Cooking was the most fun part of the project, likewise the most challenging. I did a fair amount of the cooking in advance, for example, I assembled the spring rolls and just stored them in the fridge until we were ready for them. Some things required to be made in advance, like the lomi salmon. Some things I wish I'd made in advance, especially the haupia.

This is how the week before the luau shaped up:

Did the first of the shopping, the Chinatown segment; most of the produce, the fishes.
Put the salmon in salt and a little lime juice to "cook" for two days.
Did the rest of the shopping, at my local haole grocery (that's Pac'n'Save in this case); the pork (but not the whole pig yet), the chicken (in the form of frozen 5-lb bags of thighs etc).
Put together the lomi salmon, made the char siu out of a pound of meat carved off the 7-lb shoulder I bought.
Made the spring rolls, with Greg's help stuffing the wrappers.
Went to Myles' store for the leaves and poi. He didn't have the ti leaves we needed, though.
This was the really busy day. Martin and Carol arrived early in the morning, after driving all night, but were unwilling to sleep and throw their circadian rhythms off, so we all four schlepped around together to do our errands (what's Hawaiian for schlep?). Here's what we did:
  1. Went to Sun Hop Fat to get banana leaves to substitute for some of the ti leaves. We figured we could wrap the pig in them, plus us them for the inner leaves of the laulaus, with the ti leaves we were able to find by phoning florists around town) for the outer leaves.
  2. Went up to Eric's place in Napa and got the pig. It fit in the trunk of Greg's Mustang (I sure wish I'd gotten a photo of that!!). On the way up to Napa, we stopped at the various florists and picked up ti leaves.
  3. Came home and put the pig in my chest freezer. Greg and Martin then commenced enlarging the pit (I already had one from an abortive attempt to put in a raised bed for vegetables) while
  4. Carol and I, in her pickup truck (thanks Carol!!) drove to American Soil Products to get rock, for which my friend Elton joined us. I couldn't get actual lava rocks -- well, I could, but they were the decorative, porous kind, which I didn't think would work too well. So instead, I bought 800 lbs of Napa Basalt, thinking "Hey, it's an igneous rock, it ought to work". Little did I know. But I'm getting ahead of myself. On the way home, we stopped by Orchard Supply for firewood.
  5. We all reunited at my house and laid the rocks in the pit. Then we sat around the house a little and finally put it to bed at about 8:30pm -- way early for me, but not unreasonable considering that Greg and I would have to get up at 5AM Sunday to get the fire going and prepare the last things.

That's all I could get done in the time allotted. All the rest was accomplished on Sunday.

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