Kau Kau Kitchen Around Town
Pa`ina / Lu`au
To be strictly proper, a Hawaiian feast is a pa`ina or an `aha`aina. But in 1856, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser used the slang term "lu`au," and it has been in the common parlance ever since. In the old days, lu`au, taro leaf, was the mainstay at a pa`ina, hence the modern name. Lu`au is especially `ono (delicious) boiled or baked with coconut cream and octopus or chicken.
When I was a little girl, lu`au tables were long picnic
tables or saw horses with planks across them. They were covered with
paper and decorated with ferns, ti leaves, and fresh fruit - pineapples
and bananas - arranged all the way down the center. Every foot or so a
different color bottle of soda pop from the Hilo Soda Works was set,
tucked into the other decorations. They were arranged so that the colors
made a pretty pattern along with the other decorations.
This page provides the basic instructions for your to create your own pa`ina wherever you are. While many of the ingredients are non-traditional, the flavors are very close to the lu`au of my childhood.
Luau, or pa`ina, conjure up visions of - Lu`au Torches! Above, a Bird-of-Paradise torch hand-crafted by Leilehua and her husband, Manu. Click image to learn more about their art.
|The entire pa`ina serves about 20-25. Individual recipes serve about 6 as part of a smaller meal. For those do not eat pork, simply substitute mutton or veal.|
Oven Kalua Pork
Links will be added as I have time
Oven Kalua Pork
The star of a lu`au is the kalua pig. Although
it is now the most famous of Hawaiian foods, and the most spectacular,
the kalua pig was not an everyday menu item. Some pigs were kept in
enclosures and fattened. However, a more common practice was to toss
extra breadfruit, and other items favored by pigs, into the forest edge,
encouraging them to feed within a comfortable hunting range. Still, to
acquire a boar for a feast required hunting the wily animal through
1 pork butt (you may substitute any meat such as: mutton,
goat, chicken, or turkey)
Trim the fat from the pork butt. Stab the
butt all over with a sharp knife. Pour the smoke flavoring into the palm
of your hand and rub it all over the butt, being sure to work it
thoroughly into the cuts. How much to use depends on personal taste. I
like a good smoky flavor, so I generally use at least three
tablespoonsful. Repeat the process using rock salt. Wrap the butt in
la`i (ti leaf) or banana leaf. If there is none available, you can use baker's parchment paper.
Wrap the package in aluminum foil with the fattiest side
up. The foil should form a sealed package to hold in the juices and the
steam. The plastic oven bags also work. Place in a large pan in a 250 degree oven for 6
to 8 hours. The kalua is ready when the meat falls apart easily.
A real pa`ina is a combination of fellowship, food, good cheer, fun, laughter, music, dance, and aloha. If it dosen't have these, it;s not a lu`au, it's just dinner with Hawaiian food.
To help you get into to mood, you may wish to check out the resources on the music page.
Of course, it's even more fun to provide the music yourself. Many Hawaiian songs use only three or four simple chords. The `ukulele is probably the most famous of the Hawaiian musical instruments, but the guitar is used at least as much. The steel guitar and bass are other instruments prominent in Hawaiian music. Other instruments significant in Hawaiian music are the banjo, violin, and piano.
Playing for Hula
Hula music is usually played with a 4/4 beat. A simple Hawaiian-style strum you might want to try is: one one-count upward strum with the thumb, then two one-count downward strums with the other four fingers, followed by a one-count rest. This is most effective on the `ukulele, although it also is nice on the guitar and banjo. The basic bass beat is one/three. Steel guitar, violin, guitar, and piano play melody and harmony.