Braille Monitor                                                                                 January 2006



Lea Grupen

This month’s recipes come from members of the National Federation of the Blind of warm and sunny Hawaii.

Hawaiian Style Portuguese Bean Soup
by Lea Grupen

Lea Grupen is locally grown—born and raised in Hawaii. She is affiliate treasurer, member of the Honolulu Chapter, married to David, and mother of David and Taylor. This recipe has never been written down before, mostly being part of an oral tradition passed down through many generations of her family. It is cooking by passion, intuition, and emotion, so let loose and enjoy while you are making it. It tastes better that way.

3 pieces smoked ham shank (preferred) or ham hock
2 whole linguica (Portuguese sausage, spicy or mild or 1 of each), diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 16-ounce cans stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce to taste
Tabasco or any other hot sauce to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
2 cups cooked macaroni (optional)
1 15-ounce can chili beans
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
1 head cabbage or bunch kale, chopped

Method: Boil ham shanks or hock in one and a half gallons water. Simmer until tender, about two hours. Remove meat and reserve stock. In a large soup pot sauté diced linguica until brown, then add onion, and cook until it is soft or transparent. Add celery, garlic, and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the reserved stock, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, Lea and Perrins Sauce, Tabasco, sugar, salt, and pepper. When soup comes to a boil, reduce heat. Add parsley or cilantro, macaroni, chili beans, kidney beans, kale or cabbage, and diced ham from the bones. Simmer for ten minutes or until cabbage is done. Skim fat from top before serving. This soup is much better when cooked a day ahead. Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
by Debbie Gabe

Debbie Gabe is one of the NFB of Hawaii, Honolulu Chapter’s newest members. She immediately volunteered for the chapter’s transportation committee and to help coordinate the holiday party. She is married to Matthew and has two daughters, Elysia, fourteen, and Stephanie, twenty. She has worked in the audiology department of Hawaii's Women's and Children's Kapiolani Hospital for over twenty-five years. She reports that she uses this recipe thinned a little over noodles or thickened as the sauce for a Thai pizza.

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons peanut butter (low-fat is fine)
4 tablespoons broth or water
1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar (or more to taste)
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or to taste)
1 tablespoon chili pepper sauce (the sweet kind if possible)

Method: Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve this sauce over broiled or sautéed tofu or chicken.

Low-Fat Hummus
by Debbie Gabe

This recipe is good for dipping veggies and crackers or slices of pita bread.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 teaspoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon rind (I just use a little extra lemon juice.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon cumin (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Method: Combine and puree all ingredients. Chill and serve.

Best Bran Muffins Ever
by Brook Sexton

Brook Sexton is a longtime member of the NFB but is new to Hawaii, celebrating the completion of her first year of residency. She is already a member of the NFB of Hawaii board of directors and a member of the Honolulu Chapter. She says, “When I was a child, my mother would make these light and moist muffins for an after-school treat or a quick breakfast. They freeze well.

6 cups all-bran cereal
2 cups boiling water
1 cup melted butter or margarine
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk
5 teaspoons baking soda
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt

Method: Pour the boiling water over 2 cups of the bran and set aside. Mix together butter, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk until well blended. Stir in remaining dry bran cereal. In separate bowl whisk or stir together baking soda, flour, and salt. Add to bran mixture. When the dry ingredients are well incorporated, fold in the 2 cups of soaked bran. Fill greased muffin tins or paper muffin cups three-quarters full and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Adda’s Pralines
by Adda Beamguard

Adda Beamguard first joined the Federation in Dallas, Texas, during the early 1950's, when her husband became blind. She has always been one of our many silent supporters. She retired to Hawaii about seven years ago and is now a member of the Honolulu Chapter, still quietly working for the equality of blind people.

2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups pecan halves or pieces

Method: Combine all ingredients but pecans, vanilla, and butter and bring to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Cook to 238 degrees on a candy thermometer or until a little of the syrup forms a soft ball when dropped into a cup of cold water. Remove from heat and beat in butter and vanilla. Gradually stir in enough pecans (do not grind) to make candy set. Drop pralines by teaspoonfuls onto a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. If the mixture becomes too stiff to work with, add two teaspoons water and reheat, stirring until candy is manageable again.

Spicy Winter Squash Soup
by Katie Keim

Katie Keim is secretary of the NFB of Hawaii and a member of the Honolulu Chapter. She enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family. She reports that this recipe is a tradition at Christmas or any cold winter night. Depending on guests’ preferences, this soup can be made very spicy or just very flavorful.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chunked
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 to 4-inch piece fresh ginger, chunked
1 stalk dried or fresh lemon grass
1 medium winter squash such as butternut, kabucha, acorn, or pumpkin, peeled and deseeded
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 cups water or vegetable or chicken broth
1 or 2 cans coconut milk, depending on how thick you like your soup
4 keefer lime leaves, found in Asian markets (extra lemon grass and lime juice can be substituted.)
4 limes cut in wedges

Method: In a heavy saucepan or double boiler, sauté all ingredients except liquids, salt, cayenne pepper, and keefer lime leaves, and lime wedges for about twenty minutes or until vegetables are hot. Then add 2 cups liquid, salt, and cayenne pepper. Let simmer until all vegetables are tender. Remove chunks of ginger and the stalk of lemon grass. Blend in food processor or blender or beat with an egg beater until smooth. Add coconut milk and keefer lime leaves. Reheat on low until soup is warm. Serve with fresh lime wedges for guests to squeeze into soup to taste.

Da Kine broke da Mouf Teriyaki Chicken
by Virgil Stinnett

Virgil Stinnett

Virgil Stinnett is president of the Honolulu Chapter and of the National Association of Blind Merchants of Hawaii. He loves to barbecue and does so almost every evening that he and Katie have dinner at home. Here is one of his favorites for friends and family. “Da kine” and “broke da mouf” are local expressions meaning really, really good!

1 family pack chicken, thighs and drumsticks for best results
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, pressed, or more to taste
1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
1/2 large yellow onion, pressed in a garlic press
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 red chili peppers, chopped

Method: Mix all ingredients except chicken in a large bowl or pan and immerse chicken in marinade. Refrigerate for at least twenty-four hours for best results. Remove from marinade, throw onto prepared grill, and cook until done. Yummiiiieee!

Secret Chinese Chicken
by S. Young

Mr. S. Young, a member of the Honolulu Chapter and treasurer of the Hawaii merchants division, here contributes an old family secret.

1 whole chicken
1 orange (a lime can be substituted)
2 tablespoons salt

Method: Peel the orange; eat the fruit; save peel. In a deep pot of boiling water place the orange peel and submerge whole chicken. Parboil chicken until almost done. Remove chicken, discard skin and bones, and chop into pieces. (To be authentically Chinese, just chop the chicken, bones and all.)

To serve, coat a wok or heavy frying pan with peanut oil. Combine one part sugar and two parts soy sauce; stir in grated ginger root and minced garlic to taste. Add lemon or orange zest or more ginger root, depending on the dish you are making, and reduce sauce to the thickness of a glaze. Add chopped chicken and stir to heat through and coat with the glaze. You can add Chinese vegetables and nuts if you like. Continue stirring until vegetables are tender crisp. This is a long standing Chinese recipe that takes away the gamey flavor of the bird. Using this technique, you can make lemon chicken, shoyu chicken (soy sauce), orange chicken, oyster chicken, garlic chicken, Kung Pao chicken, peppered chicken, teriyaki chicken, or curried chicken.

Ono'licious Katsu Ahi Sashimi Platter
by Dennis Russak

Dennis Russak is a member of the Honolulu Chapter and legislative committee who does not cook. See below for definitions:

1 portion Pacific Ocean
1 cell phone, land line will do
1 taxi or cab
1 beachfront seafood restaurant, Shorebirds is best
1 server
1 sunset over beach of Waikiki

Method: Using a phone, call taxi. Settle into taxi seat. Direct driver to favorite beachfront restaurant. Arrive before sunset, requesting the table closest to ocean. Take seat and order one mai tai (tastes best with umbrella) and one platter katsu seared ahi. Sit back, relax sipping mai tai, and enjoy ambiance of the scene. Garnish with a Waikiki sunset.


* Pacific Ocean: body of salt water off Waikiki
* ono'licious: the very best, delicious
* ahi: tuna
* sashimi: raw fish
* katsu: tuna cutlets
* mai tai: famous Hawaiian cocktail made with rum and tropical juices
* umbrella: apparatus to protect one from the sun or a paper toy decorating tropical drinks