I ❤️New York

11 11 2017

I’m schlepping around New York City with a group led by Diamond Head Theatre’s John Rampage and Deena Dray to see Broadway musicals like “Hello, Dolly.”

Gosh, I love the lights of the big city. Anything you want you can get here, it seems. And the advice I’ve given myself is, relax, be selective as far as visitor attractions go, dress warmly for the 30-degeee F. November weather, and walk everywhere.

Yesterday, though, we took a private bus tour with the gang to become oriented. At nighttime we went to “Hello, Dolly.” That Bette Midler–what a star!

This morning Pete and I took a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC Studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. After a nap we’ll go over to the Museum on Modern Art across the street from our hotel, and tonight we take in “The Play that Goes Wrong.”

Here I post some images and impressions of the first 48 hours.

Painting at Remi Restaurant

Meringata con Crema e Frutti do Bosch Marinati Allard Salsa di Lamponi (a deconstructed macaroon from Remi restaurant)

Breakfast at Astro. That’s creamy yogurt.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Cathedral pipe organ

John Rampage of Diamond Head Theatre and Zora, our local NYC guide. She was good!

In the shop window is a model of Rockefeller Center built with LEGOs.

Smoothing the ice at the skating rink

Architecture

Building the platform for the gigantic Christmas tree

Mosaic

“Make Time For Joy” show with the famous Rockettes

Radio City Music Hall

LOVE sculpture. There is another one that spells HOPE.

Bus-window view of Central Park

Ad atop a yellow cab

Mike and Pete at the Flat Iron building

NYC street scene

Another street scene

Flat Iron building

Landscaping with cabbages

Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place stairs

Brookfield Place stairs, looking down

Looking out from in

Dessert sampler before the show

Me and Pete at the show. So wonderful!

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Honolulu angel

4 10 2017

Blessed is she who feeds the homeless and the hungry. “She” is an island woman named Kiana.

Every Wednesday around half past noon, more or less, a group of adults gather outside of the Library of Hawaii main branch near the gate to Iolani Palace for what might be their only square meal of the week. They wait quietly and politely for Kiana to faithfully arrive in her car with a delicious buffet lunch.

Here, on Likelike street, is the quiet and peaceful stage of Feed the Street. People come, they eat, they go.

She opens the trunk and unloads a tablecloth first, then an attractive spread of a home cooked lunch, including soup. The meal is free to anyone in need.

Kiana arrives. Next to the bicycle racks she sets down tablecloths to receive a car trunk load of prepared casseroles and other dishes.

Amidst the unfortunate circumstances in our country today, this kind and humble compassionate gesture begins earlier in the week with donations of raw produce from farmers and others who have a surplus or who just are more fortunate and want to give.

I have known Kiana to travel by city bus to far places on the island to pick up ingredients. She prepares the food by herself because her small studio kitchen has no room for a sous chef. I think it gives her great joy to express her creativity in this way.

Each week she publicly extends her gratitude for her “Feed the Street” project on a Facebook group called “Too Much Balances Not Enough,” listing the donors and their contributions. That is where I first learned about this activity.

Today I wanted to see a part of Kiana’s world. I put together some small zip top bags of feminine hygiene products, that I learned are very appreciated in addition to food, and went down to Likelike street. Like clockwork, people slowly began to congregate–about 12 when I first arrived and building to 24 or 30 when I left.

Hungry folks wait politely for lunch. They have much respect for Kiana who provides the food for free. Iolani Palace and downtown Honolulu are in the background.

Later Kiana said, in all 70 showed up today. She reported the women liked my small contribution that also contained items like toothbrushes, travel soaps and hand lotion, and that the men were disappointed that there weren’t any condoms.

I know there are those who are wary of homeless people, and that to befriend them would be out of their comfort zone. They don’t feel safe. Indeed, reaching out can be a problem, and Feed the Street has experienced harassment. (Having a sheriff or a cop in the vicinity might be a good idea!)

It’s not so hard to reach out with kindness to make a stranger’s hard circumstances a little better, I found out. You can bet the homeless don’t always feel safe themselves, but you could tell they trust Kiana.

Kiana is a cheerful, woman warrior. Thank you, Kiana. I love you, angel.

Today’s spread is all vegan except for one dish that contains pork. Kiana told me she likes to prepare 14 different menu items.

Everything is nutritious and tastes as good as it looks.





Harvesting for Makahiki

28 09 2017

The urge to harvest food from the home garden tells me the Hawaiian Makahiki season soon will be upon us. When Makahiki starts, in early November this year, all feuding and all work in the fields end. The harvest is over, we remain friends, and it’s time to call on others and play—for four months!

Today I pulled out 7-1/2 pounds of ‘uala, or sweet potatoes, of various shapes and sizes from the semi-circular patch out front. At the same time I plucked and saved the edible tender sweet potato leaf shoots. I rinsed and dried the greens and reserved them for sandwiches and salads.

‘Uala (Sweet potato)

Adjacent to the ti leaf and panax hedge, the semi-circular bed of sweet potatoes is 85% harvested.

I pluck and use only the growing tip of the vine. Any other part of the vine is too tough and not as tasty, in my opinion.

I rinsed greens carefully under running water for some tasty crunch in a cheese sandwich.

I also gathered kou tree blossoms that fell from above to make a saffron- or ochre-colored dye bath.

Tubular flowers from a kou tree

What now? I prepared candied sweet potatoes and an uala leaf and tofu salad for dinner, and I reserved the kou flowers for later when I can organize a day of fabric dyeing and decorating with my artsy friends.

I roasted sweet potato chunks in the oven and baked them a second time with butter, a little salt, brown sugar, and rum to make them taste like Thanksgiving candied yams!

For this tofu salad, blanching the leaves and a vinaigrette dressing has darken the leaf color.

How about a Makahiki party soon to enjoy the bounty? There are lots more sweet potatoes!

“Lono i ka Makahiki!”





Relaxation at Bellow Beach Park

5 09 2017

Bellows Beach Park at Waimanalo, Oahu, remains a favorite picnic venue for local folks. Here is my photo record of a most relaxing day with friends this Labor Day. Lucky we live Hawaii.

Joe and Girly’s gang at Bellows every Labor Day and Memorial Day. It’s a standing invitation. Sun, surf, shade, barbecue, libations, music all day long.

 

The Moku Lua punctuate tints of veridian, cobalt, and ultramarine of the sea and sky.

 

Restful tideline

Bodysurfing anyone?

 

Bellows is popular with families.

 

🙂

 

The view toward Makapu‘u with skies so clear we could see Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, and Maui islands in the distance beneath the clouds.

 

Catch a wave!

 

Salmon belly on the grill

 

Roasting veggies

 

“‘Okole Maluna” means “Bottoms Up.”

 

Yummy

Mahalo e Ke Akua.





Joe Kaakua and a snippet of my high school reunion

13 06 2017

Our Punahou School Class of 1967’s 50th reunion is now a pleasant memory shared with a gazillion photos and well wishes on Facebook. After many activities on both Hawaii and Oahu islands, including the annual Alumni Luau on campus that honors the 50th Year class especially, the finale was a picnic at our classmate’s family’s large rural estate.

Me and Joe after the Memorial Service for our classmates who died. Joe played his ukulele for our choir that I directed.

Hats off to my buddy Joseph Kaakua who organized the event and his wife Joann (we call her Girly), his right hand. Joe requested my now-celebrated mountain apple pie for the picnic. “Maybe two,” he said. Well, you can’t say no to Joe.

But was he kidding? That’s not enough for 150-200.  So I made more than two!

Mountain apple (ʻōhiʻa ʻai in Hawaiian) pies. The fresh fruit tastes a bit like a pear. My pie resembles rhubarb.

(Copyright 2017 Rebekah Luke)

(Photos by Valerie Lam)





Growing my own; sorry, mister peacock

13 01 2017
  • img_8591Good morning! The larger brussel sprout plant fell over from its weight, and I harvested the leaves. Because the plant uprooted, DH will saw up the trunk. The roaming neighborhood peacock will be disappointed. What to do with the harvest? Rinse like spinach. I’ll discard the tough stems and slice the leaves into 1-inch squares. I’ll blanch and freeze most and steam some until tender. I’ll simmer them in bone broth or vegetable broth with some chopped onion and finish off the soup with some coconut milk (being careful not to boil), salt and pepper. I am so thankful we are growing our own food. Read the rest of this entry »




Pictures of healing for the new year

1 01 2017

Happy new year, studio fans! For my first post of 2017 I’m pleased to share our success with growing turmeric and making turmeric powder. The process is a labor-intensive yet a very satisfying endeavor. Similar photos of this super anti-inflammatory healing herb were originally published on my Facebook wall in December. Please also see my Dec. 11, 2016, post for comments about the harvest. Then press your back button to return to this page.

This is turmeric growing in my garden in Kaaawa, Oahu. The beautiful flowers died back in November.

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That was a sign it was soon time to harvest. I trimmed and tossed most of the leaves—that I later learned are also edible—leaving some to continue to grow. DH helped me unearth the rhizomes with a pitchfork. Aren’t they gorgeous?!

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After washing and scrubbing the orange pieces under running water—do don gloves because turmeric stains!, I boiled the segments, cooled them, peeled them with a potato peeler, sliced them, and then dried the turmeric in the oven at the lowest temperature for a couple of hours. Boiling is necessary to kill any bacteria.

Below are photos of the progressive stages of drying on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I turned off the oven and kept the door closed overnight while the turmeric continued to dry with the leftover heat.

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Below is what the food looks like when completely dry. You can feel it is hard like a cinnamon stick.

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The next step is to grind it with a dedicated spice grinder.

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Sift, return the larger pieces to the grinder, and sift again.

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My final product: a small air-tight jar of turmeric powder!

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Of course, turmeric is also good used fresh. Use it in recipes with ground black pepper. Hawaiians call this spice ʻōlena and use it for cleansing and in ceremonies. I keep any surplus in the freezer.

Here’s to a healthy new year! Be well! ~ Rebekah








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