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September 2006

Kim Chee & Punahou

From Cris LeGassy

Cris LeGassy (a Punahou graduate) has been a fan of Northwest Hawai`i Times from the beginning and sends us photos and story leads. But recently it occurred to me that she hadn’t yet sent in anything for Foodstuffs. How come hah? I know she likes to eat because we usually see each other around a table with food on it. So I asked her what she’s got in the food department, she immediately sent in this. Mahalo Cris! ~RdC


I have a confession to make.  I don't like kim chee.  This has been a source of embarrassment throughout many years of hanging out with locals who can't get enough of the stuff.  I'm already too haole for my own good, so hiding my dislike for this Korean delicacy has been a challenge.  I like cabbage.  I like garlic.  I like hot peppers.  So how come when they get put together, the result is so potent that it exceeds the boundaries of my taste buds' abilities? Auwe!  But, at last!  I have found a way to enjoy kim chee (although I'm sure kim chee purists will cringe at the thought), thanks to  A Taste of Aloha,  the Junior League of Honolulu cookbook.  


8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup kim chee, drained

In a food processor, combine kim chee and cream cheese, and process until smooth.  Chill.  Serve with crackers or potato chips. 

~~~ ~~~

School cafeteria food can be "iffy", at best.  But there was always one thing served in Dole Cafeteria at Punahou that never had a chance to cool off when it came out of the oven.  Caramel Cuts flew off the sheet pan, warm and chewy.  We couldn't get enough of these buttery, sugary,  blonde brownies.  Okay, OKAY, already!  Punahou and blonde go together - at least in this case. 



1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine butter and sugar.  Add other ingredients and mix well.  Bake in greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch pan for 25 minutes.  Cool and cut into bars.

This is the original recipe, but I like to add 1/2 cup each Rice Krispies, chopped macademia nuts and shredded coconut for a fancier treat. 

Cris LeGassey was born in Oakland, CA but spent most of her childhood growing up in Seattle before moving with her mother and father to Honolulu in 1961.  She graduated from Punahou, and went on to college at Michigan State University, earning a degree in English Literature.  She worked in food services management on campus at MSU for three years before taking an extended backpacking trip through much of Europe, which eventually led her to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she lived and worked for about a year.  She returned to Seattle after an 11 week overland safari from Johannesburg to Cairo, and began a career in the travel industry as a travel agent.  She eventually retired after 25 years in reservations with United Airlines.  Cris still resides in Seattle and enjoys organizing social events at her condominium complex.  She is also very enthusiastic about all things Hawaiian, and appreciates the benefits of  the wonderful Pacific Islander community in the Northwest.   

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