Becca here with a fun idea for a meal to go along with the Disney movie Moana that is coming out on DVD next week. To decide if it's one your family wants to view, my two favorite sites to read reviews on are Common Sense Media and Focus on the Family's Plugged In. My husband and I have been able to visit Hawaii a few times, and I was excited to share a small part of this unique culture, with a quick and easy meal, with the kids as part of our "Monday Funday".
We started the meal off talking a bit about how pineapples grow. We were using canned pineapple slices for this meal, but get fresh pineapple often enough that the kids know what one looks like. However, they were all surprised to learn that pineapple doesn't grow on a tree! This is a cool video by Dole, showing exactly how pineapples are grown. The kids loved that our pineapple was Dole brand also ;)
Next, we talked about Hawaii being the 50th state added to the United States, when their grandparents were about their ages, in 1959. Hawaii also is the only place on US soil that has a royal palace!! After the kids' questions about the palace and royalty exceeded my previous knowledge, we skimmed this article and learned about the history of Hawaii's Monarchy being overthrown. It's definitely not a cheerful history, but is a prime example of how money, power, and greed can lead to disastrous results. The kids noticed and found it very interesting that the "Dole" name is also a key player in this story as well.
I tried to get a 'real' whole coconut, but Arkansas in February meant that I wasn't able to locate one. So we ate dried coconut instead, and will save the cracking a whole coconut open experience for another day.
The final part of our meal was Spam Musubi. If you haven't traveled to Hawaii, or aren't aware of their food culture, this might seem shocking or crazy! However, as I was telling our kids, this modern quintessential Hawaiian dish is served everywhere; at the 7-11 gas stations, restaurants, and even the Sam's Club Cafe! Spam's popularity rose during and after World War II, because it was shelf stable, and able to make the long journey to Hawaii without spoiling. Some Hawaiian chefs in fine restaurants have included Spam on their menu. I used short grain brown rice, cooked in my Instant Pot at 15 minutes on high pressure, and an onigiri rice mold to form the rice. I just topped it with a small slice of Spam I had browned in a skillet, and wrapped the whole thing in a seaweed wrap. I will say that I had several people that were very skeptical about the taste of the Spam Musubi, but everyone actually really thought it was tasty, and had seconds. President Obama even made the news when he ordered Spam Musubi while golfing in Hawaii!
The natural next discussion was about the history of Spam, which was really quite interesting!
We ended the night watching Moana. The movie was okay to me, but the graphics were really amazing, and that's not something I usually note or comment on. The water and scenery were really beautiful!!
Let me know if you have a Moana Meal, and what your family thinks!! Enjoy!