a lilikoi ice cream cup at Cold Fyyre. I mean, dinner was yet to come and two desserts would be... hmmm... should have done it anyway.

David's Cheescake

The cupcakes are not only works of art, but David Bearden makes them starting with a mac-nut shortbread  base, followed by a layer of Waialua Estate dark chocolate, David’s special cheesecake and a local topping. My favorite cheesecake flavor is the one at the top, lilikoi. Yes, I’m a sucker for passion fruit. But the topping only sets off the very best New York style cheesecake you can find in Honolulu. And here it was, tempting me at the Tuesday market.

More info on the Tuesday KCC market can be found on the Farm Bureau’s website, here. Try come next week.


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Official web pages and Tip Sheets for Saturday morning KCC Farmers' Market, Wednesday night Honolulu Market, Sunday morning Mililani Market, and Thursday Night Kailua Market


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