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Ohana Christmas Dinner 2016

Like many of you, we spent Christmas Day this year gathering with our close family. This time at my niece’s place, where the main course for dinner was, as always, “Prime Rib”. More aptly named a “Standing Rib Roast.

Whenever shopping for “Prime Rib”, the main thing you’ll be looking for besides the best grade and supplier as possible, is the fat marbling and content in its cross section…

A bone-in “Prime Rib”, a.k.a. “Standing Rib Roast” is basically a big honkin’ uncut, untrimmed “slab” of ribeye steak, and is pretty much priced as such, if not a bit cheaper per pound, being it’s in “bulk”.

The one I chose here is from Foodland (Market City Kaimuki location), which is labeled as “Premium Choice” certified USDA Angus Beef. Sale price $7.99/lbs., where the total for 8.11 lbs. came out to $65.

Of course if this were truly a prime grade “Prime Rib”, which as far as I checked only Costco here carries, it would be about double in price. I like the quality of beef Safeway and Foodland carries, so I’m fine with this.

Spock da’ odda’ side…

Here it is, simply and generously seasoned with Hawaiian Salt, fresh cracked black and plugs of garlic slivers underneath the fat cap, which we got that idea from the Plaza Club…

Pop an oven-safe meat thermometer in that bad boy, making sure it’s centered and not touching the rib bone…

OK, this is where I’ll have  to make a key note: I did NOT let this prime rib “temper” long enough. Meaning, I didn’t let it come completely to room temperature before roasting it, so the inside of the meat was still very cold. Which you might be able to tell, as looking at the thermometer gauge, see how the needle is pointing at almost 3 o’clock? Well, at room temperature, that same gauge was pointing at about 6 o’clock.

While that “cheap-O” meat thermometer doesn’t have gauge readings all the way around the dial,  you can safely say it’s in the same increments around the dial, so you do the math.

Now here’s the Prime Rib after pau roasting at 450ºF for 30 minutes, then at 325ºF for about 1 hour, where you see the internal temperature is around 120ºF. Which is right about where I set the blue “done” pointer at on the gauge. Perfect for medium-rare. Or so I thought.

Before continuing, I should also note as “Aunty Marialani” instructed, I was gonna’ put it in at 5000ºF for 5 seconds, than at 5ºF for 5 days, but nah, next time.  LOL!!!!

I then let it rest, tented with foil to keep it warm, for about 40 minutes, where it pretty much maintained its approximate 120ºF internal temperature.

Here it is all pau, where notice it has a nice “crust” thanks to that initial 450ºF “blast”…

Cutting the rib bones away before carving to serve, it is almost RAW at its core…

Ack! However, no fear! No worries! No worries. I’d MUCH RATHER have my Prime Rib UNDERCOOKED than overcooked, as you can always simply throw it back on the rack in the oven and roast it more, which is what I ended up doing. If you overcook it, you’re SCREWED. Poho. No can already. Undercooked? No probs. Cook ’em samoa! Just a lil’ bit longer in the oven, and voila…

Perps, brah, perps (perfect)!

In the above Christmas Dinner spread, we have Prime Rib, Mash Potatoes (from scratch), buttered Asparagus, Au Jus and Mama’s (my late grandmother’s) White Gravy. Nice!

Spock da’ plates…

The white dollop on the cut of prime rib is Beaver hot horseradish, while it’s also drenched with Au Jus, made with both the dripping of the prime rib, as well as packaged Au Jus. She go. Also my sister’s Potato Salad, scratch-made mash potato smothered with Mama’s White Gravy and buttered Asparagus. Hai, itadakimasu!

For me, I don’t even need da’ prime rib. I could just eat Mama’s White Gravy ovah’ rice and I’d be all good!….

Our “pupus” was haole style, being simply packaged chips, crackers, cheese and clam dip…

While our dessert was my sister Keanu’s always AWESOME Blueberry Cheesecake…

So how was it? The “Prime Rib” turned out EXCELLENT. Super duper tender and seasoned to perfection. I personally liked the “still moo’ing” red-rare innner parts. Most other folks preferred it more medium-rare-medium. Whimps. lol My sister made all the side dishes, and as usual, her stuff is always “money” as well. And OMG, her signature Blueberry Cheesecake is BOMB DOT COM! Swear to God, if it weren’t so rich with cream cheese, you could sit there and eat the whole dang pan in one sitting, it’s that ono!

Summing it up, our Christmas feast this year was winnahz! Even better, was spending time with my sister, brother-in-law and her kids, as well as my mom. Priceless. ;-)

Pomai with nephew Kamakana (he’s Tongan, Okinawan, Portuguese, Hawaiian, German and English; in that order). 12.25.16

Pomai and sister Keanu (Imua!), 12.25.16

Pomai with Mai Tai’s server Jessica (she’s super duper funny and cool!). 12.23.16

P.S. This year we lost so many famous people, it’s difficult to fathom. Most significant for me personally was the loss of George Michael this past Christmas Day… of all days. I cried inside upon hearing of his early death, having this deep feeling of loss, as if a part of me had died as well. I LOVED & CHERISHED his music, from his early days in WHAM, to every album from his long solo career. He truly was an icon of my generation, and will continue to be an inspiration for future artists. We will always love you, George. RIP.

That said, here’s a long list of famous folks we lost in 2016:


David Bowie, 69. Other-worldly musician who broke pop and rock boundaries with his creative musicianship, striking visuals and a genre-spanning persona he christened Ziggy Stardust. Jan. 10.

Alan Rickman, 69. Classically-trained British stage star and sensual screen villain in the “Harry Potter” saga and other films. Jan. 14.

Glenn Frey, 67. Rock ‘n’ roll rebel who co-founded the Eagles and with Don Henley formed one of history’s most successful songwriting teams with such hits as “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane.” Jan. 18.

Abe Vigoda, 94. Character actor whose leathery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller” and the doomed Mafia soldier in “The Godfather.” Jan. 26.

Paul Kantner, 74. Founding member of the Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the seminal band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship. Jan. 28.


Antonin Scalia, 79. Influential conservative and most provocative member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Feb. 13.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93. Veteran Egyptian diplomat who helped negotiate his country’s landmark peace deal with Israel but clashed with the United States when he served a single term as U.N. secretary-general. Feb. 16.

Harper Lee, 89. Elusive novelist whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film. Feb. 19.

Umberto Eco, 84. Italian author who intrigued, puzzled and delighted readers worldwide with his best-selling historical novel “The Name of the Rose.” Feb. 19.


Nancy Reagan, 94. Helpmate, backstage adviser and fierce protector of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president — and finally during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. March 6.

George Martin, 90. The Beatles’ urbane producer who quietly guided the band’s swift, historic transformation from rowdy club act to musical and cultural revolutionaries. March 8.

Phife Dawg, 45. Lyricist whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. March 22. Complications from diabetes.

Garry Shandling, 66. Actor and comedian who masterminded a brand of phony docudrama with “The Larry Sanders Show.” March 24.

Patty Duke, 69. As a teen, she won an Oscar for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker,” then maintained a long career while battling personal demons. March 29.


Merle Haggard, 79. Country giant who rose from poverty and prison to international fame through his songs about outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home.” April 6.

Doris Roberts, 90. She played the tart-tongued, endlessly meddling mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” April 17.

Chyna, 46. Tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired pro-wrestler who rocketed to popularity in the 1990s and later made the rounds on reality TV. April 20.

Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, 52. Basketball player who went from New York City playground wonder to Big East star for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. April 20.

Prince, 57. One of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.” April 21.


Morley Safer, 84. Veteran “60 Minutes” correspondent who was equally at home reporting on social injustices, the Orient Express and abstract art, and who exposed a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing Americans’ view of the war. May 19.


Muhammad Ali, 74. Heavyweight champion whose fast fists, irrepressible personality and determined spirit transcended sports and captivated the world. June 3.

Peter Shaffer, 90. British playwright whose durable, award-winning hits included “Equus” and “Amadeus.” June 6.

Kimbo Slice, 42. Bearded street fighter who parlayed his Internet popularity into a mixed martial arts career. June 6.

Gordie Howe, 88. Known as “Mr. Hockey,” the rough-and-tumble Canadian farm boy whose blend of talent and toughness made him the NHL’s quintessential star. June 10.

Pat Summitt, 64. Winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who uplifted the women’s game from obscurity to national prominence during her 38-year career at Tennessee. June 28.


Elie Wiesel, 87. Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic “Night” became a landmark testament to the Nazis’ crimes and launched his career as one of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarians. July 2.

Michael Cimino, 77. Oscar-winning director whose film “The Deer Hunter” became one of the great triumphs of Hollywood’s 1970s heyday and whose disastrous “Heaven’s Gate” helped bring that era to a close. July 2.

Sydney H. Schanberg, 82. Former New York Times correspondent awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the genocide in Cambodia in 1975 and whose story of the survival of his assistant inspired the film “The Killing Fields.” July 9.

Nate Thurmond, 74. Tenacious NBA defensive center who played with Wilt Chamberlain. July 16.

Marni Nixon, 86. Hollywood voice double whose singing was heard in place of the leading actresses’ in such movie musicals as “West Side Story,” ”The King and I” and “My Fair Lady.” July 24.


John McLaughlin, 89. Conservative commentator and host of a long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics. Aug. 16.

Gene Wilder, 83. Frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in “The Producers” and the mad scientist of “Young Frankenstein.” Aug. 28.


Phyllis Schlafly, 92. Outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group. Sept. 5.

Edward Albee, 88. Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “A Delicate Balance.” Sept. 16.

W.P. Kinsella, 81. Canadian novelist who blended magical realism and baseball in the book that became the smash hit film “Field of Dreams.” Sept. 16.

Arnold Palmer, 87. Golfing great who brought a country-club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch. Sept. 25.

Shimon Peres, 93. Former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace. Sept. 28.


Dario Fo, 90. Italian playwright whose energetic mocking of Italian political life, social mores and religion won him praise, scorn and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Oct. 13.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88. World’s longest reigning monarch, he was revered in Thailand as a demigod, a humble father figure and an anchor of stability through decades of upheaval at home and abroad. Oct. 13.

Dennis Byrd, 51. Former NFL defensive lineman whose career was ended by neck injury. Oct. 15. Car accident.

Pete Burns, 57. English singer-songwriter for 80s pop band Dead or Alive, famous for the hit song “You Spin Me Round (like a record)”. October 23.


Janet Reno, 78. First woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, including the seizure of Elian Gonzalez. Nov. 7.

Leonard Cohen, 82. Baritone-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter who blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like “Hallelujah,” ”Suzanne” and “Bird on a Wire.” Nov. 7.

Robert Vaughn, 83. Debonair, Oscar-nominated actor whose many film roles were eclipsed by his hugely popular turn in television’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” Nov. 11.

Gwen Ifill, 61. Co-anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff and a veteran journalist who moderated two vice presidential debates. Nov. 14.

Ralph Branca, 90. Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” that still echoes six decades later as one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. Nov. 23.

Florence Henderson, 82. Broadway star who became one of America’s most beloved television moms in “The Brady Bunch.” Nov. 24.

Fidel Castro, 90. He led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba. Nov. 25.


John Glenn, 95. His 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate. Dec. 8.

Alan Thicke, 69. Versatile performer who gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on the sitcom “Growing Pains.” Dec. 13.

Craig Sager, 65. Longtime NBA sideline reporter famous for his flashy suits and probing questions. Dec. 15.

Henry Heimlich, 96. Surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims. Dec. 17.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99. Jet-setting Hungarian actress and socialite who helped invent a new kind of fame out of multiple marriages, conspicuous wealth and jaded wisdom about the glamorous life. Dec. 18.

George Michael, 53. An English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He is best known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including hit singles such as “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, and albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990). Sold over 100 million records. Dec. 25.

Carrie Fisher, 60. Most famous as “Princess Leia” in the Star Wars movie franchise, Fisher made her film debut in the Warren Beatty-lead Shampoo. During the 80s she was also in The Blues Brothers, The Man with One Red Shoe, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986 and, later, When Harry Met Sally. Dec. 27.

Ricky Harris, 54. Actor and comedian, who was a regular on the TV sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” and first gained attention on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam”. Dec. 27.

Debbie Reynolds, 84. An American actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, and humanitarian. Her breakout role came in the portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. However, it was her first leading role in 1952 at age 19, as Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, that set her on the path to fame. Mother of Carrie Fisher of Star Wars “Princess Leia” fame, who passed away just three days before her. Dec. 28

6 thoughts on “Ohana Christmas Dinner 2016

  • December 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    You forgot Pete Burns (Dead or Alive) in October.

    David Bowie’s death broke my heart. George Michael as well, but I think I’ve been numb since Bowie’s death.

    • December 27, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      h, wow, I didn’t know Pete Burns of Dead or Alive died. Apparently same cause as George Michael (cardiac arrest). I’ve added him to the list.

      Never really was a David Bowie fan, however I have utmost respect for him as an artist. My favorite songs by him are China Girl and Let’s Dance.

      Everyone on the web talking about all the stars that are dying, always bring up how amazing Keith Richards (Rolling Stones guitarist) is still alive. It’s also amazing Ozzy Osbourne is still around. By far my favorite hard rock/metal vocalist. Speaking of whom, it was so tragic how his original solo gig guitarist, Randy Rhodes died so young at just 25 (plane crash). He was such an incredible guitarist who pioneered complex technical (classical) styles into metal (I’d otherwise say Eddie Van Halen, but his domain is hard rock).

  • December 30, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Why don’t you contact http://www.thermoworks.com and ditch the analog metal meat thermometer and order a digital Chef Alarm normally $59 but on January inventory clearance sale of 16% off down to $49 each plus shipping USPS Priority Mail boxes.
    The Chef Alarm comes with 47 inch SS probe for monitoring meat or casserole temperature while cooking and also a mounting clip to monitor frying oil or candy temperature. Other SS probes and clips specially designed for monitoring grill or smoker temperatures. Shows starting temperature and ending temperature.

    Splash-proof design for commercial kitchens
    Uses Pro-Series® temperature probes
    Includes Pro-Series High Temp Cooking Probe with cable to 700°F max temp
    Adjustable high and low alarms
    Always-on Min & Max temperatures
    Adjustable volume to 92dB (4 settings)
    Includes count-down and count-up timer
    Really big digits and a backlight
    Available in 9 colors

    I have one Chef Alarm I use for doing my roasts and two different color Thermapens for instant checking of cooking temperatures of products I am cooking (no cross contamination).

    • December 31, 2016 at 11:21 pm


      I was actually going to incorporate those electronic meat thermometers in this post, from the emails you sent me on them previously, and how much you rave/recommend them. But I figured you bring it up in spades anyhow, which you did of course. lol 

      In the case here, I simply didn’t let the roast come completely to room temperature before cooking it, so it was too cold on the inside, which is why it was undercooked. That of course means I did get somewhat a false thermometer reading, as it shouldn’t have been around 115º. Then again, that thermometer didn’t have a reading below 130ºF, so I was “eyeballing” it. I’ll return that and get a better one. The Cooper analog thermometer I had was very accurate, however I misplaced it. While I don’t do roasts all that often, maybe I’ll fork out the money for the one you recommend for peace of mind when I do.

      Happy New Year my friend!


  • January 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Pomai,

    I definitely know what you mean about George Michael’s death. I was really sad for him and Prince’s  passing. I grew up with them in my teen years when MTV was “music” television. I was also a metal head too, so I also took Lemmy’s death as a shock. It’s amazing when these stars who pass are not much older than you and I (with the exception of Lemmy!) that makes you think about your how much their music has impacted you. Keep up the good work Pomai!  Always looking forward to your posts since I’m far from home!



  • January 15, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Christmas Ohana dinner in Oregon too!
    In-Law’s came over too, 10 people and lots of food.
    I made standing rib roast, roast pork and gravy,
    we also had pickled beets, portugese beans,bacalau soup,
    rice,roasted green beans with bacon, caprese, rolls, cheese cake,
    apple pie, berry short cake, champagne, beer and water.


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