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,
Put the salmon in salt and a little lime juice to "cook" for
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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