Morning gather

27 04 2022

I can’t help it. Every morning for years I have gathered kou flowers, and when the calamansi is bearing I pick those, too. I string the flowers into lei, and I make marmalade from the citrus. Today’s lei is for a friend who is leaving the Islands to work in Arizona. His last concert for a while that he will conduct here—the University of Hawaii Nā Wai Chamber Choir—is tonight. I will put up a couple jars of marmalade for later gift giving.

Be well. Your friend,

Rebekah





Who doesn’t tire of flowers?

12 04 2022

 

Kou
Lilikoʻi

I am lucky. Brilliant orange and purple blossoms from our kou tree and passion fruit lilikoʻi vine greet me every morning with the promise of flower lei for dearest friends, and fruit to eat and juice. The lei will dry nicely to a burnt orange and resemble  paper, lasting a while. I will use the lilikoʻi juice in dessert and beverage recipes.

Gratefully yours,

Rebekah





Crazy vs. calm

27 03 2022

As our island state opens up, the last one from COVID, I sense, a feeling of craziness out there on the roads away from our familiar bubble of home. We have forgotten how to act. For example, yesterday morning I attended the memorial service for my friend Piʻikea. We had waited two years to celebrate her life.

It did not occur to me to mingle as Pete and I looked about and then went to our car in the shade to partake of the lunch.

I am sure Piʻikea would forgive us, while saying, ”Dummy!”

The painting pictured is of Piʻikea’s taro garden. She was a high school special education teacher and used the loʻi as her outdoor classroom to help her students learn about life, the land, and growing their own food. Eia ka maia a ke kalo mai Luluku mai no Lono.

Rebekah





Stepping out again

18 02 2022

With pandemic numbers decreasing, I ventured out of my bubble yesterday to socialize by attending two in-person gatherings —a belated birthday lunch with my friends Lori and Yo, and a meeting of the Koʻolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club.
Lori, a foodie and of a former restaurant conglomerate, knows the chef at Artizen and treated Yo and me with gift cards she wanted to use. I first met Lori at a Reiki workshop long ago where, I think, she took on the role of sous chef for the meals. I honestly don’t recall how I met Yo, perhaps through Lori, but we both spent our childhood in Wahiawa.

Me, Lori, and Yo

 

In the evening I attended the Koʻolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club dinner meeting. It was very interesting with several guest speakers informing via Zoom on a large video screen.

Guest speaker on Zoom

Approximately a dozen club members were very polite, donning face masks except when eating and sitting five- or six-feet apart, although I am pretty sure we were all vaccinated. For a special treat, Jolene and Haleaha taught us how to fashion roses out of ti leaves.

Ti leaf rose

 

 

Some members of the Koʻolauloa Hawaiian Civic Club who braved an in-person meeting and removed their face masks only for this image. I am not in the picture because I’m the photographer.


Someone doled out thoughtful parting gifts of COVID-19 Antigen Home Tests and hand sanitizer. I love my Hawaiian civic club.

Be well. Love,

Rebekah





King Kalākaua’s crown

31 01 2022
Kalākaua’s crown

In yesterday’s class taught by historian Ronald Williams about King David Kalākaua of Hawaiʻi, who reigned from 1874-1891, we learned about the coronation. It was an event to assert national independence around the world. The crown, a symbol of nationhood, originally was decorated with 192 small diamonds, 22K gold kalo (taro) leaves, emeralds, rubies, opals, and other gems. Gold-covered pearls from Scotland lead the eye to the top; eight lines of them represented the eight major islands of Hawai’i. I was impressed by the gold kalo leaves.

Gold-covered pearls

When the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893, many of the jewels were stolen out of the crown. They have since been replaced. Current visitors to Iolani Palace can see this crown.

~ Rebekah





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 Keliiponi Hale, the palace pavilion, 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 pavilion 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








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