Hunkering down

I’m just coming off an intense two-and-a-half month project that has left me drained. Drained, that is, of 17,250 words. That’s what it took to write an entire marketing magazine. I won’t get into the details as it isn't due for publication until November. Suffice it to say that I’m not inclined to tax my brain overly much for this blog. But I know I’ll feel bad about it if I don’t at least give it a shot before hunkering down for some mental R & R.

While I was in what felt like never-ending labor pains, the planet was suffering as well from the ravages of hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. The best I could do was send some help and support – all the while, keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t find ourselves in the path of a Pacific hurricane. We’re still in season, but so far, still safe.

Meanwhile, another hurricane, Marie, is battering the Caribbean, but veering away from the US East Coast. Not to make light of it, but the name immediately reminded me of Irving Berlin yearning for Marie in his 1928 song. It eventually became a hit for Tommy Dorsey, the popular trombonist and jazz band leader. I grew up to Tommy’s music. Anybody remember “Song of India” or “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You”? How about “I’ll Never Smile Again,” the recording that made it into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1982? Take a listen and see if you recognize the lead singer. So sorry, you millennials. You won’t hear this on “Carpool Karaoke.”

I apologize to all my family and friends in the Caribbean if it seems like I’m not taking your plight seriously enough. Believe me, I am. But since I’m not there to give you a hand, I’m doing it long distance with a bit of humor and …

Wait! I can help. Peter, my nephew in Coral Gables, Florida, while he was still clearing up from Irma, was also preparing for Marie. He posted a photo of a chainsaw and a can of Spam on Facebook to show how ready he was. I get the chainsaw, but Spam?


Brainstorm. I knew how I could help. So I posted aа recipe from Food Network for a Hawaii comfort food — Spam musubi. I offer it here to you as well, wherever you are. Who knows when you’ll need it.а

Spam Musubi


5 cups cooked sushi rice, room temperature

5 sheets nori, cut in half lengthwise

1 (12 oz.) can Spam

6 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp sugar

Furikake, to taste


Cut Spam into 10 slices. Fry until slightly crispy. Remove and drain on plate lined with paper towels. In another pan, combine soy sauce, mirin and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low. Add Spam slices, coating them in the mixture. When mixture has thickened, remove Spam from pan.а


Lay a sheet of nori lengthwise on a clean surface. Moisten lower half of musubi maker (see Note), and place on lower third of nori. Fill musubi maker with rice and press flat until the rice is 3/4-inch high. Sprinkle rice with furikake. Top with slice of Spam. Remove musubi maker and keep in a bowl of warm water to keep it clean and moist.

Starting at the end towards you, fold nori over Spam and rice stack, and keep rolling until completely wrapped in the nori. Slightly dampen the end of the nori to seal it. Repeat with the other nine Spam slices, making sure to rinse off musubi maker after each use to prevent it from getting too sticky.

You can also use an empty Spam can that has been opened on both sides for the musubi mold, using your hands (or a piece of Spam) to press down on the rice. This young single Hawaii expat shows you how he does it.а


Finally, how’s this for a chaser? If you have a Costco nearby, pick up a Kirkland brand of Golden Margarita ready-to-drink mix, or if you really need the serious stuff, a Kirkland 12-year-old blended scotch whiskey. They both come in large enough bottles to see you through any storm.а

But seriously,

Hunker down, stay safe, and pray

that Marie passe

ай Maya Leland 2014