Flavors Of Military Life

After eight years as a Marine Corps wife, Johnah Rowland and her three children have moved back to her hometown while awaiting their husband and father’s return from training for his second career. She brings with her recipes she collected in the three states in which they resided.

They called South Carolina, Hawaii and North Carolina home while her husband served with the Corps.

She gives her mother credit for her interest in cooking.

“My mom is a phenomenal cook. She doesn’t think so, but she can adapt things. I would watch her, as she made everything from scratch,” she said. “She is a health freak and she has to have color at her meals. I wanted my kids to have good food and plus living in different cultures if you don’t learn how to do it (cook) you don’t get it.

“I miss fresh sushi. There is nothing like fresh sushi from right by the ocean,” she continued. “I really loved the Hawaiian food because it is fresh. A pineapple from the Dole Plantation and a Dole pineapple here are not the same. In Hawaii everything is made with or served with rice. Even the lending locker from when you first go there, before your things arrive, gives you a rice cooker.”

After living close to the ocean in Hawaii, she was not satisfied with the beaches of North Carolina.

She spoke of the food in South Carolina, where they lived when the couple was newlyweds.

“They fry everything and would have chicken and dumplings for Thanksgiving,” she said.

“Because there were 60,000 Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., I didn’t notice if the food was more southern or northern because it was a mish-mash. The one thing I’ve gathered is that most people don’t cook. I was sort of known as the Martha Stewart because I make everything from scratch.”

Besides cooking and baking, she lists her hobbies as dance, travel decorating and says she “loves anything outdoors.”

Since she returned to Randolph, she is substitute teaching at the Randolph Academy and teaching ballet at the Larkin Street dance studio.

Mrs. Rowland has a B.S. degree in dance performance and choreography.

“I gave up a performing career to become a Marine Corps wife,” she said.

Michael Rowland was honorably discharged after serving 12 years in the Marine Corps.

He was most recently with the Infantry with a rank of Staff Sergeant.

He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received in combat on May 23, 2012. He is also a Wounded Warrior. He is presently in Salt Lake City Utah attending Salt Lake Community College and Upper Limit Aviation studying to be a commercial helicopter pilot.

The Rowlands have three children: Talon, 7; Gracyn, 5; and Ryann, 4.

The family is rounded out with Kickstand, a Chihuahua-Terrier rescue from Hawaii. They attend Faith Bible Chapel.

“The Sweet Potato Haupia Pie is supposed to be made with Okinawan sweet potatoes, which are purple,” Mrs. Rowland said. “It is actually a holiday dish like our pumpkin pie. They have it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Haupia is Hawaiian for coconut.

“I had a friend in South Carolina who always did all of her entertaining with this secret recipe punch. The other ladies and I would watch her make it until I had it down pat,” she continued. “The quiche and my Tri-color Pasta were my signature recipes. Everyone asked me to bring the quiche to brunches in Hawaii and the pasta in South Carolina. The guacamole recipe came from a Marine.”