All Kinds of News for December 06, 2017
Makahiki is a holiday that marks the end and new beginning of the yearly farming cycle in Hawaii. Every year, Pacific Quest hosts a special day for students and employees that focuses on the Makahiki celebration. This includes a day of cultural lessons, storytelling, games, crafts, chants, dancing and a Makahiki feast.
This year students and staff prepared a feast of turkey, pork and a vegetarian dish called laulau, which were cooked in an imu (underground oven). While the meats and laulau were prepared, the imu was stocked with wood and rocks. The wood was set on fire and the rocks heated up as the fire burned for hours. Once the rocks were extremely hot, they were carefully placed to make a flat surface and then covered with pieces of banana stump which contain water and created steam. Ti leaves were added on top of the stumps to help contain heat and moisture in addition to acting as a fire barrier so the food would not burn. Next, the pans of meat were placed on the ti leaves and then covered with more ti leaves. The final step included placing wet sheets over the pit and covering it with a tarp. Once the tarp was over the food the edges of the tarp were covered with dirt to trap in heat, moisture and steam. The food cooked in the imu overnight until the next day when the pans were pulled out of the pit. The students were excited to see the covering and uncovering of the imu during this special preparation for the celebration.
On the day of the feast, each camp prepared a special part of the menu which consisted of stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, gravy and salad. For dessert, students harvested Kalo (taro) from the land and then peeled, boiled, grated down, and mixed it with honey and coconut milk. This mixture was then wrapped in Ti leaf and cooked. The group also prepared a special favorite – sweet potato haupia pie!
The Makahiki celebration this year was a special time where students and staff worked side by side to create a meal for the entire group to enjoy. The group had the opportunity to connect with each other and share gratitude for the abundance of the land, family, friendship and community.
About Pacific Quest
Pacific Quest is an outdoor therapeutic program, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, for struggling adolescents and young adults that offers a clinical, yet holistic, approach to treatment. Our neurodevelopmental approach, combined with horticultural therapy, integrates evidence-based therapeutic methods, whole-person wellness and organic gardening to sustain a healthy community and motivate change. www.pacificquest.org