A bit about our favorite little flower

Native to Mexico and Central America, plumeria (commonly called Frangiapani, but also known as melia in Hawaiian) were propagated in tropical areas around the world.  They were brought to Hawaii by German physician William Hillebrand in 1860. The Common Yellow variety quickly became a familiar feature in yards and cemeteries – because of their early association with cemeteries, plumeria were not initially used for lei.  However, their bright white, pink and yellow blossoms, and distinct, soft scent made them irresistible; the negative associations were quickly shed. 

In this months Makana, weʻre sharing a fragrant, plumeria soap made by Hawaiian Bath and Body in their facility at the historic Waialua Sugar Mill on Oahuʻs North Shore. Here, Hawaiian Kukui and Macadamia nut oils are blended with pure essential oils for a naturally luxurious bar.


The Coconut Coast is Calling…

This monthʻs makana include a fragrant candle made by Kauaiʻs own Island Soap and Candle Works. The east shore of Kaua‘i is known as the Coconut Coast. This side of Kaua‘i was part of lands held by Kauaʻi’s last monarch, Queen Deborah Kapule.  When she passed in the late 1800s, a German businessman purchased some of the land and hoped to make money in coconut oil by planting thousands of coconut palms, which were imported from Samoa.  In the 1950s the Coco Palms resort opened nearby and was soon made famous by the Elvis Presley classic Blue Hawaii.  The resort was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Iniki (1992) and sat in disrepair is it changed ownership several times.  Today, while new owners work on plans to rebuild and restore the famous resort, coconut palm groves still thrive along the coastline of east Kauai.  


Hanalei-town Pit Stop

One of our favorite places to escape to is Hanalei, Kauai.  Deep green valleys, that end-of-the-road feeling, quiet beaches…. But before you head too far down the road, donʻt forgot to make a stop in Hanalei-town to visit Kauai Nut Roasters. 

This great little shop and nut roastery is another reason Hanalei is one of our favorite places to escape to.  Thereʻs nothing like the taste of fresh roasted nuts - and the Kauai Nut Roasters team makes them in so many great flavors - Sesame Flax Almonds, Maple Bacon Macademia Mix, Ginger Lilikoi Pecans, and our go-to, Li-Hing Pineapple Almonds.  Healthy almonds, the mouthwatering Li-Hing flavor, and bits of dried pineapple mixed in.   We always pick-up a bag as soon as we arrive in Hanalei for a perfect snack after a long drive; and usually, we donʻt leave without picking up several more to eat on the drive back to the airport and to give as omiyage gifts!


Traditional Hawaiian quilts are unlike any other quilts.  Like much of Hawaiiʻs material culture after western contact, what we know of today as Hawaiian quilts were born out of pre-contact kapa moe (sleeping cloths made of kapa), sewing and pattern-making techniques adapted during the missionary era (early 1800s), combined with the creativity of individual quilters.  

Patchwork methods and patterns were introduced to Hawaiian women by the missionaries.  However, in that era, Hawaiian women preferred designs that cut from a whole piece of cloth inspired by tapa patterns common before westerners came to the islands.  Hawaiian quilt designs are characterized by a full piece of material folded into a symmetrical 1/4 or 1/8 design (as if making a paper snowflake), cut, then laid out as a whole quilt to be appliquéd. Corners and borders may be designed separately. Radial stitching is the primary embellishment on Hawaiian quilts. Stories were told through symbolic flora, colors or other commonly understood, and simplified shapes.  Perhaps the most impressive characteristic of authentic Hawaiian quilts is that they are hand-made and hand-stitched - ensuring that each quilt tells a truly unique story. 

Today, one can find a large variety of Hawaiian-style quilts.  But many are often made with machine, sometimes in places far away from the Hawaiian Islands.  If youʻre looking for a true Hawaiian quilt - look carefully!  If youʻre interested in learning more about Hawaiian quilting, quilt patterns, or would to join a group to work on your own quilt, Poakalani & Co. is a fantastic hui of teachers and quilters that would be a great place to start!


Honoring Prince Kuhio
In March we celebrate Prince Kūhiō Day. Nephew to Queen Kapiʻolani, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole was in line for the thrown when the Monarchy was overthrown in 1893. Despite the overthrow, Prince Kūhiō lived the rest of his life as a political leader and ambassador of Hawaiʻi.  
Though Kūhio Day officially falls on March 26th, celebrations in the Princeʻs honor take place throughout the State, throughout the month of March.  For a full schedule, check out writer Cat Tothʻs round-up in Hawaii Magazine. 

Honoring Prince Kuhio

In March we celebrate Prince Kūhiō Day. Nephew to Queen Kapiʻolani, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole was in line for the thrown when the Monarchy was overthrown in 1893. Despite the overthrow, Prince Kūhiō lived the rest of his life as a political leader and ambassador of Hawaiʻi.  

Though Kūhio Day officially falls on March 26th, celebrations in the Princeʻs honor take place throughout the State, throughout the month of March.  For a full schedule, check out writer Cat Tothʻs round-up in Hawaii Magazine


It’s cold out! Mānoa chocolate and milk = the best hot cocoa you’ll ever taste.

It’s cold out! Mānoa chocolate and milk = the best hot cocoa you’ll ever taste.


The world is my onion

Perhaps weʻre biased, but we really do believe that Hawaii-grown produce is tastier and sweeter than anything else out there.  From apple bananas to the large variety of salad greens that grow year-round, to sweet potatoes, and even our onions.  Maui onions really are a variety unto them selves.  They thrive on the upcountry slopes of Haleakala, where they grow in rich volcanic soil.  The technical reason they are so sweet? They lack the sulfur which causes the strong odor and sharp taste associated with conventional onions.

Jill Lee knew this right from the get-go when she started Honolulu Gourmet Foods a little over two years ago.  The Asian Maui Onion dressing was one of the first flavors she developed for this line. Of course, we love this dressing on salads and as a dip or marinated for grilled vegetables. And when weʻre in need of a quick fix for dinner, we add this dressing to a little shoyu for a simple stir-fry sauce.  

Are you loving this Maui Onion flavor?  Consider booking a trip to Maui in early may for the annual Maui Onion Festival!


Pineapples = Hospitality
In the 1800s along the east coast of North America, pineapples became known as symbols of hospitality.  These strange and hearty tropical fruits were often displayed outside the homes whalers and missionaries who returned from journeys to Hawai‘i and other faraway tropical lands.  A pineapple on display meant the travelers had come home; it was a signal for friends and relatives to come calling, to hear about adventures at sea and in distant, exotic lands.  
Pineapples also became ubiquitous with Hawaii in the 1900s, when the South American fruit became a major export crop of the territory and state. In the 1930s, nine million cases of pineapple a year were exported out of Hawaii by eight different canneries.  Today, you can still see pineapple fields on the island of Maui, where these cards are hand-printed in the upcountry by Aloha Letterpress. 

Pineapples = Hospitality

In the 1800s along the east coast of North America, pineapples became known as symbols of hospitality.  These strange and hearty tropical fruits were often displayed outside the homes whalers and missionaries who returned from journeys to Hawai‘i and other faraway tropical lands.  A pineapple on display meant the travelers had come home; it was a signal for friends and relatives to come calling, to hear about adventures at sea and in distant, exotic lands.  

Pineapples also became ubiquitous with Hawaii in the 1900s, when the South American fruit became a major export crop of the territory and state. In the 1930s, nine million cases of pineapple a year were exported out of Hawaii by eight different canneries.  Today, you can still see pineapple fields on the island of Maui, where these cards are hand-printed in the upcountry by Aloha Letterpress


Truly Homegrown Elixirs

Our favorite aspect of our work with Hello Makana is getting to meet new entrepreneurs who are finding unique and authentic ways to highlight island-grown ingredients.  Itʻs always a surprise to see what people come up with, and itʻs always a pleasure to watch new ventures grow and blossom on the basis of the quality and partnerships with other island producers. 

We first learned about Deanna Rose and Indigo Elixirs through Nadine Kam, a writer for the Star Advertiser who covers fashion and lifestyle.  Then we saw her products at Honoluluʻs monthly Art and Flea, and we were instantly smitten…. Medicinal salves and tonics, nourishing balms for the body, and simple, organic facial products. 

With a keen interested in pursuing a career in health, but also a love of all things botanical, Deanna trained in holistic medicine at Misty Meadows Herbal Center in New Hampshire.  After coming to Hawaii and finding our unique climate ripe with many healing botanicals, Deanna settled in to create what is now a growing line of all natural products.  She partnered with growers on Oahu and Hawaii Island to source items like beeswax, cacao, and turmeric (known in Hawaiian as ‘olena).  She even started growing many of the herbs she uses in her own garden.  

We love that each island-grown ingredient in and Indigo Elixirs product is carefully listed as such.  We also love seeing that Deanna continues to expand and refine the line.  And, as with anyone who is truly passionate about their work, Deanna is eager to share her knowledge of holistic medicinals - next week, sheʻll be leading a workshop on Botanical Perfumery.  Follow her blog to keep up with new product news, collaborations, and future workshops.


kickstarter:

Project of the Day  Kaka’ako Agora, Honolulu’s first indoor public park and community space. 

Here’s another great project going up in our community - featured as Kickstarter’s project of the day!