Monday, November 26, 2012

Kalua Turkey

We enjoyed our first Thanksgiving in Hawaii last week, and the best part was having kalua turkey for our Thanksgiving meal.  My husband and son were able to learn how and help to prepare an imu, or Hawaiian underground oven, with the local scout group.  These are some of the photos taken by my husband.

Monday and Tuesday, they dug the imu pit and gathered rocks and sand.

 Wednesday, they started the fire to begin heating the rocks.

While it was heating up, they gathered lots of banana leaves and stalks.  (Learning to use a machete can be very useful here in Hawaii!)  The leaves were set aside and the stalks were chopped and pounded into smaller pieces, to be used later.

Once the rocks were hot enough, the burnt wood was removed.  The banana stalks were layered on top of the rocks.

The turkeys and other food (pork, veggies, etc.) were passed down to be placed in the imu.

This imu held 80 turkey/pork/veggie bundles.

The banana leaves were layered over the food.

And finally, wet burlap and a large plastic tarp covered everything up.  It steamed and cooked all night long, and in the morning our delicious turkey was hot and ready to pick up.

Once the food was removed, the pit was cleaned up and rocks and sand set aside so that it can be used again next year!  We loved our kalua turkey--next time we'll probably add a bundle of veggies as well.

Hau’oli La Ho’omakika’i!

kālua -- "to cook in an underground oven" or food cooked in this manner
imu --  underground oven
Hau’oli La Ho’omakika’i -- Happy Thanksgiving