Some of the oldest records in the University Archives are found in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) collection. Act 24 signed by Governor Carter on May 24, 1907 established the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts of the Territory of Hawai‘i as a Land Grant college under the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, and since then various internal and external entities have been assumed under CTAHR.
In 1914 the establishment of the nationwide Cooperative Extension Service through the Smith-Lever Act authorized the Congress to fund agricultural colleges so that they could “aid in diffusing among people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture and home economics, and to encourage the application of the same.” However, it was not until the Hawai‘i Act in 1928 that the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Applied Science secured Smith-Lever funds, and today’s Cooperative Extension Service started under the leadership of Frederick Krauss the year later.
By 1940, extension agents were operating from nine field offices in Wailuku, Hilo, Kohala, Kealakekua, Lihu‘e, Kaunakakai, Honolulu, Wahiawa, and Kane‘ohe. Each office had at least one agricultural agent and one home demonstration agent. These employees and those of the Experiment Stations merged with the agriculture and home economics teaching faculty in the College of Applied Science with the establishment of the College of Agriculture in 1947.
Cooperative Extension Agents taught classes in various subjects relating to farm and home management, such as animal husbandry and food preservation. Records from the Extension service provide valuable information on topics of interest by the populace as well as activities. Here are just two examples:
The Wahiawa Pineapple Festival has been entertaining and engaging the public for decades. Documents from the Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension Service, part of the CTAHR collection, give us backstage access to how the festival was organized in 1949. The festival was home to various cooking competitions for both teens and adults. Categories included cake, cookies, pastries, and an entire section dedicated to jams and jellies. The grand prize winner in the adult category took home $25, adjusted for inflation that would be approximately $270 today.
Home Demonstration Agents were a vital part of the Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension Services. These agents, most of whom were women, formed clubs all across the Hawaiian Islands. These clubs would hold meetings and classes for other women in the community as well as plan fun public activities like the Wahiawa Pineapple Festival. Home Demonstration Agents were also heavily involved with the Hawai‘i 4H Club, which is still active today. One of the subjects Home Agents focused on was family nutrition. Below are recipes from the Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension Service series from the year 1956. To learn more about the Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension Service, visit the University of Hawai‘i Archives in Hamilton library.
Creamed Chicken De Lux
- ⅓ Cup butter or margarine
- ⅔ Cup sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup flour
- ¾ teasp. Salt
- Dash Pepper
- 1 ⅓ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup light cream
- 1 ⅓ cups cut-up cooked chicken
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
In top of double boiler over direct heat, melt butter; add mushrooms and saute 5 min. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, till smooth; place over boiling water. Slowly stir in broth and cream; cook, stirring, until thickened. Add chicken; heat well. Just before serving, remove from heat; pour slowly over beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return mixture to double boiler, and cook until thickened, no longer. Makes 4 servings.
Creamed Chicken, Chinese Style
- 3 Tablesp. Cornstarch
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups diced, cooked, or canned chicken
- 1 can condensed cream-of-mushroom
- 1 3-oz. Can chopped mushroom, undrained
- 1 8-oz. Can water chestnuts, drained, sliced
- ⅛ teasp. Each of salt, pepper, dried marjoram, and msg
- ½ teasp. Paprika
- 1 tablesp. Sherry2 3-oz. or 1 6-oz. can chow-mein noodles
In a saucepan, mix cornstarch with some milk to form smooth paste; add rest of ingredients except noodles. Cook over low heat till bubbling hot. Arrange noodles in a large platter; spoon on chicken. Makes 6 servings.
Cream Cheese Fruit Salad
- 1 cup grated yellow cheese
- ½ cup nut meats
- 1 small can crushed pineapple (use juice for part of water in jello)
- 1 cup whipped cream
- 1 pkg. lime and 1 pkg. of lemon jello (whip jello after it thickens)
- 1 tablesp. Lemon juice
Mix altogether and freeze. Serves 8-10.
Frozen Tropical Jellied Salad
- 1 cup puree – such as guava (plus ½ T. gelatin), papaya (plus 2T. gelatin), or mango (plus ½ T. gelatin)
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 T. Lemon Juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ tsp. Salt
- 1 ½ cup diced tropical fruits
Soak gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes and dissolve it in hot water. Mix puree, sugar, and salt and add slowly to the hot gelatin; cool, and add lemon juice. Pour mixture over 1 ½ cups tropical fruits; package and freeze. (Pineapple must be cooked 3 minutes before it is mixed with gelatin, otherwise the enzymes liquify gelatin.)
- 1 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
- ½ teasp. Baking powder
- ½ teasp. Salt
- ½ teasp. Cinnamon
- ¼ teasp. Allspice
- ¼ teasp. Powdered cloves
- ¼ teasp. Nutmeg
- ¾ cup seedless raisins
- ½ cup cut-up, pitted dates
- ½ cup diced preserved citron
- 1 cup diced mixed preserved fruits
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup soft shortening
- ¼ cup light-brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 2 eggs, unbeaten
- 2 tablesp. Orange juice
Start heating the oven to 300°F. Line about 30 small cups with packaged paper cupcake liners. Sift together the first 7 ingredients. Combine raisins and next 4 ingredients; mix in ¼ cup flour mixture.
With an electric mixer at “cream” (or with spoon), mix shortening with sugar until very light and fluffy – about 4 min. At low speed, or “blend”, beat in syrup, then ½ cup flour mixture, and lastly, eggs and orange juice. Stir in fruit mixture, then remaining flour mixture. Turn into cupcake cups. Bake for 1 hr. Brush tops with beaten egg while; decorate with slivered almonds and halves of candied cherries. Bake for 15 min. longer, or until done. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 30.
Mochi Flour Dumplings
Prepared by Thelma Woo – East Hawai‘i HHDC Demonstration
- 1 pkg mochi flour
- 1 c. water (¼ c. more if too dry)
- ⅓ pkg mochi flour for rolling
Add water to 1 package mochi flour. Mix until flour leaves the side of the bowl; knead for a few minutes. Put dry mochi flour on hand to prevent sticking and make balls out of mixture a little larger than marbles. Drop into boiling water; take out as soon as they rise to the surface. Cool on a cake rack or plate until warm; roll in the following mixture until well coated. Serve on colored toothpick.
- 1 c. crushed, roasted, non-salted peanuts
- ½ c. toasted, white sesame seeds
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1 c. sugar
Prepared by Emma Kuoha – Liliha U. E. Club
- 1# fresh pork, preferably with some fat
- ½# salted salmon or butterfish
- 2# taro leaves
- 12 ti leaves (2 per laulau)
Wash the taro leaves (luau), remove the stem and tough fibrous part of the rib. Prepare ti leaves. Remove stiff rib from the underside of the leaf by cutting partially through the rib and stripping it from the leaf. Wash leaves.
Divide pork and fish into 6 parts. Wrap a piece of pork and fish together in 8-10 taro leaves. Then place the wrapped pork and luau in the center of the ti leaves. Pull up the ti leaves and tie the ends securely from the stem eds of the ti leaves. If preferred, the laulau may be wrapped in one large leaf with another leaf wrapped around it in the opposite direction, akin a flat package, this should be tied securely with string.
Steam the Laulau 4 hours or longer in a covered steamer or in the oven at 300°F. Sweet potatoes and baking bananas may be steamed with the laulaus during the last 2 hours of cooking.
If desired, laulaus may be cooked in the pressure cooker for 1 ½ hours at 15-pounds pressure.
Makes 6 laulaus.