Just in case you wanted to know, here’s some Thanksgiving trivia for you to chew on as you enjoy the holiday with family and friends.
• The National Turkey Federation says that 87 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving whether it’s coffee rubbed turkey from Hawaii, barbecued turkey, cajun fried turkey or – say it isn’t so – in a television frozen dinner.
KAPA‘A — Kelvin Moniz watched as the Safeway forklift driver negotiated more than six pallets of turkeys into the waiting Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank truck, Monday.
“We bought about 900 turkeys to help feed the hungry for Thanksgiving,” said Moniz, KIFB operations manager. “This is more than last year when we could only afford to buy about 500 turkeys.”
Distribution of the holiday turkeys will take place at numerous locations island-wide on Thursday, although Moniz said some may go out a little later.
Despite the amount which is almost double from that purchased last year, Moniz said they are still in need of more birds.
“Right now, we’re at least 16 turkeys short,” he said. “But by the end of the week, we anticipate a shortage of about 50 turkeys.”
The purchase of turkeys from Safeway coincides with the arrival of Thanksgiving and the holidays and highlights the need for support for the KIFB Holiday Food and Fund Drive which runs through Dec. 15.
“Sunday we got a contribution from the Hawai‘i Children’s Theater for about 380 pounds of food,” Moniz said. “That came from the ‘Peter Pan’ production going on. The HCT did a drive where half was contributed to the Salvation Army and half to the KIFB. All told, they collected more than 700 pounds of food — in one weekend!”
“I hope the people in Hawaii are ready for it,” said Richard Tajiri.
It’s an annual tradition Richard Tajiri knows a lot about. Lining up to buy a Christmas Tree.
There is also an Aloha state tradition– agriculture department inspections.
“Well were looking for any type of invasive pests that could be hitchhiking along with the Christmas trees,” said Agriculture Department Inspector Glenn Sakamoto. “So like last year we had a few containers because of slugs that are not found here in Hawaii.”
Inspections that are already underway.
And dealers like Tajiri already know what they’re looking for.
“I’m probably the only one in Hawaii to go out and mark every tree that we bring in,” said Tajiri. “I tag every tree. You know if I see a tree out there and it’s got a little bit of yellow. You know I miss some, I’m not perfect. But I see some yellow and ah I don’t want a yellow tree because I know people in Hawaii don’t want a yellow tree.”
“Most of them are pretty clean,” said Sakamoto. “We have certain conditions that they have to follow before they come into Hawaii. So, they have to be shaken prior to coming into Hawaii. So, relatively coming in they have been relatively clean.”
THE image of a bombshell cooking her way to nirvana may seem old-hat now, thanks to Nigella, Giada, Padma and the like. But back in the 1950s, a Hollywood starlet was not expected to squander her talents (or risk her manicure) chopping onions.
A new book, however, includes a recipe in Marilyn Monroe’s handwriting that suggests that she not only cooked, but cooked confidently and with flair.
“Fragments” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $30) collects assorted letters, poems and back-of-the-envelope scribblings that span the time from Monroe’s first marriage in 1943 to her death in 1962. Most of the material, however, dates from the late ’50s, when she was at the height of her fame, moved to New York, married Arthur Miller and connected with Lee Strasberg and his Actors Studio. Her poignant attempts to assert her intellectual side are what have made news about this collection, but the recipe on Page 180 was a bigger revelation to us.
Scrawled on stationery with a letterhead from a title insurance company, the recipe describes in some detail how to prepare a stuffing for chicken or turkey.
Oahu is an ultimate Thanksgiving vacation beach destination, and here you can celebrate “traditional” Thanksgiving with an island flare. Several organizations in Hawaii raise funds by selling to-go turkey dinners cooked in an Imu – the way succulent kalua pig is prepared for luaus – in an underground “oven” covered with banana leaves. Look in the local Hawaii newspapers every year for Imu Thanksgiving turkey fundraisers, and take your Imu turkey dinner to the beach for a Thanksgiving Day picnic. Before succumbing to your turkey feast you can join the 36th annual Turkey Trot 10 Mile Run held on Thanksgiving morning. Every year there is a holiday parade in Waikiki the Friday evening following Thanksgiving. The parade features high school and military bands from across the United States, as well as brightly colored floats decorated in the Hawaiian style with flowers and leis.
You can still revere the pilgrims, autumn leaves, and frost on the pumpkin – but really enjoy Thanksgiving sunbathing on a beach!
The Kailua High School athletic program will tend to a Thanksgiving imu and is offering space inside for trays of food.
Food goes into the underground oven on Nov. 24, emerging the next morning steamed full of luau flavor.
Cost is $15 per large foil tray. Food — such as whole turkeys, roasts or pork butt (meat chunks should have three deep cuts in them), sweet potatoes, taro or luau leaves — must be thawed, seasoned and well wrapped in foil. Drop in pan and wrap again in foil. Weight limit per tray is 25 pounds.
Reservations due by Nov. 17. Make checks payable to Kailua High School and send to the school, 451 Ulumanu Drive, Kailua 96734. Write “Attention IMU” in lower left corner of the envelope. Include your name, telephone number and a self-addressed, stamped envelope so a confirmation ticket can be sent to you. To be included in an e-mail list for future imu, provide e-mail address as well.
Call 266-7910 or 728-7389.
Dig a pit 1-1/2-times the size of the turkey. Secure the pit’s sides with chicken wire to keep dirt from crumbling onto the bird. Salt and pepper unstuffed turkey; wrap with ti leaves, then with cheesecloth, then with chicken wire. Place red hot coals or river rocks in the bottom of the pit, top with a layer of ti leaves. Place turkey on the ti leaves; cover with more leaves, then more hot material. Cover the pit with nonflammable heavy material. Cook for 5 hours.
Check the turkey at 4 hours using a metal skewer or knife for temperature and ease of penetration. When the still-wrapped turkey is done, remove it and put on a platter. Remove cheesecloth. The meat literally will fall off the bone, Kinoshita promised.