NaPoWriMo Day 1: Lau Lau Love

Grandma's love came wrapped like bear hugs
in shiny ti leaf
holding together her gifts for us
dark green steamed lūʻau leaves
harvested from the taro fields outside of Hana,
kisses of pork fat
that melted smooth in our mouth
soft as butter and lazy Sundays in the shade,
salted butterfish, generous chunks of beef
tender as Grandma's cool cheeks when she holds our faces
close to hers,
"love you," she'd whisper before she let us go
to dig into her large one-pound lau lau
generous as her large hands
each bite an affirmation
a love poem wrapped in ti leaf.
- 4/5/11

This is my gram, Mary Uilani Kaumeheiwa Sodetani, alumni, Kamehameha School for Girls '36. She was the best cook but never wrote anything down, so when she passed, many of our favorite recipes went with her. But her secret to laulau is simple:
  • Be generous in all you do
  • Don't be afraid of fat, it is a valuable tenderizer and flavor enhancer
  • Cook with love, never anger


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