kruizing with kikukat

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hawaiian Style Potato Salad

I have been at work for 2 weeks, and one of those weeks has been with students.  I guess teaching is similar to riding a bike. . . you never forget how, some people are better at it than others, being able to ride a bike is not the same as riding it well, etc.  I've been out of the high school classroom for over 10 years, but after this past week, I'm convinced that returning to the classroom was the right thing to do.

While I was a resource teacher, I heard sidebar comments from many people, and the song is always the same:  resource teachers are not in the classroom because they cannot handle.  That is a common belief many teachers have.  And I think that's why many people are shocked when they hear I went back to the classroom.  I get lots of expressions (both verbal and non verbal) of disbelief.

So far, my return to the classroom has been alright.  I anticipated the 9th graders being handfuls, but the seniors were the most intimidating.  The seniors already have a good sense of school culture.  They have established their own norms for teachers.  I wasn't sure how I'd fit in the mix.

D1 was also full of worry.  She was concerned about how I'd be perceived by her peers.  I think she was worried that they would see me as the wicked witch, but I think she has been pleasantly surprised to hear that I'm actually "okay".  Whew.  One guy even told her I was his favorite teacher.  WooHoo!!!

Honestly, the most challenging part about being back in the classroom is lunch.  I am totally not kidding.  I stopped buying school lunch years ago because I couldn't see wasting $4 on stuff I wouldn't feed my dog.  I believe its even more expensive now.  I try to bring a lunch from home, but we don't always have suitable lunch fare on hand.  Luckily, there are a few fast food places on the same street as the school, and one of them even has a drive-thru.  That happens to also be the place with one of the best plate lunch potato salad in Hilo.

Most plate lunches in Hawaii (not limited only to Hilo) come with a generous scoop of potato salad, a very decadent mayonnaise-laden salad.  In order to keep costs down, some places substitute macaroni for all or part of the potatoes.  I don't like it that way.  I'm old-fashioned. . .I like salad with potatoes, and I prefer ONLY potatoes. . .no macaroni.

In addition to potatoes (and/or macaroni), the salad usually contains chopped boiled egg.  From there, things get a bit creative.  I add pitted olives, sliced (and squeezed) cucumber, and some kind of seafood.  I like the way the salad looks when shredded kamaboko is added, but nothing beats crab or lobster.  Many people now use shredded or chopped imitation crabmeat instead of the real thing.  Sometimes, I will also add in some finely shredded carrots, but I don't add too much of that because it turns the salad a yellow color.  Mayonnaise serves as a binder to hold everything together.

I don't make potato salad too often because it usually makes so much that its hard to consume all of it.  I usually make it for family gatherings, although uJohn prefers the salad made by Kikukat Mom.  While Kikukat Mom uses real crab in her salad, she also adds in green peas and broken up spaghetti noodles.  I'm okay with the spaghetti noodles, but I think green peas are just a hair away from mustard on the disgusting food scale.  Some people add chopped onion, but I don't.  Kikukat Mom said onions cause the salad to spoil faster.

I know Kikukat Mom doesn't like onions, but I don't have the courage to come out and say that she made up the spoilage story just to keep me from adding onions to my salad.  Sometimes you just gotta know when to shut up.

Click here for the recipe:
Kikuchan's Potato-Crab Salad

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