Too long Pineapple clung to the juices she was born with.
Though she tried to hide the seep of syrup from the rot of flesh that cracked her armor.
She knew no magic pill, nor painless shortcut could extend her shelf life any further.
And the only place that she could turn to
was the long road to the lonely field.
Giving up the crown she had held so high upon her head,
she replanted herself in the unknown soils,
and then began to wait …
Slowly slowly she replaced her fibers with those that grew in the nutrient earth.
The veining roots brought green to stems and blossomed the fruit within her core.
Still, she remained, while she rose from the ground — fresh and full of wonder
at the sun and the rain and the stars and their music that echoed the song inside her.
Her skin turned gold with the honeyed dawn — it’s sweetness gave off a newfound fragrance.
And she glowed from within with the light she’d unearthed :
a harvest found buried in darkness.
I am completely AMAZED by pineapples! I had no idea how fascinating they were until I saw an actual pineapple plant for the first time: a miniature version of itself suspended atop a single stem, growing from the ground. How ridiculously adorable and miraculous that such a complex fruit is created this way!
Here are some pineapple facts that have been blowing my mind recently:
One plant produces only one pineapple fruit per season.
Most species of pineapples take 24 months to reach maturity. That’s right, one pineapple from one plant takes two years to grow!
To grow a new pineapple plant you can simply twist off and replant the crown of a mature pineapple fruit.
The pineapple plant flowers with hundreds of little “fruitlets” that fuse together and become one fruit.
Once the pineapple ripens and the fruit is harvested, it stops ripening and its short shelf life begins quickly ticking away. So how you purchase the pineapple from the store is as ripe as it will ever be. It is only rotting at that point.
Although pineapples have become a symbol of Hawaiian agricultural, and Hawai’i is the only US state that grows them, they are not native to the Islands. They were introduced only in 1813.
🙃 I have always loved pineapple upside-down cake and wanted to try making one with fresh pineapple, instead of the traditional canned pineapple, most recipes call for.
This pineapple was grown right down the road from my house at the Maui Tropical Plantation. The fruit itself tasted like heaven, so I knew whatever was made with it would be divine!
This is a recipe I have adapted from many recipes and I am very happy with the outcome. The fresh pineapple caramelizes nicely with no overflow on the topping and the cake is dense and moist. Not only is this cake delicious, but the combination of spices and fresh pineapple makes your home incredibly fragrant when it is baking and after!
Fresh Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 5-8 fresh pineapple slices (or 8-10 canned pineapple slices) Maraschino cherries (to decorate with as you wish)
1 and 1/2 cups cake flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt) 1/8 tsp ground cardamom 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 6 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 large egg whites at room temperature 1/3 cup full fat Greek yogurt at room temperature 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1/3 cup whole milk (or half and half), at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
Cut and up fresh pineapple into rings.
Pour melted butter into an ungreased 9×2 inch pie dish or round cake pan.
Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter.
Blot all excess liquid off the fruit with a paper towel and pineapple slices and cherries on top of the brown sugar.
Place pan in the refrigerator for a few minutes to set while you prepare the cake batter.
Prepare cake batter:
Whisk cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Mix the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 min. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until creamed together, about 1 min, scraping down the sides as needed.
On high speed, beat in the egg whites until combined, then beat in the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
Slowly our the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the milk. Beat on low speed just until all of the ingredients are combined. Do not over-mix.
Remove topping from the refrigerator. Pour and spread cake batter evenly over topping.
Bake for 43-48 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.
Remove cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert the slightly cooled cake onto a cake stand or serving plate.
Over a glass of pineapple wine thoughts of you float to the surface,
sweetly swirling in my mind as hours sip — lick drips from the rim …
and I smile thinking how time is an ineffective metric
The moon pulls at the hem of her blue dress and her hands slip away from mine.
She leaves what she can no longer carry on the sand :
The starving sea turtle who ate too many plastic jellyfish.
The poisoned octopus offers me just one of his three landfilled hearts
with his dying wish:
“If you won’t take it who will?”
World Oceans Day became internationally recognized by the UN in 2008 and has been growing in popularity and participation every year since. The day was created to recognize the implementation of worldwide Sustainable Development Goals and to encourage public interest in caring for our oceans.
Living near an ocean is new to me, having lived most of my life in landlocked states like Idaho and Colorado. Before, my awareness of the detrimental effects of plastic pollution on our environment had always been in the back of my mind, but not something I took daily responsibility for. Now, having the privilege to visit the ocean regularly, this awareness has quickly moved to the front of my mind, as I’m reminded of the immediate and lasting impacts our waste has.
As we all know, this impact is especially true for our single-use plastics (water bottles, plastic straws, styrofoam take-out boxes, etc.) that are only useful to us for an average of 12 minutes, while it takes an estimated 400 years for these plastics to decompose. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a garbage truck worth of these plastics are dumped into the ocean every minute, that is 5-13 million metric tons a year! They estimate that by 2050 the weight of plastics in the ocean will exceed the weight of fish in the ocean!
The particles from these plastics are unfortunately consumed by marine life, as they mistake the foreign objects for food. Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags as jellyfish and end up starving, never knowing they didn’t actually eat a jellyfish. Not to mention the toxins from these plastics are linked to a plethora of health problems for marine life and for us humans, who consume the fish.
This is a very daunting and troubling issue that is not going to be solved by just a few. To make a change we all need to do what we can, starting with just one simple thing in our lives. That could be bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, using a reusable water bottle, or refusing plastic straws at restaurants. The World Oceans Day website, as well as many others like Plastic Oceans have plenty of great resources and ideas on how we can do our part!
The Hawaiian language has over 200 different names for rain. The breadth of these names describe the form and qualities of each type, as well as the specific times and regions of the islands these rains can be found. The Hawaiian culture recognizes rain not only as an integral part of survival, but also as a friend and spiritual guide. To talk about the rain is much more than small-talk in Hawaii, it is a conversation and language in itself. The physical intricacies of rain color parts of your day and life differently and help to understand the depths of others. Hawaiian ancestors trusted the different rains to determine when to plant specific crops, fish, harvest, and so much more. Most of us have lost so much of our connection to the land. I can only hope to notice and welcome more of these sacred, rainy visitors.
1. My love is the rain Soaking through the sheet of night Time folds into sky
2.Gardens refresh us Flowers are forms of water Our souls drink the rain
The rain dripped down the faces of leaves then tapped unbreaking a dance in the streets.
We laughed in gleams shone brighter in night to finally feel climate that sung us alive.
In Hawaiian poetry mentions of rain or rains may signify joy, life, growth, greenery, love, good fortune (light rains, mist), grief, sorrow, and tears (heavy rains), the presence of gods or royalty, sex, beauty or hardship.
Some of my favorite Hawaiian rain types:
kili, much beloved rain
ko’iawe, light moving rain
ua nāulu, showery rain
ua lani pili, rain downpour
ua ho’okina, continuous rain
ua hikiki’i, slanting rain
ililani, unexpected rain
uakoko, rainbow-hued rain
Lēhei, leaping rain of upcountry Maui
kuāua hope, spring rain
ka ua ‘awa, grieving rain
ʻeleua, dark rain
kuāua, hopeful rain
ehu, fine spray rain
Lani-paʻina, crackling heavens rain
ʻUla-lena, invigorating, yellow & red rain of Maui
Mololani, well-kept rain of the Lehua flower & Ohia tree
W.S. Merwin, was a beloved poet and conservationist who lived in near-solitude in Haiku on Maui from 1970 until his death in 2019. His work was highly influenced by his passion for restoration of depleted flora and his connection to the elements on the island. I am looking forward to visiting his plantation soon where he restored hundreds of species of palms.
Merwin wrote several beautiful rain poems. Here is one of my favorites of his:
I wake in the dark and remember it is the morning when I must start by myself on the journey I lie listening to the black hour before dawn and you are still asleep beside me while around us the trees full of night lean hushed in their dream that bears us up asleep and awake then I hear drops falling one by one into the sightless leaves and I do not know when they began but all at once there is no sound but rain and the stream below us roaring away into the rushing darkness
In the air she thrives, ( as she’ll swell with stems in soil. )
Like a serpent, she resorts up trees, roots coiled.
She’s unafraid to wilt and adapt to new homes,
with patience she blooms :
her secret alone .
I have been so fascinated with orchids and their temperamental nature recently. There are a lot of differing opinions on how to properly care for these finicky blooms, especially on the topic of watering. I always heard that you should use ice cubes, but others say the trick is to temporarily submerge the roots in luke-warm water. Now that I see orchids more in their natural tropical environment, the latter makes more sense with the warm rainforest the flowers thrive in. But, I have also heard that every orchid is different and requiring special care.
Petal on a string
Like a petal on a string, a feather on the air, I glided to you —
to your poetry of stars :
written in the night
dancing in your eyes;
they fell into the shadows in the corners of mine.
Though the day will turn dreams away like Orpheus,
won’t you stay here for now and hold me in the darkness?