I like to close out the old year with my wish for the new: Somebody help me. This is the day I list the collection of recipe requests I’ve accumulated during the past 12 months that leave me stumped. If you have one of these, please get in touch. The contact information is at the end. Anyone who comes up with one wins a cookbook.
Lost from long ago
» Mary Abe is looking for a recipe published in the Star-Bulletin sometime after 1965, for a turkey cooked in the ceramic smoker called the kamado, all the rage at the time. "It was a Chinese-type marinade for turkey," she writes. "My niece to this day raves about the turkey that I made back then. Please find it for me so I can make it at least one more time—I’ll be 82 on Dec. 20, so please hurry."
» Josh Violette of Sedona, Ariz., cut out a recipe from either the Star-Bulletin or Advertiser in 1977 or ’78, when she was living in Hawaii. "The recipe was for fruitcake (possibly ‘Grandma’s’ or ‘Grannie’s’) and it was distinguished by using sour cream as an important ingredient."
» "I wanted to know if anyone has the recipe for Rada’s Piroshkis (once located on Fort Street Mall), especially the chicken and mushroom and the fried squid," writes Joy Furukawa.
» "I am looking for recipe for Havana Squares," says David Bain. "King’s Bakery makes them here on the mainland and I have had them at various places in Hawaii. But I can’t find the recipe in any cookbook or online." I found one recipe for a Havana Cake that doesn’t sound right, but surely someone has made these dessert bars—time to share.
» From Rachel Okoji: "As a student (25 years ago), my mom would take me to Skippy’s Coffee Shop on Queen Emma Street. The original Skippy’s had a biscuit (that seemed more like a muffin but shaped like a small mini-loaf) that they would cut in half, butter and put on the griddle. They would serve that up with marmalade jelly." Skippy’s is still there but has become primarily a Vietnamese restaurant. Okoji hopes someone has the old recipe.
Neighbor island treats
» "A friend brought back these cookies from the Big Island that tasted like ice cream," wrote Diane Hinaga. "They look like ice-box cookies, the three colors (white, pink and green) were in layers, just like Neapolitan ice cream." This actually sounds like something that someone would have, tucked away in a recipe box, somewhere.
» "Please help!" cried Kari. "Every year at the Maui craft fair this lady sells homemade baked Manny Bars. It always sells out more then an hour before the craft fair is open and I haven’t been able to get my hands on it for the past two years already." Kari describes the treat as a "perfect manju," about 1-1/2 inches thick with a creamy sweet potato filling. "Help!!" (She wants these badly.) In this case I’d be happy to know the name of the baker and how to reach him or her. Maybe I can pass on the plea.