Eat Well: Pineapple Express

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
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WWW's famous Maui Veggie Burger!

I woke up in a cold sweat this morning and it hit me. “Rice and Beans” are coming SOON and although this sounds ridiculous, I haven’t really let myself think about that until now. I am going to be moving in with Rebecca and her family for a MONTH. I haven’t been away from home for that long since I went to France the summer after my freshman year in college. I have to be ready at a moment’s notice, but what do I pack? And HOW do I pack for that long?

I have been focused on getting all of my work done, composing and recording the music for our theater company’s new play, Monsters in the Closet, which I will put on a CD so my partners can rehearse the songs without me. I am almost done with this project and I think that is why I am suddenly realizing all of the other stuff I need to do to get ready—plan and plant my fall vegetable garden, finish umpteen sewing projects I have piled in the closet, start and finish some house projects and PACK!!! We live two hours from Rebecca so when we get the call, I want to be able to throw everything into the car quickly so that we can make it there in time. Rebecca lovingly invited Rachel and me to the actual birth…sent us the sweetest invitation that made both of us cry. Now Rachel is in Ohio so the chances of her being at the birth are slim but I soooooo want to make it. And I don’t want to let packing for a month get in my way.

And also, what do I bring? Do I tote along my sewing machine in case, on an off chance, there’s time to sew? Am I kidding myself? Because I am as much in the dark about what to expect as is Rebecca. I had 3 kids, all single births. I didn’t have anyone except Larry helping me when Rachel was born, but she was one baby. I don’t have a clue what it will be like to take care of twins, and I think that’s why I haven’t let myself think about any of this until right now. My mother would tell me “make a list!” which I am unfortunately not good at, but I think as soon as I finish writing this, I will do just that. Maybe even get out the suitcase and put it on one of the kids’ beds. Put a few things in it. I don’t have a baby’s room to take my mind off of the question marks but I do have a suitcase—my nesting box for the next few weeks.

In other news, Rice and Beans each weigh as much as a pineapple this week (er, they did three weeks ago?) Regardless, aloha lovely girls!

I am a HUGE fan of fresh ripe pineapple, but I’m not really into the canned stuff. Last month I stumbled upon the most amazing pineapple I have ever eaten, sold at our local Jimbo’s market. When I went back to get another, they were gone and I almost cried. The produce man told me that I had bought a Maui Gold pineapple and that they are only available for a few weeks in the summer. Eating that pineapple was like taking a trip to Hawaii. Larry and I ate the entire thing by ourselves and I felt a little guilty that we hadn’t shared it with anyone else. You can order Maui Golds online, but look for them in your markets in July and Early August. I’m telling you, you haven’t had a pineapple until you have tasted one of these…really otherworldly.

Maui Gold pineapples are always ripe, so you don’t have to worry about how to pick them out at the grocery store. But most pineapples are picked green so knowing how to pick out a ripe one is important. The pineapple should be yellow on the bottom half and should give when you press it. It should also have a sweet pineapple smell. If it is dark green and hard, don’t buy it.

Preparing the pineapple isn’t hard but requires a very sharp knife. First, cut off the leaves:
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Next, stand the pineapple up on its end and saw off the skin from top to bottom, turning as you go:
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If you still have some prickly eyes left, take them out with a small sharp knife or the end of a potato peeler. Cut the pineapple into ½ inch slices. If you have a Maui Gold pineapple, you don’t have to take out the core because it is also edible, but otherwise, you want to cut out the hard core by cutting around it. You will end up with beautiful doughnut shaped slices of pineapple.
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At this stage, you can serve the pineapple raw (the ONLY way to serve Maui Golds). Or, you can grill the slices for a lovely end to a summer meal or accompaniment for your favorite veggie burgers.

***

Grilled Pineapple

2 T brown sugar, agave nectar, or honey
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 T lime juice
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into ½ inch slices

Mix the first three ingredients together and set aside. Heat grill and lightly coat rack with oil. Brush the pineapple slices with marinade and grill for 3-5 minutes.
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Turn and baste. Cook until tender and golden, turning several times to cook evenly.
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Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream and a little orange liqueur on top for a very special treat!

***

Tequila Lime Grilled Pineapple
(from July/August Vegetarian Times)

Whisk together: 3 T tequila, 1 ½ T agave nectar, 1 T lime juice, and 1/8 t cayenne pepper in bowl. Add 4 fresh pineapple rings and marinate 2 hours. Grill 7 minutes on each side. Serve with reserved marinade.

***

Wendy’s Maui burgers
Veggie burgers (I like Dr. Praegers)
Pineapple rings
Teriyaki sauce
1 sweet onion, sliced
olive oil
buns

In a large pan, cook onions on medium heat in olive oil until brown and caramelized. Marinate pineapple slices in teriyaki sauce for at least an hour.
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Grill pineapple slices brushing with teriyaki sauce until soft and brown on both sides.
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Grill veggie burgers according to directions. Assemble burgers in buns with pineapple slices, onions, and more teriyaki sauce on top.
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These are AMAZING! A delicious veggie option for Labor Day grilling!
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Enjoy!

Love,
WWW

24 comments:

bluejeanamy | 1:20 PM

that looks DELICIOUS. my husband and i (and toddler) recently switched to veggie (and semi-vegan) eating and i'm really loving all your food posts!

*adds this to my growing recipe list*

how great that you'll be staying for a month to help! my mom stayed the same when i had a baby and it was beyond amazing :)

Anonymous | 2:58 PM

I love the pineapple recipe and should try it out - thank you!

Here Is My Suggested Packing List for WWW
(I am a List Maniac and have a 3.5 year old, a 15 month old, and am pregnant with the grand finale singleton - already making lists for when the baby comes though barely 10 weeks in)

1. comfortable feel-good clothes (not too much black due to baby spit ups) that wash and dry easily including outfits that are perfect for lounging and cuddling and rocking and being slept on by R & B

2. little surprises for big siblings A & F

3. camera and charger

4. easy, quick recipes to feed the whole family (rich with protein and good calories for nursing mom) including smoothies and other liquid meals (easier to eat while nursing endlessly in the early days and a good supplement to real food)

LOOKING FORWARD TO UPCOMING WWW POSTS WITH R & B IN ARMS!

Cynthia | 3:33 PM

Oh my WORD! These are some great ideas for pineapple. My mouth watered when I saw the picture of the veggie burger. Thank you!

Amber | 4:00 PM

Those burgers look great! I say bring the sewing machine and your misc. projects with you, for those times when the babies don't need you, but will soon and you don't have much time to do anything else but get a few stitches in.

Daisy | 4:17 PM

I love pineapple in burgers! Yum.

Wendy, can I make a suggestion about packing? Don't worry about a month, just a week. You will be able to wash and shop, so one weeks worth of clothes etc will be fine.

And bring the sewing machine, you never know!

Momfish | 5:13 PM

Dear Mom,

WHO ARE YOU? ARE YOU A REAL PERSON? WHY ARE YOU SO AMAZING?

These posts about your mom and what she cooks are driving me insane crazy (considering I made egg sandwiches for my hubby & I for dinner and thought I was doing good).

These posts rock my world.

Glenda | 5:52 PM

yummy! when I lived in Hawaii I had the best teriyaki burgers with pineapple.

Your mom rocks! I see where you get that rock a** attitude!

Anonymous has a great list of suggestions to pack.

Jessica | 11:40 PM

My mom is from San Diego and she came to stay with us for 2 weeks when my twin daughters were born! My dad was here for a week too. I had a c-section so it was tough to get around for the first few weeks I was home. My mom helped me with all the getting up and sitting down and bringing me things so I didn't have to bend so much. I did not sit down to breastfeed without my dad or mom or someone bringing me a glass of water which was so great because tandem feeding twins makes your throat constantly dry. I was hungrier than 3 men and everything my mom made tasted like heaven.

The first night we came home from the hospital, the babies would not sleep unless they were held. My mom came in at 6am and I was a mess. She swaddled each baby up tight and then swaddled them together with their temples touching. They instantly calmed down and fell asleep. She was a GENIUS! Twins are used to being in a tight space with their twin touching them. Often in the first month I carried both twins one stacked on top of the other in a cradle hold and they LOVED it. I didn't have a sling or a moby wrap, but I would highly recommend them. And skin to skin contact was also very popular to calm my babes. Sometimes we would sit on the couch with a bed pillow horizontal on our laps and both of them next to each other on the pillow so they could kick and we could gaze at them and they could try to focus on us. Bliss.

My mother and mother in law said it was so fun to help me because they always had a baby to hold, unlike with one baby where everyone is waiting their turn :o) but twin caregivers also get really good at holding two at a time. I burped mine at the same time- one on each shoulder, holding them on my forearms with my arms crossed over their backs as I patted.

I can see you with one baby in a bouncer, one on a playmat, both soothed to sleep by the whir of the sewing machine.

Good luck! It was/is the BEST experience of my life and I was scared to death before they actually arrived.

Jessica | 11:41 PM

My mom is from San Diego and she came to stay with us for 2 weeks when my twin daughters were born! My dad was here for a week too. I had a c-section so it was tough to get around for the first few weeks I was home. My mom helped me with all the getting up and sitting down and bringing me things so I didn't have to bend so much. I did not sit down to breastfeed without my dad or mom or someone bringing me a glass of water which was so great because tandem feeding twins makes your throat constantly dry. I was hungrier than 3 men and everything my mom made tasted like heaven.

The first night we came home from the hospital, the babies would not sleep unless they were held. My mom came in at 6am and I was a mess. She swaddled each baby up tight and then swaddled them together with their temples touching. They instantly calmed down and fell asleep. She was a GENIUS! Twins are used to being in a tight space with their twin touching them. Often in the first month I carried both twins one stacked on top of the other in a cradle hold and they LOVED it. I didn't have a sling or a moby wrap, but I would highly recommend them. And skin to skin contact was also very popular to calm my babes. Sometimes we would sit on the couch with a bed pillow horizontal on our laps and both of them next to each other on the pillow so they could kick and we could gaze at them and they could try to focus on us. Bliss.

My mother and mother in law said it was so fun to help me because they always had a baby to hold, unlike with one baby where everyone is waiting their turn :o) but twin caregivers also get really good at holding two at a time. I burped mine at the same time- one on each shoulder, holding them on my forearms with my arms crossed over their backs as I patted.

I can see you with one baby in a bouncer, one on a playmat, both soothed to sleep by the whir of the sewing machine.

Good luck! It was/is the BEST experience of my life and I was scared to death before they actually arrived.

The Sentimental Suitcase | 1:40 AM

Holy macaroni what a great idea! I am def. trying this out!
Thanks WWW!
XO
Sam

Lex | 6:31 AM

i have twins, and can assure you that it will all be ok. my MIL came to stay with us for a week after mine were born and it was a godsend. she focused on the daily housekeeping tasks and keeping food in the fridge and meals prepared. she helped with changing and feeding as well, but keep in mind that it's important for everyone to survive on their own after you leave...it actually helped us out a lot that she didn't get up in the middle of the night to let us sleep because we were that much more conditioned for the routine we established after she left us. just something to keep in mind.
i always love your recipe posts!

Margie S. | 6:41 AM

Yum!! I can't wait to try the burgers. I remember the first time I had a Maui pineapple when I was thirteen and my reaction was the same - like I had never had pineapple before once I tasted the Maui. Then I lived there for a while and got spoiled by all the delicious fruit that was readily available that I can't find in the Midwest now. Oh boy am I craving Maui Golds now! And liliquoi and guava! Good luck in the preparations over the next few weeks!

Meg | 8:15 AM

SO doing this this weekend for all the in-laws! Great idea. Thanks!

Anonymous | 8:19 AM

for some reason this just hit me in my salivary glands and it's only 9am. Maybe it's because I could be pregnant...

dietplaid | 9:25 AM

Nom! I had a horrible experience in Mexico late at night with a burger that had pineapple, cheese and salsa on it, but this looks AMAZING!

Rebeccat_11 | 12:28 PM

Ms. WWW,

I have 10 1/2 month old twins, and while my Mom didn't stay with me - we live close enough that wasn't necessary - the biggest help she provided my family was handling the grocery shopping and COOKING. My hubby was in school full-time and it was such a relief for both of us not needing to worry about feeding ourselves. :) And like a previous poster said, it gave us the opportunity to settle into our baby schedule. I was a first time momma, so this gave me the opportunity to gain the confidence to take care of my boys without the overwhelming task of taking care of the house too!

Elle Vee | 4:36 PM

The best pineapple tip I've ever received was from that Spain: On The Road Again show with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Battali. They were in a market in the south of Spain and they ate pineapple fresh, cut up with a good dusting of lime zest and a drizzle of molasses.

The earth stopped moving. Lime was meant to live on pineapple. Enjoy ;)

lastdogz | 7:11 PM

Oh my gosh, those look good. I love all of your recipes that I've tried, and this one looks like a sure thing. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous | 3:13 PM

I love your blog, the pictures, the words..everything! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

You seem to know about good food, etc. I wondered if you can recommend any really good Italian Restaurants in the LA area that are relatively inexpensive?

Thank you.

jessica | 6:49 AM

finally!!! something i actually eat!! yay for pineapple!!

I think i posted this question elsewhere but i can't find it and don't know if you ever answered it. I will post it on the pineapple post because that's easy for me to remember. Maybe.

How will you know who is R and who is B? Is it already set that baby A is R and baby B is B? Or will you look at their faces and know? Is there a chance when you look at their faces you realize they are not R and B at all!! They are totally T and A!!! Inappropriate. Sorry. But really, do you know already, who's who?

Anonymous | 11:50 AM

I am the Anon poster that said: "for some reason this just hit me in my salivary glands and it's only 9am. Maybe it's because I could be pregnant..."

Well...I made this burger for my family yesterday and it was a huge hit, and I found out we are prego with #3 last night!!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 4:06 PM

Anon! Congratulations!!! That's such wonderful news!

Jessica - Pretty sure the first to come out will be "B" because we have a bit of a full-circle thing with "R's" moniker. But we're going to wait to meet them before we decide.

Garde | 8:22 PM

Wow! Looks faboulosssss!

lastdogz | 3:33 PM

Yay, we're finally making these tonight. We having baked sweet potato fries on the side.

Congrats on the new grandbabies!