Mr. and Mrs. Duck waddled onto the plane and shepherded their eight ducklings into the economy aisle.
“Come on ducklings,” said Mrs. Duck. “We don’t want to delay the takeoff. It’s a long flight you know.”
The ducklings settled noisily into their seats and were soon happily ensconced between the armchairs, headphones in, watching all the newest blockbusters while they munched on roasted almonds and elbowed each other repeatedly. 10 hours and several food fights later, they landed in Honolulu and began to make their way to the luggage carousel, where their purple and yellow valises lay in a pile on the conveyor belt.
“This way, ducklings!” shouted Mr. Duck, waddling towards their miniature hotel shuttle, which sped them through lines of honking cars and backed up rush-hour traffic towards their Waikiki hotel. When they arrived, the hotel staff greeted them with ten hibiscus flower leis, which the youngest ducklings proceeded to eat, and led them to their rooms, overlooking the water, with a view of Diamondhead Crater in the distance.
“Let’s go to the beach!” shouted Gerald, the eldest duckling, and the others bowled each other over in their haste to reach the water. They didn’t need bathing suits, being ducks (although Rosie, the youngest duck, insisted on floaties for her arms), and were soon happily frolicking in the waves.
“Hey, mom, look at me, look at me!” yelled Ralph, a middle duckling, as he scrambled onto a wave and attempted to bodysurf it (which really just involved floating on the surface, since he was pretty buoyant to begin with).
“Ooh, look, a turtle!” squealed Rosie, pointing towards an enormous sea turtle that was floating placidly towards them.
“Hey,” said Ralph, tentatively. “Do turtles eat ducks?”
“No, silly,” said Brigitte, his older sister. “That’s a green sea turtle. They eat veggies. That’s why they’re green.”
Ralph guffawed. “Hey turtle! Come here!” The turtle cocked them a disapproving look, and began to float out to sea.
“Darnit Ralph. You scared him away,” said Gerald.
The ducklings moved onto the sand to take a break under a red sun umbrella, where Mr. and Mrs. Duck were reading magazines and sipping iced tea. After a long mid-afternoon nap, they waddled over to the public restrooms and took turns rinsing off sand and taking drinks from the lower foot faucet since they couldn’t reach the water fountain.
“Who’s hungry?” asked Mr. Duck. A chorus of ‘me’s!” greeted him in response, and the duck family trooped off towards the main thoroughfare to look for food. Finding the sidewalks clogged by tourists and revelers, they moved off into the shade of a hotel balcony, where Mr. Duck began to search for good places to eat on his phone.
“Ooh, how about this one,” he said, showing his find to Mrs. Duck. “It’s recommended for poke.”
“I’ve always wanted to try poke!” replied Mrs. Duck. So they set off for the mall and ended up with three platters of seasoned tuna and salmon poke, accompanied by fresh cut taro chips (which, okay, for the purposes of this story, were maybe fried in a nice tropical fat like coconut oil).
“Delicious,” said Mr. Duck, smacking his laps. The ducklings imitated him and smacked their lips too, and the people working at the poke station smiled quizzically at the spectacle of ten lip-smacking ducks in their restaurant.
Fully satiated, Mr. and Mrs. Duck and the ducklings waddled back to the hotel, where they slept comfortably in the luxury bathtub and Jacuzzi, leaving their down feather beds and pillows untouched, dreaming of turquoise bays and friendly, non-carnivorous sea turtles and crunchy local root chips.
- Peel & slice taro thinly (use a mandolin for even slices - unless you're a rebel and you don't mind nonconformity like me). Also not a bad idea to use gloves while handling/peeling taro, as the bark can cause itching (supposedly spraying your hands with vinegar after or possibly the taro itself reduces this).
- Heat up duck fat in a pot.
- When oil is medium hot (a drop of water sizzles), put 5-7 chips in the pot. Keep an eye on them and flip when brown.
- Remove when chips are browned on both sides and hit with salt immediately. Repeat until finished.
- Garnish for serving, or just munch away.
This post has been featured on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo AIP Roundtable.