ʻInamona my way

15 09 2021

The Pukui-Elbert Hawaiian dictionary defines ʻinamona as “n., Relish made of the cooked kernel of candlenut (kukui) mashed with salt (perhaps a contraction of ʻīnaʻi momona, sweet garnish).“

I read several recipes and how-to’s before coming up with my method. The process is tedious and no wonder that it is expensive to buy, if you can find it, and why Islanders revere it at luaus and pāʻina.

Fast forward from gathering the fruit that has fallen from the tree to the ground, tossing out bad ones in a float test, peeling off two layers of tough skin, and drying the nuts with their hard shells still on. This step takes days in a dehydrator; I used my closed conventional oven with only the oven light on.

When after many days the kukui nuts looked brittle, I cracked them open one at a time using small tongs to hold the nut and a hammer. Practice makes perfect. Ha!

Next is digging out the nut meat with a paring knife carefully so as not to injure. Tedious, but I wanted every last bit. The yield went into a large mixing bowl, and I chopped it all up with an ulu knife.

Chopping up raw nut meat. You could also pulse  in a food processor.

I roasted the ’inamona-to-be in a wide frying pan on top of the range on medium-low until golden. Stir constantly to avoid burning, while picking out any remaining pieces of hard shell.

Use a wide frying pan
Stir constantly to avoid burning
Look for this golden color

Turn out into another container to cool. When cooled, add salt a little at a time to taste, then store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Voila, ʻinamona! There is a Hawaiian food condiment. Just an IMPORTANT WORD OF CAUTION: ʻInamona is a laxative, so eat it sparingly!

Be well.

~ Rebekah





How did it begin for you?

20 06 2021

I had a lovely conversation yesterday with a man, an M.D., at the art reception. He was the spouse of one of my painting students. He admired the hand-dyed tissue-paper collages and seemed intrigued as I explained our art group’s process of creating unique paintings with this medium.

Was I always an artist? he asked. That question made me pause. I had to think back to so long ago.

I’m a writer, I said, starting my career as a general assignment reporter for the daily news, then magazines, then university relations. I am a pen woman. The National League of American Pen Women is made up of women in letters (writing and editing), arts, and/or music (e.g., composition and arranging). What we have in common is that we all start with a blank page or canvas. When I became a Letters member, I met artists and I thought they were “cool.” I wanted to be one of them, so I took lessons.

The music element caught his ear, so to speak. What kind of music do you write? he asked. Love songs, I said. They come from my heart, and I have to be in the mood. I can’t just crank them out. This man had a gentle way of coaxing out information.

He was understanding when I told him I had developed a wrist injury from holding a paintbrush overhand for more than 30 years—the reason I switched to tissue collage. Assembling collages is quite different from painting outdoors in the landscape.

Do you still paint? he asked. Ahh, now I’m teaching painting!

He said, “It’s the same in medicine!”

Be well.

~ Rebekah

“Breadfruit,” Copyright 2018 Rebekah Luke





Braving the outdoors

30 03 2021
The windward side of the Koʻolau Range as seen from Luluku, the location of Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Gardens. Plant enthusiasts, take note; everything is labeled!

A surprising number of people were in the park at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden this morning where my collage art-making group gathered under the pavilion at parking lot #5 — I think the correct name is Kahua Nui — for a re-orientation, general get-together, and literally some fresh air. We met in part to talk about a “Collage and Clay” group exhibit on tap for June 2021 in downtown Honolulu. The notion of planning a scheduled in-person public event again, after a year-long hiatus because of COVID, is exciting.

L to R: Dottie, Joy, Peg, me (in jeans), Karen (in hat), Flo, Maite, Robyn, and Faye.

Joy brought coffee and sweet nibbles, Dottie brought bananas from her tree, and Peg brought ceramic objet d’art favors for us to take home. Kristi, bless her heart, presented us with small bottles of hand sanitizer for our purses. It was like old home week in the space of less than a couple hours.

Peg’s clay creation has a hole in the bottom, so I think it is calling for a plant.

I didn’t bring anything (tsk, tsk). Some of the gals brought their creations for critique as is customary, but I hadn’t made anything new in hand-dyed tissue paper for the collages in a year, so nothing by me to critique. I did remember to bring a length of white shoji paper for Maitē who needed some to depict breaking waves.

These friends used to get together weekly to make art. Soon, after we’re all fully vaccinated, we may be able to resume that schedule.

It was so nice to see everyone again.

~ Rebekah





Overwhelmed or blah?

27 03 2021


Are you feeling overwhelmed or blah? It’s a yes or no question.

The flyer above tells of the program “COVID 19, Vaccinations, and Kanaka Maoli,” live at 6 pm HST, Sunday, March 28, on Facebook@KaLahuiHawaiiKomikeKalaiana with Lorraine Sonoda-Fogel, MD, and Keaweaimoku Kaholokulu, PhD. You may wish to check it out.

I see a light at the end of the year-long self-quarantined tunnel, as by Easter Sunday I will be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and have sense of wellness. I think it’s a good time to reflect on what changed and what I might do differently. What will I resurrect after 12 months gone by?

I have made some new friends via social media, although I have not met them in person. Long-time cherished friends who I know I can ask and they’ll be here, but because we value “living,” we’ve kept apart. Oh, the small parties we can have soon.

I’ve practiced piano everyday, getting ready for that imagined time when I will play background music at that type of event where no one is really listening. I’ve been on hiatus from making fine art paintings, although my collage group is scheduled to exhibit in June in downtown Honolulu. And I’ve posted updates by writing here.

What’s been constant are the plants and animals. The flower seeds I scattered did not sprout. I suspect the birds got them. So I guess it’s back to growing vegetables. But my buddy JJ is here, as is his nemesis Snowball the pretty cat from next door, Willy the Peacock, and the Fat Dove.

I’ve condensed my living area to the lower of the two floors of the house, but realizing that this minute I think it’s time to reopen the FROG (front room over garage) studio and the upstairs guest room!

Thanks to Pete, of course, my primary rock of support! Blessings to you all.

~Rebekah

JJ and me

Snowball

Willy





Keeping it simple

15 03 2021

Thought I’d keep it simple this morning, showing the many faces of the red hibiscus blooming on the hedge. I brewed a cup of tea with the petals. The liquid is a pretty cyan blue color! Enjoy!  ~ Rebekah

🌺

 





Minis in my garden

3 03 2021

Coming out into the sunshine this morning, I noticed the blue ginger beside the front steps blooming. So tiny. I toured the garden and recorded more minis. Aren’t they pretty?

Blue ginger

 

Fern

Fig

Pōlinalina

Cherry

Calamansi

Red ti

Kupukupu fern

Noni (Morinda citrifolia)

Phalaenopsis

Cherry

Barrel cactus

Red hibiscus

Kukui (candlenut)

I love my garden!

~Rebekah

 

 

 





Hello 2021

2 01 2021

Hello studio fans,

No resolutions, no affirmations. This first post of the new year is more like a personal inventory—a pause to take stock of my likes and what brings me joy, as well as my wishes.

Just looking around, I see I like flowers and fashioning lei. I like to garden and grow food. Cook food, bake fruit pies. Play music, sing. I like to play with my dog; I know he understands English, he’s just not able to speak it. I like to create, as in making art, I like to write and make photos.

I enjoy visiting with our two granddaughters and hope I can be a good example for them.

I enjoy connecting with friends and relatives, remotely at this time. I look forward to a time when I can see them in person. How will we have changed?

And as for my wishes, but no promises, I wish to be kind. a good listener, an understanding mate, lighter all around.

Stringing kou flowers into a lei

Sweet potato stems peeled and prepped for cooking. Tasty!

Mountain apple pie

At the Yamaha

JJ the family dog

My most recent oil sketch with red and green complements

Our moʻopuna

 

Happy New Year!

All the best,

Rebekah








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