A menu worth repeating

7 01 2019

Oh, the food! Does the food make the party? In the case of last Saturday’s art show opening, yes! Kealoha and Kahikionaokalā Domingo of Nui Kealoha caterers outdid themselves with its farm-to-table menu, supplemented with basic additions of punch and cookies made by me.

Here we share the Nui Kealoha’s menu for the January 5 “Fiery Volcano Collages & Doodles” and the recipes for the cookies and punch, giving credit to their origins. Easy peasy and refreshing.

Kids loved these as well as seedless grape clusters on the side. Take precaution with grapes, a possible choking hazard, for very young children. For the punch, look for a ginger ale without high fructose corn syrups at the store.

Clockwise from lower right: classy menu, poke ʻulu, koʻele pālau tartlets, burnt ʻuala canapé.

 

I found the recipe for chocolate cookies on the back of the Western Family Baking Soda box.

 

Punchbowl recipe by my cousin Elly. From Everyone, Eat Slowly: The Chong Family Food Book (Chong Hee Books, 1999)

Enjoy!
~ Rebekah





Celebrate artists and art today

5 01 2019

Itʻs today! Today is the Opening Reception for “Fiery Volcano Collages & Doodles” at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden at four oʻclock. My co-exhibitor Kalei Nuuhiwa is on Oahu, and we are spending the morning preparing to welcome our friends and supporters who are coming to view and celebrate our latest artworks.Weʻre gathering flowers from the garden to decorate, and we’ve coralled our best buddies to help out with refreshments and musical entertainment.

I am so very honored to show with soon-to-be Dr. Nu‘uhiwa, a PhD candidate at the University of Waikato.

From the show catalog:

THE ARTISTS began creating and assembling the pieces for this exhibit in May 2018 when the longest Kilauea Volcano eruption since 1924 began. News photography and reports and the energy of Pele herself inspired the work. While Rebekah worked with dye, tissue paper, glue, and a knife on large canvases, Kalei used colored pens to doodle in a very small 35-page book. The two women first met on a Kaho‘olawe access trip for Makahiki in the late 1990s, Rebekah coming from O‘ahu, and Kalei from Maui.

The art exhibit runs until January 27. Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden is on Luluku Road in Kaneohe, and it is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Many thanks to the inspirers and the helpers, including the folks at Sunshine Arts in windward O‘ahu for my picture frames, pianist Joerg Alfter, Olive at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden, my girlfriends Becky-Lori-and-Peg, and my “easel” Pete.

~ Rebekah

 





Fiery volcano collages & doodles

8 12 2018





Holoholo to Volcano

1 11 2018

Kīlauea Caldera with Mauna Loa beyond

A fast overnight trip from Oʻahu to Hawaiʻi island this week reminded me of how easy it is to get away from it all. I accompanied my friend and high school classmate Martha Noyes to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park where she gave an interesting talk on cultural astronomy.

At the Kīlauea Visitor Center we met dedicated park rangers who provided us with maps and the lay of the land before we checked in to our cabin at Kīlauea Military Camp, five minutes away in our rental car.

This was my first time staying at KMC. One can rent very reasonably priced accommodations here, even 3-bedroom cabins, with sponsorship from a military veteran. I thought, hmm, maybe for the next family reunion?

The cabins are rustic yet clean and furnished with enough creature comforts for your stay, including flashlights! A cafeteria, bar/lounge, and bowling alley are nearby.

Row of one-bedroom cabins at Kīlauea Military Camp. Cabin window below.

Exploring is what one would normally do at a national park. Hawai’i Volcanoes is now reopened since the volcano eruption subsided. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Park. But Martha and I preferred to sleep in late and catch up with conversation while drinking coffee.

Nēnē geese, the Hawaiʻi state bird, outside our cabin

ʻŌhia lehua leaves. We wondered if the black stuff was a symptom of rapid ʻōhiʻa death.

Sulfur steam vent

Top: ʻōhiʻa lehua.
Bottom, l to r: laukahi, hinahina moss, orange-colored trunk, uluhe fern.

Panorama view of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater from Volcano House. Click for a larger view.

To get there: Turn left when you exit Hilo Airport onto Highway 11 and continue until you reach the park entrance about 28 miles away (40 minutes).

Martha Noyes, author

Martha Noyes’s next talk is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., December 7, 2018, in the Kanaina Building on the Iolani Palace grounds in Honolulu.





Alani

17 08 2018

Peeling an orange on a warm summer day.

Do you remember when you first learned to peel an orange? I do. I was with my Aunty Lois, and we sat down together on the steps of her back porch. When we ate it, juice ran down my arm. Funny, the things I recall.





Finding Hakka roots in food

8 07 2018

Cousin Millie organized a table of 10 for last night’s Tsung Tsin Association dinner celebrating Hakka Chinese culture.

Most of the time I am unconscious of my ethnicity. When I have to identify in that way I say Hawaiian. That I am.

An occasion like the Hakka dinner reminds me of my maternal roots. 

At Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant six of us were first cousins; our mothers were sisters. Eileen, accompanied by her daughter Marty, and Kwong Yen, who came with his lady Molly, are our eldest cousins—age 91! Audrey Helen, Nathan, Millie’s husband Peter and my hubby Pete filled the rest of the seats.

Molly was surprised and thought the dinner at the Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant would be among us 10 only, not part of a big party in the banquet room! We enjoyed a pretty good Hakka menu, wine that Millie brought, raffle prizes, and party favors. As always, Millie and Audrey Helen gave out additional gifts. Christmas in July! 

A bag full of goodies—tea samples and fruit confections

A brave woman attempted to teach us a Hakka song. We tried! It was a lovely tune.

Hakka song lyrics and translation

Both the lion and the dragon made their appearance and were well fed. As the eldest, Eileen got to take home the table centerpiece—a money tree plant!

Eileen (lower left) watches Marty photograph Nathan feeding the dragon . . .

. . . and the lion

While “a good time was had by all,” I couldn’t help noticing that this year’s turnout was smaller than last year’s, and that there were hardly any younger people present. We need to pass this experience to our kids, if only to cook and eat our traditional foods.

What foods did your ancestors eat?

~ Rebekah





Revisiting ʻIolekaʻa for an anniversary

2 07 2018

Iconic view of ʻIolekaʻa

Yesterday, after 20 years, I walked back in to ʻIolekaʻa valley in Windward Oahu for the 20th anniversary of the celebration of life of my late friend Anita. She, her faithful dog Ei Nei, and the ʻāina (land) are memorialized in 13 landscape oil paintings I made in 1994. It was an honor and a privilege to have been invited by Anita to see her home, then and now.

A dozen friends and relatives began arriving at 9 a.m. calling “Ūi!” (Halloo) and answered by “Eō!” (Iʻm here). Long pants, long sleeves, boots, rain gear, hat, gloves, and defenses from mosquitos made up our garb. The plan was to hike through the bamboo forest to clean the heiau (stone platform) area and to rebuild the ahu (altar) with pōhaku, and then farther to the foot of the mountain, that is the water source for ʻIolekaʻa stream, where Anita’s ashes had been spread from a helicopter.

Cultivated anthuriums

Ginger and tree ferns by the stream, just steps from the house

Tracey and Donna blow the conch to acknowledge visitors

Cut anthuriums for Mom

Daughter Donna began with a prayer, and when she mentioned Anita’s name, a soft sweet wind breezed by, acknowledgement enough! Mahalo e Anita! Mahalo e ke Akua!

Oh, the memories. Not much has changed, except that I saw less kalo (taro) growing in the gardens. In fact, everything looks a little tidier. The current generation has recently returned to the land, acknowledging and accepting it is their kuleana to care for it.

Clearing the trail

Along the stream

Ancient Hawaiian rock terraces overgrown with bamboo

Every now and then a waterfall

Looking up

The ahu — before

Before photo. Waiting for the others.

The dog Ei Nei’s marker. R.I.P.

Corner wall of the heiau

Donna and Wally carefully rearrange the rocks for the ahu, flat side out.

More waterfalls

The ahu — after

Anita’s family and friends. pc: Didi Akana

After we pau hana we sat down to talk story and shared a bottle of wine and rolls with butter and jelly (Anita’s favorite snack). Sort of like holy communion, I thought! To me, the anniversary celebration for Anita fulfilled its purpose when the younger ones, her now-adult grandchildren, stepped up and announced it was their turn to continue the work.

We emerged from the forest at 3:30, muddy, damp and happy, and glad a pot of corn chowder and other goodies were waiting for our potluck “lunch.” By the time I walked out to modern civilization it was 5 p.m. What a full and wonderful day! Aloha e!

White ginger

 

Tahitian gardenia

~ Rebekah Luke

 








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