Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dining al fresco at the Treehouse

One thing about a treehouse is the trees determine a lot about the shape and size of the space you have to work with. It is possible to bring this table and chairs inside, and also easy enough to sit on the red chairs inside to share a meal, perhaps while watching a lava film from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the small screen. The trees wouldn't let us put a dining room under the indoor roof. The trees know what the trees want.

But for a room with a view. there is not another like this lanai in the treetops, where you sit above the hapu'u ferns and watch the honeycreepers. Of an afternoon the weather is often mild enough to sit out in light weight clothes, your meal accompanied by birdsong. Even in the evening, with the stars all around and house lights shining like lanterns in the forest, a hoodie or sweater will keep you cozy in the tropical night.

There is a gas grill out there for preparing your meal. We like to use large kaffir lime leaves between the food and the grill. Whether you have some local fish or delicious vegetables from the organic farms nearby, the leaves impart their citrus oils to the food, help keep it moist as it grills, and add flavor and fragrance to such a degree that you may need no other seasoning, not even salt. Enjoy with a bottle of Volcano wine from the winery a couple miles the other side of the park gates, and you are enjoying the taste of Volcano as if this was your home.

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