Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Glorious Gloomy Days

With all the pretty pictures of fall scenes and beautiful leaves I've been seeing on blogs and Facebook lately, I've been feeling pretty homesick.  As beautiful as Hawaii is, it's hard for this girl from the South to be so far from home and away from the changing seasons.  I was really missing the crisp air, the pretty colors, and wearing comfy, cozy sweaters.  To make all that worse, Kent got a chance to go to Charleston (one of my favorite places) this past weekend for a big family event since he was already doing some training in North Carolina.  I was beyond bummed, and I felt completely disconnected from my family and all the things I love back home.  It was one of those times when the isolation of this island felt very pronounced.  (Don't get me wrong... I was happy for him that he got to be there.)

However, I desperately needed at least a little taste of back home. 

Yesterday, the weather here must have gotten my message.  We had one of those rare, glorious, gloomy Hawaii days.  (Yes, I know that sounds totally ridiculous.  But can you imagine if you never had a lazy rainy day??)

I decided that the rain and gloom would be the perfect time to imagine that I was back home in weather that was slowly turning colder.  I cranked my air down, put on some comfy clothes, and decided to make "cool weather food."

Back home, my daddy always makes chili on cold, rainy days.  So what did I do?  I pulled out some ground beef, and got to work.  Before long, I had an incredible smelling pot of chili simmering on the stove all afternoon.

It was amazing.  I needed that little taste of home.  

I also decided to sip on some coffee with a little homemade Irish cream while the chili was cooking.  Warms the body and the soul...

Want to make your own Irish cream?  It's super easy.  Put 1 cup heavy cream, 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, 1- 1 2/3 cup Irish Whiskey, 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules, 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract into a blender.  Blend on high for 20-30 seconds, and store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

It's amazing what familiar food, cool weather drinks, and a little lazy, gloomy lighting can do.  I may not be home, and I may not be able to make it to every family/friend event that I'd like, but these little "tastes of home" help hold me over.  

What about you guys?  Ever need those little things to make you feel closer to home?  What do you do on a nice lazy, rainy day?


  1. I *totally* understand what you mean! We aren't on an island, but we're in the middle of the desert, which means no trees turning (only palm trees here, too, except on the gold courses) and hardly ever a nice rain....which I'm sure I would enjoy more if it didn't mean wet, smelly puppies :) Yesterday the temp dipped into the 70s briefly and it was wonderful. Still 80s the rest of the week but it was such a nice "fall" tease.

  2. Oh man. I completely understand!! I LIVE for rainy, gloomy days here!!! I was talking to my grandma about it last week, and she thought I was nuts. But when it's sunny ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME the rain is a really nice break. Last December, it got really cold and rainy one day... So I opened all the doors and windows and put on jeans and a long sleeve shirt. It was GLORIOUS. I can't wait for the rainy season to start!

  3. Sometimes when the garbage trucks are rolling by in the morning and I'm still half asleep in my bed I think they are snowplows, lol. They always used to wake me up in the morning back home and I knew we had fresh snow before I got out of bed. Then I wake up and realize it's Hawaii, 80 degrees, and it's trash day. lol.
    Amanda L.

  4. I love that you made your own little autumn day! I need to make some chili around here cause it's getting COLD! That 10 when I checked the temp it was 31 outside. YIKES! I'm not ready for it to get that cold yet!


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