Category: life on Maui

Pineapple harvest time!

Remember the pineapple top we planted in our yard in January 2012? Exactly a year after planting it, the plant (4 feet in diameter, 2 feet tall) got a red bud. Exactly 4 months and 1 week later, the pineapple is ripe!

That’s right – harvest time! Here are the last of the pineapple pictures. To see all the others – click on the ‘Cara’s pineapple’ label on the right and it will pull up all my pineapple posts.

one bright yellow pineapple
pineapple with the somewhat spent-looking plant behind it

for old time’s sake, a picture from above – it’s a little mis-shapen

top-less pineapple

I wish you could have smelled it – so sweet!

ready to slice

time to eat!
Our family agreed – this was the sweetest juiciest pineapple we’ve ever eaten! Of course, after watching it grow for the past year and a half, we’re not biased at all! Now we have another pineapple top to plant!
Comment »

Papaya lilikoi jam

Do you make jam? I love homemade jams and really enjoy making my own jam. I like knowing what the fruit looked like before it went into the jam, and having control over the ingredients.

This is the last week of school, and in time-honored tradition the kids’ teachers all get a jar of homemade jam. One of my friends has a lilikoi vine in her backyard and gave me some lilikoi (passion fruit) in exchange for a jar of jam. The local farmer’s market had a great deal on papayas… perfect!

two kinds of lilikoi on the left, scooped papaya on the right

I had 6 medium sized papaya. After scooping out the seeds, I scooped the fruit into a bowl (5 1/2 cups), then mashed them with a potato masher. Then I carefully cut open the leathery lilikoi and added the juice (1/2 cup) to the papaya. You can eat the lilikoi seeds, but they don’t look great in jam, so I use the juice only.

one of the purple lilikoi sliced open. You can eat the seeds and juice. Lilikoi are tart.

I then added 1 1/2 packages of pectin, brought the mixture to a boil, added 5 1/2 cups of sugar and boiled that for another minute. Then I ladled the hot jam into the prepared jars and processed them in the canner for another 10 minutes. Yum!

papaya lilikoi jam

I hope the teachers enjoy their jam!

Comment »

Getting ready to make some jam…

It’s the last week of school in Hawaii, and following our family’s tradition, I am gathering ingredients to make our kids’ teachers some home made jam. This year we’re making papaya-lilikoi jam. I find papaya jam a little bland, adding lilikoi juice or lime juice give it some zest.


It can be difficult to find lilikoi at the farmer’s market, but luckily for me I have a friend who has lilikoi vines in her back yard (in fact, I should try growing some too!).

Lilikoi are a passion fruit, native to South America and brought to Hawaii in the early 20th century.

Comment »

High Surf Warning in Kihei

Did you read that right? High surf in Kihei? That’s right! The Maui News is reporting that we’ve had 4-8 foot waves at the Kamaole beaches in Kihei yesterday. That’s unusual – usually these Kihei beaches are pretty quiet, you may see 2 footers, but nothing bigger.

These conditions are forecast to stick around until Wednesday.

So what to do? Please be careful. Watch the waves roll in for a while before you decide to go out (always a good idea). Never turn your back to the ocean (a wave could easily cause some spinal damage if it catches you off guard). And I’d probably stick to beaches with life guards (such as the Kamaole I, II and III beaches).

Here’s a link posted by the Pacific Whale Foundation – standup paddle board SURFING near Makena!

at the edge of Kamaole II  beach in Kihei
Comment »

Our school’s Ho’olaule’a (May Day celebration assembly)

Today was our local elementary school’s annual May Day assembly – called the Ho’olaule’a (which is Hawaiian for festival or celebration). Since our school is in South Maui where it rarely to never rains, we don’t have school gyms or assembly halls. Instead we use the school’s grassy sports field.

Our school’s Ho’olaule’a involves a royal court. The royal court isn’t made up of royalty, but rather of fifth grade students who write essays as part of a competition to be a part of this year’s royal court. They are dressed in beautiful traditional outfits, with a ‘prince’ and ‘princess’ representing each Hawaiian Island (dressed in each of the islands’ official colors – Maui’s official color is pink). We also have a representative ‘king’ and ‘queen’.

this year’s Royal Court at our school’s Ho’olaule’a (May Day) celebration

The ‘ladies of the court’ practiced a special hula for the Ho’olaule’a – this year they danced it to ‘White Sandy Beach‘, sung by Hawaii’s famous singer Iz.

Here is a short clip of the girls’ hula… how does this compare to your school’s assemblies?

After the girls’ hula, the various grade levels got up and gave their own dance presentation (they were decidedly non-traditional, but the kids had fun!). The assembly lasted for about 75 minutes.

The kids (hopefully) all wore sunscreen (it had to be applied at home as our teachers aren’t allowed to sunscreen the students), most had hats, sunglasses and water bottles. The teachers walked around with spray bottles and sprayed water at the kids to keep them cool. It was a hot morning in the sun!

Comment »

The bestest mangoes on Maui!

mmmmm…. Mangoes!

I had a bit of a frustrating morning today, so I decided to treat myself. After running my errands, I went to Yee’s Orchard for some of his amazing Golden Glow mangoes. Oh my goodness. They are soooooo good. At 3.99/lb they are not cheap – but if you ask me, they are worth it!

Where is Yee’s Orchard? It’s in Central Kihei. If you are driving North on South Kihei Road, it is on the right-hand side just past the Long’s Drugstore stripmall. It’s set back from the road and sometimes you will see peacocks wandering around on the property.

it’s just a little hut – but don’t let appearances fool you!
Comment »

“Hawaiian – the Legend of Eddie Aikau”

Have you heard of the Eddies, that famous Hawaiian big wave surf competition? There is a new movie about Eddie Aikau (yes, the Eddies are named after him), the life guard pioneer and big wave surfer. It will be showing opening night of the 2013 Maui Film Festival (June 12th at 8pm). Movie under the stars anyone??

The trailer looks really interesting (click here if it doesn’t load)

If you are on Maui, do check it out!

Comment »

Pineapple update

Since cutting off the slips underneath the pineapple, the pineapple has grown. The fruit is about 5 1/2 inches tall, the crown another 3 1/2 inches. Looking good!

Not to be outdone, our first crop of mangos are coming along nicely (I have no idea how much longer these will be til they ripen). I am sure enjoying watching the fruit in our yard grow!
Comment »

Fresh ahi avocado poke

A few weeks ago our neighbor friends served me my very first poke. Poke? Yes, raw marinated fish… Hawaiian style.

I must confess, the smell of poke at the grocery stores turns me off. I purposefully avoid Foodland’s meat section and take a deep breath before crossing in front of the seafood section at Safeway. It’s a bit overwhelming.

However, I’ve been told that Foodland in Kihei has some of the freshest fish in Kihei (besides Eskimo Candy). So when our neighbors served us fresh ahi (tuna) avocado poke and encouraged me to give it a try, well, it seemed rude to refuse. It’s not the most appetizing food I’ve ever seen, but looks can be deceiving and I’m glad I gave it a try! My taste buds popped and I am hooked! It’s a bit spicy, tastes absolutely wonderful. In fact, I had a real craving for it this afternoon and made a Foodland poke run for some more…

Foodland’s fresh ahi avocado poke
Comment »

A-Z Challenge about Maui?

I recently came across a Maui blogger who is doing an A-Z Challenge about Maui… 26 days of letters of the alphabet (today will be G). For an interesting read from a local perspective, check out Maui Jungalow’s blog!

So far she’s tackled A for Aloha, B for Beach, C for Coconuts, D for Dolphins, E for Elvis (!) and F for Flowers. I can’t wait to see what G will be…

Comment »