Kau Kau Kitchen
by Leilehua Yuen
winter sets in, the long low sea clouds, the symbol of Lono, come
rolling from the horizon, bringing with them the life-giving rain.
Without that rain, no kalo, no `uala, no mai`a, no foods at all can
grow. The happy sounding streams would dry and no longer laugh as they
dance over the rocks. The lush forest would turn harsh and brown. Mauna
Kea, and Mauna Loa would no longer dress for winter in their beautiful
cloaks of snow.
So the rainy season is an important time in Hawai`i. For four
moons of the life-bringing rainy season, our ancestors celebrated this
time of year. War was forbidden. Games were played. Special days were
set aside to do chores, but the time of the
Makahiki was for dancing,
playing, and giving thanks to the gods for providing such a wonderful
It was during the Makahiki of 1778 that Captain James Cook
brought the first English ships to Hawai`i. But, it was not until eight
years later that an English Christmas was celebrated in the Hawaiian
The first Christmas celebration in Hawai`i was in 1786, onboard
the Queen Charlotte, out of England, commanded by Capt. George
Dixon. She was anchored in Waimea Bay, off Kaua`i. The holidays can be a
sad time for those far from home. But sailors must get used to that, and
make do as they can with whatever is at hand. And so Capt Dixon ordered
the galley crew to prepare a Christmas dinner. Instead of a Christmas
Goose from the butcher, a pua`a, a Hawaiian hog was roasted. A Christmas
pie was made from the ingredients on hand. And, as a special treat,
instead of mixing the rum with water to make the grog, the rum was mixed
with coconut milk. Imagine them, lifting cups of Hawaiian coconut grog
in a Christmas toast to their families and friends in England.
An easy Christmas jelly
1 cup Hawaiian
4 cups apple jelly
Heat the jelly until it liquifies.
Stir in the peppers.
Pour into jelly glasses and let cool.
cracking the glasses, you'll want to be sure they are well washed and
then kept in hot water until you are ready to pour in the jelly. Store
in the refrigerator.
Check out the first Kau Kau
Kitchen Recipe Card - greeting cards with recipes inside.