For some reason, I've had the Akaka Falls Inn on my mind quite a bit lately...specially the cooking school part of it...maybe because I've been trying to get the recipes we tested, shared and taught in the many cooking classes we offered and put them together into a possible cookbook with bits of stories and anecdotes about the Inn and the classes.
All one summer, our cooking school hosted a series of keiki (children's) cooking classes, designed as a trip around the world. Food from a different country was chosen for each class. Countries covered were, if I remember correctly, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Greece, China, India and Japan.
The menu for each class consisted of a salad, entree, dessert and an appropriate beverage. We gave the students the name of the country we were going to cover a week ahead and they were to learn all they could about that country during the week - since our classes were all during the summer, they were out of school and their research did not interrupt their regular schooling homework.
The backyard at the Inn was quite large and housed over 30 varieties of fruit trees and plants (bananas, papayas, pineapples, mango, macadamia, mountain apples, vee apples, coconuts, figs, plus several different citrus), as well as an herb and small veggie garden (lettuces, mesclun mixes, spinach, cherry tomatos, basil, assorted peppers, rosemary, dill, chives, garden onions, etc) and quite a few tropical and exotic flowering trees and plant.
The kitchen and dining room used for the keiki cooking classes were the smaller and more intimate B&B kitchen and dining areas, with a homier feeling than the larger kitchen used for our regular cooking classes.
During the class, we would discuss the recipes, prep the ingredients, cook the food and while the food was cooking, the kids took turns going into the backyard in separate groups (some foraged and others cooked) to pick the garden stuff for the salad and to pick flowers and greenery for the table centerpieces.
The girls expressed an interest in making the table arrangements and learning complex napkin foldings from the many books on the subject in our Inn library.
When the food was served and we sat at table, after the young gentlemen pulled the chairs for the ladies, we would discusss all they had learned during the week about the country we were featuring. It made for very interesting table conversations.
Besides the recipes, cooking and the learning of the different countries, the keiki also were 'gently' instructed on table and dinner time etiquette.
For one of my favorite Spanish Paella recipes click HERE
For my favorite Flan recipe click HERE
For the Spanish Paella class, we started with a mixed salad, the paella and ended with flan. The beverage was a mock (virgin) sangria.
My friend Georgia Banyon used to help me with these Saturday morning classes. I think we enjoyed them as much as the keiki seemed to.
On the morning of July 23, 2000 a fire destroyed the Akaka Falls Inn. The photos above were collected from family, friends, previous Inn guests and neighbors after the fire destroyed all of ours. The quality is not as good as I would want because they had been saved to floppy discs, but we are very happy to have these and many more that were sent to us from everywhere afterwards.