The magical ingredient

Hawaii 014-A


I was going to show you a photo of me dancing the hula, but realized that several classmates are also in the photo.  Since they don’t subscribe to the Internet, it would be unfair to post an image of them on my blog.

Some people are very private, and I respect that.

Have you noticed that every time the media discuss the suicide of a teenager, it’s linked to bullying on Facebook?  On the other hand, you never see a link between suicides and blogs.  I guess I’ll continue to blog, instead.  Facebook?  Ugh.

Well, I finished reading Gary Pak’s novel, “Brothers under a Same Sky.”  My sister, Sylvia, gave it to me for Christmas.  She took a creative writing class from Pak, who is an English professor at the University of Hawaii.  He writes well and describes the Korean War from the viewpoint of two Korean-American brothers who were born and raised in Hawaii.  I can’t say I enjoyed the book, as I dislike reading about corpses, blood and gore.  Any kind of violence turns me off.

Now, I am reading James Michener’s “Hawaii,” which is so thick that it resembles a biblical tome. Though I have read quite a bit already, I am still bogged down in the development of the Hawaiian islands.  Michener has an eye for detail, doesn’t he?  I love his immense vocabulary as well as the twists and turns of his phrases.  Lovely writing.

Chicken breasts tend to be hard and dry if not cooked with mayonnaise.  Yeah, I know that some of you hate mayo with a passion, but there is something about mayo that makes chicken and fish so moist and tender.  Mayonnaise is the magical ingredient.

I made this chicken dish last night, and David couldn’t stop raving about it:

Spray a shallow baking pan with oil.  Place chicken breasts in the pan.  Mix 2 parts mayonnaise (I prefer Best Foods Mayonnaise) with 1 part grated Parmesan cheese (I used Kraft in the green container).  Smear this mixture on top of the breasts.  Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs (I used Progresso Garlic and Herb Bread Crumbs).  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in a 375F oven.

Excellent!  Thanks for the idea, Christine!  It’s always nice to end on a happy note.

14 Responses to “The magical ingredient”

  1. Beatrice Says:

    James A. Michener’s “Hawaii” is in my shelf and I will probably read it a third time one day!!! He is really very detailed, what I like.
    Also “Alaska” by him is very good!
    I love Facebook right now and I have never heard that somebody would end up due to bullying…
    in fact we saved just many lives again due to Facebook!!!

  2. granny annie Says:

    The chicken sounds really delicious. My son swears by cooking chicken with mayonnaise but I have never tried it. Now I guess I must. He will be glad to know you have validated him.

  3. Kay G. Says:

    I love James Michener! As a travel agent, I can tell you that one of the better tour companies (Tauck Tours, I think) used to send a copy of his book “Hawaii” with the travel documents so that folks would learn about Hawaii before they visited. Isn’t that great!
    (I loved his book about South Africa, “The Covenant”, I think was the title).
    Oh, and was the hula only done by the men originally? Can’t remember where I read that, am I thinking right?
    Good sounding recipe too…I would have to use gluten free bread crumbs, but I think I could handle that! 🙂

  4. R.J. Says:

    I enjoyed reading Michener’s Hawaii but I’ve never been to the islands. I’m sure I would enjoy the scenery and photography must be wonderful in that environment.

    Chicken is a favorite in my house because no matter what I do with it, it tastes good. It is a forgiving food. It works well for family members who are eating gluten-free.

  5. Christine Says:

    Thanks for the book reviews. The last huge book I read was Bill Clinton’s autobiography, which I liked. That recipe is good and simple.

  6. DJan Says:

    I read Hawaii years ago and remember I enjoyed it very much. Michener’s books were all like that: detailed and huge. It was my favorite book of his. 🙂

  7. Jeanie Says:

    Like DJan above, I also read Hawaii a long time ago. I think I would enjoy reading it again. I really like books with a lot of detail.
    The chicken recipe sounds really good.

  8. Olga Says:

    The amount of detail is exactly what has kept me away from Michener books. I prefer a more lyrical writing style.
    The chicken sounds yummy.

  9. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    Great ideas from a fine cook. Dianne

  10. LC Says:

    Yum. Mayo and Parmesan cheese, two of my favorite ingredients. But I have to limit my indulgence.

  11. Linda Reeder Says:

    I’ve read a lot of Michener’s books. Loved Hawaii. Hate mayo. Of course mayo is mostly fat, which is why it makes chicken and fish moist. But we eat chicken and fish because it is low in fat. Just one of life’s little dilemmas.

  12. mageb Says:

    That sounds delicious. Yes, Best Foods tastes great.

  13. Cathy Says:

    Noticed the book in the library the other day – left it be. Would need to read it when I had nothing else on the go.
    I’ll take your word on the chicken and mayonaise lol
    Take care

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