Around Cora’s Garden: Pakalana

Pakalana is related to the milkweed plant, and it is also called Chinese Violet. It’s a woody vine with heart-shaped leaves. The flowers bloom in clusters of yellow-green flowers with a beautiful fragrance. Bees and ants love these blossoms. They bloom from April to September.

What I read about pakalana, it’s not the most beautiful vine, but the blooms and scent make up for that.

I added three pakalana plants to the old cucumber trellis this winter. Cucumbers have stopped growing well in this area, and it has been sitting empty. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they like their new home.

Only one of the plants of blooming. I hope the other two will come in later.

Pakalana is my favorite Lei. It is usually worn in several stands. And I’m trying to see if I can make on strand from what I’m getting this season. Mom said to pick the open blossoms, sprinkle them with water, and put them in the refrigerator till I have enough for a lei.

What I’ve gathered

One of Our Favorites Hikes

That’s me in the red on the unmaintained section of the hike.

Giving credit where credit is due

Most of the images are from my cousins and friends that I hiked with. My concentration on not falling distracted me from taking pictures. Thank you M, E, L, and H for your great shots and for letting me share them on my blog.

I’m a little late posting

I went on a hike. It was for my birthday. It was on one of my favorite trail with my cousins and two friends, M, E, L, and H. Poamoho trail is a ridge trail 3.5 miles to the Ko’olau summit. It is a permitted hike, with 5 people per permit; the trail is only open 4 days a week. This is one of the reasons that it is such a memorable hike. And because we hiked on Monday, we were the only people on the trail. Besides our voices, the sounds of the birds and Poamoho stream below were loud and clear.

At one of the fixed slide areas

We haven’t been to Poamoho since October 2020. Because of the pandemic, the trail was closed for a while and then suffered several landslides. All but one of the slides were filled. The DLNR had put up ropes to cross the slide area. I’m always amazed how these washed-out areas get fixed.

Proof of the mud

I’ve been on this trail twice before in the fall. It was much dyer then. Let’s say this trip, the word of the day was mud. Haha. I was concentrating very hard not to fall or get too much on me, but that was a worthless effort, and on the trip back, I just slogged through, becoming the muddiest in the group. The mud won on this trip as we all fell sometime on the trail.

Here are some highlights of our hikes. We were all exhausted at the end but what a great day.

Our Start

Flora

The View

The Cabin

Going to the cabin added half mile each way. The muddy condition made it feel much longer.

Patches and Stitching

I love Hawaiian-style patchwork blankets. This blanket style is made up of many different prints and is lightweight for the weather in Hawaii. My Grandma Kiyo (my dad’s mom) sewed many of these blankets. We only have a few of these blankets left as time has taken its toll on them. They are well-loved.

Grandma Kiyo’s blanket was a masterwork of patterns. She used many patterns within the blanket. I assume most of the fabric used on the blanket was scraps or old clothing. Most of her blankets had a red backing with a self-binding.

My Grandma Kiyo’s blanket needs repair of all the fraying from being older than me.

At the Kuakini thrift shop where I volunteer, we have started to sell these Hawaiian-style blankets. The blankets were made by the hospital craft group. They would make craft items for use in the hospital and for sale at their rummage sale. This rummage sale turned into a Kuakini thrift shop, and now we are selling some of the blanket inventory. All of the fabric is donated and created by this craft group.

Here are a few shots of the blankets that I liked. Many of them are full of prints; they are just so fun.

These are from the latest batch of the quilt in the shop. They were full of prints, lots of them vintage from the 60s.


I finally finished my stitching sampler on a pillowcase I made a long while ago. Oh well, I think I decided to put my needle down. I added fabric patches to where there were holes and added the stiches to blend the patches into the pillow. I’m enjoying the stitching, it gets me out of my head and it’s quite meditative.

Looks a little crazy, but I was trying out the stitches.


And now . . . my aloha shirt blanket. I finally finished it. I learned a lot. I know there needs to be bit more planning for my next quilt. As you can see, I have a lot of inspiration. I most definitely will be doing some hand stitching.

I figured out how to hide the know midway through working on the blanket. Next time, hopefully they will be hidden.

Fav Pics: Grilled Tomato Salsa

Veggies on the grill.

I haven’t posted one of these in a while. I’m still cleaning out my images. Lots of memories make it hard to eliminate. I decided to post this grouping as I just made this recipe and remembered how easy and delicious it was. This salsa is versatile. I made it for the chips that I bought, but it is also excellent on eggs, salads, fish . . . etc.

I can’t find the recipe initially used, but it is so easy and versatile to your taste. Here’s the list of ingredients and what I did for my recent batch.

  • Tomatoes, sliced in half–for the last batch I made I use about six medium size tomatoes, locally grown
  • Bell peppers, sliced in half, deseed–I use the mini peppers, about six, what I had in my refrigerator
  • Round onions, sliced in half–two large
  • Garlic–four cloves
  • Serrano peppers-two, could use more if like hot or use spicer peppers
  • Green onions-didn’t use because I didn’t have any in my fridge
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Lime–I use local lemon to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

I placed all the ingredients, except cilantro and lime, on a baking sheet, cut side up. Placing them cut side up captures the juices they produce during the cooking process. I set the oven at 400ยบ and cooked for about 30 minutes. Veggies should be charred but not burnt to a crisp. (my veggies were a bit more burnt than I wanted)

*Note: after grilling, remove the root from the scallions, seeds from the bell peppers, and stems and seeds from serranos (if you like it hot, leave the seed in)

Placed the grilled veggies in the food processor or blender and process till pureed. Depending on your food processor or blender, you may have to do it in two batches. Add coarsely chopped cilantro, lime (or lemon) juice, salt, and pepper to taste. The recent batch made about a quart and a half of salsa.

Four quarts from NJ tomatoes

If you use a grill, this salsa takes on a smokey quality. This recipe is worth trying, and it makes a lot to share. Enjoy!

Around Cora’s Garden: Phalaenopsis

After the morning watering

Mom’s collection of Phalaenopsis is made up of mostly plants from the distressed plant rack. They are doing great since their move back to the backyard, some many buds on each of the plants. Mom gave the orchids a freshening up, trimmed the bad stuff, and added new potting media. Plus the move must be making them happy.