In Spring, Life Is Just A Puff Of Cherries

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 19, 2010
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Last month we saluted Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu’s “Big Sister of the Year,” Amanda Weston. Now it’s the Brothers’turn!

Solomon Kauinui is an engineer at Hawaiian Telcom, a Realtor with Dower Realty Inc. and is blissfully married with a beautiful infant daughter.

Growing up on the Big Island, Kauinui attributes his strong morals to his loving parents. It comes as no surprise that seven years ago he decided to share a little positivity with someone else.

That someone was a young boy named Cody. Cody grew up never having met his father. As a youngster, he struggled with school and was challenged by learning disabilities. Fortunately, with the support of his mother, LeeAnn, and Kauinui, he is a happy, well-adjusted sophomore at Kaimuki High School and a gifted soccer player.


Over the years, the friendship that Kauinui and Cody share has matured right along with the teen.

Cody’s mother says, “It is hard for me to express how much Solomon has done for Cody. Solomon has given Cody something to look forward to each week. I am so glad that Solomon has come into our lives.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu has named Kauinui its 2010 Big Brother of the Year. This column is dedicated to him with hearty congratulations! To learn more, visit

Life is just a bowl of cherries, when you can get ripe, sweet cherries at the peak of season goodness.

Cherries are believed to have originated in northeastern Asia, and have been cultivated in many parts of the world since prehistoric times. Birds have a fondness for this fruit and through their migrations most likely contributed to the spread of cherry trees all over the world.

Sweet cherries are sweet and fleshy, and are usually light or dark red in color; they have a thin skin and come in more than 500 different varieties. The Bing, which is the most juicy, is the most common variety in North America.

Cherries must be picked ripe, as they do not ripen after harvesting. Try to choose bright -colored, glossy fruits that are plump and firm. The stems should not be dried out. Avoid cherries with brown spots and wrinkled skin.

Sweet cherries are a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. They are said to be diuretic and mildly laxative.

Try this recipe for a deliciously different dessert treat.


* 1 pound dark, sweet cherries, stems and pits removed
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup unbleached flour
* pinch of salt
* egg substitute to equal 3 eggs
* 1 cup 2 percent milk
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
* sugar, for top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place pitted cherries in buttered baking dish and sprinkle with half the sugar.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt and remaining sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time; add the milk alternately with the extracts. Mix until batter is smooth. Pour evenly over the cherries and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden and puffed. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Can be served warm or cold.

Makes four servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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