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Are you getting tired of the snow and cold weather? Then come with me to a tropical splendor, where it’s warm and cozy, and the whole family can have a good time. Let’s go to Hawaii in your own home. It’s a great place to get away and the best part, you can sleep in your very own bed.
If we’re going to Hawaii, then let’s have a Luau. A luau is a celebration thrown in Hawaii with cultural music, food and dance. Luaus usually take place outside on the beach, beginning at sunset and lasting until after dark around the glow of a fire, but we’re having it inside. A luau is a popular party theme because of the warm, tropical feel it adds to the party, especially if the decorations make your guests and family feel as though they are in a tropical paradise.
You can either set a table on the floor or use your kitchen or dining room table. Use a bright colored or flowered table cloth, and if you can find grass skirts at a local party store, put them around the edge of the table. You can make palm trees out of construction paper and tape them to the walls. Use mini-Christmas lights around the room to add some warmth. Bright colored artificial flowers and fresh pineapple for the centerpiece, and maybe add a couple of real coconuts for authenticity. Get all the family involved in making decorations and food.
Be sure you wear bright colored or flowered shirts and don’t forget the leis to give out to everyone who comes. Turn on that Hawaiian music or play Blue Hawaii on the DVD, those you can probably find at the library. Go barefoot, remember you are on the beach. Most of all, have fun and get out of the winter doldrums for a few hours.
Here are a couple of menu ideas to use for adults and children;
Hawaiian Ham Slices or Teriyaki Kebabs
Fresh Fruit Salad
Mashed Sweet Potatoes (mashed with coconut milk)
Luau Coconut Strips
For the Teriyaki Kebabs
Overnight marinate cubed beef or pork in teriyaki sauce, place in refrigerator. Drain meat, place on wooden skewer alternately with pineapple chunks. Broil three inches from heat for 5 minutes, then turn and broil three minutes longer.
Hawaiian Ham Slices
2 center ham steaks, 1 inch thick
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1 cup mixed chopped fruit (your choice, try maraschino cherries for color)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup maraschino cherries
Mandarin orange sections
Place a sheet of heavy-duty foil in a shallow aluminum pan and place one ham steak in center. Gash edge of ham slice at 1-inch intervals so ham will lay flat. Combine crushed pineapple with chopped fruit and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Spread half this mixture over the steak. Top with second steak, like a sandwich. Fold foil loosely around ham slices. Bake in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, roll back foil. Spoon out any fat. Top with remaining fruit mixture and remaining brown sugar. Return to oven for 20 minutes to glaze, basting occasionally with liquid.
Luau Coconut Strips
8 (1/2-inch) slices pound cake
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 (7-ounce) pkg. flaked coconut
Remove crusts from cake. Cut slices into 3 strips. Dip cake strips in condensed milk; roll in coconut. Broil on baking sheet 4-inches from heat, 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn; broil 3 to 5 minutes on second side. Cool. These can be frozen.
Pomaika’I (good luck)
Lonnie Sundermeyer is a professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.