Prepping for ʻOnipaʻa

16 01 2022
January 17, 2022, marks 129 years since the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Following a scheduled Peace March in Honolulu that will end at Queen Liliʻuokalani’s statue, there will be a program of music and speeches throughout the afternoon on the grounds of Iolani Palace.

For Ka Lāhui Hawai’i Kōmike Kalai’āina Chair, Leiānuenue Niheu, “ʻOnipaʻa” is a unified call to the people of the sovereign Hawaiian nation to come together as one force, one will, and one people to resist the settler colonial establishment that governs our islands.”

The Onipa’a Peach March and Gathering annual event helps ensure that the great wrong that was done to Queen Lili’uokalani and the native people of Hawai’i by a small group of American businessmen on January 17, 1893 with the support of US Marines will never be forgotten, she said. 

My good friends, the ones you can always count on for help, came to my  studio today to make very large lei garlands to decorate the palace bandstand for the big day. There, kamaʻāina and visitors alike may view a special memorial to native Hawaiian scholar, teacher, and activist Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask who passed over on July 3, 2021.
 
My friends Joe, Girly, Tom, Nancy, Gwen, and I gathered on the back deck to fashion seven lei, each 10 feet long. We had picked the plant material early in the morning—mostly sturdy green ti leaves.
 
Joe went to the bandstand yesterday and photographed it so we could have a better idea of the venue to be decorated.
Clockwise from upper left: Joe, Girly, Gwen, Rebekah, Tom, and Nancy beside the lei garland

Joe

Gwen

Girly

 

Nancy and Tom

I am so very thankful for my friends. As Joe says, an activity like this is better and more fun with a group.

~ Rebekah 

 





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





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

 

 

 





Changing times

9 02 2021

Quoting my friend Kalei Nuuhiwa:

“Weʻre officially out of Makahiki as Kaʻupenaomakaliʻi is moving to our zenith shortly after sunset and begins to dump all the Makahiki constellations out of the net. We end Kāʻelo this week and move into Kaulua who are all ruling across the night sky and the wicked weather we are going to be experiencing.

“新年快乐 (Xīnnián kuàilè), Gong hei fat choy, & Gong xi fa cai on Thursday Hawaiʻi time and Friday China Time. Happy Year of the Ox!”

Lion dance

 

Traditional Chinese festival food—zoong and gao

Enjoy these changing times. ~Rebekah





On obligations

19 11 2020

Besides taking care of your family, what regular activities during this unusual year of 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic are you doing that you classify as obligations? I mean obligations in a good way. What commitments do you enjoy? I have four:

The first is the weekly class in fine art painting that I teach in person on my covered deck. Two faithful and lucky adult students gave me the honor to teach The Gloria Foss Color Course for what is probably the last time in my art career.

• Next is my study of Hawaiian language, ʻŌlelo Makuahine (mother tongue), with Kumu Keoua Nelsen who teaches the Kealaleo method for people who have tried to learn Hawaiian many times without success. 😃 Nowadays the three-hour Saturday class is online via Zoom, but it works and we have homework.

• I’m a citizen of Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi and it’s political action committee (KPAC) as “kupuna adviser.” Age has its privileges. We have facilitated community education, such as “how to navigate the legislature,” monitor bills, and write testimony.

• Last but by all means not least is choir practice with the Windward Choral Society directed by Susan McCreary Duprey. It, too, is on Zoom (I’m getting used to the technology, hated it at first), but our director is creative and an “Energizer Bunny.” She makes it work. Among other scores, we are rehearsing George Frideric Handel’s Messiah for a 4 p.m. December 13 performance on (you guessed it) Zoom. I love to sing!

 

Happy and safe holidays, everyone.

~Rebekah





Stringing a lei of kou

21 09 2020

The kou tree in the front garden is blooming and dropping delicate orange-colored blossoms. When strung into a flower lei they look like ilima.

The Hawaiian-English dictionary has this description:

“ 1. n. A tree found on shores from East Africa to Polynesia (Cordia subcordata), with large, ovate leaves, and orange, tubular flowers 2.5 to 5 cm in diameter, borne in short-stemmed clusters. The beautiful wood, soft but lasting, was valuable to the early Hawaiians and was used for cups, dishes, and calabashes. (Neal 714–5.) (PPN tou.)”

I keep the lei cool in the open air between wet newspaper, avoiding the refrigerator, and re-dampen the newspaper as needed.

Beautiful.

After wearing, you may save the lei. As it dries to a rusty orange, snug up the flowers together along the craft ribbon to wear again!

Aloha nō,

Rebekah








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