NOW, isn't this appetizing: In the old days of Moiliili, a stone quarry was in operation at the site now occupied by the University of Hawaii-Manoa athletic complex. Quarry blasting was a daily inconvenience up until 1949.
sprinkled with history
"At noon each day, the whistle would blow to signal that blasting was about to begin and everyone went indoors. Fifteen minutes later a second, all-clear whistle would sound. Dust from quarry operations blanketed everything and shopkeepers and housewives found themselves dusting several times a day to no avail."
Yuck. But don't let that spoil your appetite. "Favorite Recipes from Mama's Kitchen," a cookbook commemorating the 40th anniversary of Hokulani School, is filled with stories about this historic neighborhood that complement the cooking how-tos.
Funds raised through cookbook sales benefit the school's Cultural Exchange Committee and its sister-school relationship with Kinki University Elementary in Osaka. Each year, students from Osaka visit Hokulani, and nearly every year a group from Hokulani travels to Japan.
Photographs and stories chronicle a time when water buffalo might block the path to a neighborhood store and when enterprising fishermen hooked mullet in freshwater ponds hidden in underground caverns. Many of the fish were blind, having come from a world of total darkness.
As for the food, much of it is simple Japanese fare, or Hawaii versions of Japanese fare, although you'll also find Osso Bucco, Texas Chocolate Cake and more among the eclectic selections.
The Japanese recipes are straightforward and basic -- a good primer in this style cooking. As a sampling, here's an Ogo Namasu recipe, which meets a request from Oscar Kuwahara, and some other pickled vegetables which would dress up a bento or a bowl of chazuke.
To order the cookbook, send checks made out to Hokulani School to 2940 Kamakini St., Honolulu 96816. Send $12.50 if you plan to pick up the book when it is ready, or $15 if you want it mailed to you. For information call Marilyn Higashide, 395-6939.
OGO NAMASU1 pound ogo, rinsed and blanched
1/2 cup green onion or Maui onion
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and ground
1/8 teaspoon Ajinomoto (MSG)
Drain ogo and cut into small pieces. Add onion. Mix sauce ingredients well and add to ogo. Mix well. Makes about 4-1/2 cups.
Approximate nutritional information, per 1/2 cup (with 1/8 teaspoon MSG): 65 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, greater than 950 mg sodium.*
SESAME CARROTS3-4 carrots, julienned
5 tablespoons sesame seeds, ground
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon dashi powder
Blanch carrots; drain well. Toss with remaining ingredients. Makes about 3 cups.
Approximate nutritional information, per 1/4 cup: 40 calories, 2 g total fat, no saturated fat or cholesterol, 100 mg sodium.*
CUCUMBER PICKLES5 pounds cucumbers, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1/4 cup salt
Combine sauce ingredients and boil. Cool and pour over sliced cucumber and onion. Let sit overnight, then refrigerate. Makes about 20 cups.
Approximate nutritional information, per 1/4 cup: 30 calories, no fat or cholesterol, 320 mg sodium.*
Food Stuffs: Morsels
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By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section,
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Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.