Yellow sign shines in the rain

KAPAIA — There wasn’t too much being said about the event prior to it taking place.

But the turnout was great, and members of the Immaculate Conception Church malasada crew were pleased with their efforts, as they sold out of their most recent batch of the ono Portuguese morsels on Sunday.

As of the noon hour, there were just two packages with a hand-scribbled “Hilda” on it remaining on the tables, for Hilda Cannon, as the crews settled back on the picnic benches and chairs in the covered garage adjacent to the stately church located on the Hanama‘ulu slope of Kapaia, off Kuhio Highway.

Their task completed, the group members were waiting for the serving of their “authentic” Portuguese lunch.

“You gotta look for the yellow sign,” one of the ladies joked. “We were here since 4:30 a.m., and you should have seen how wild the stream was.” The Kapaia Stream was swollen with swift-flowing brown water, the result of heavy Saturday night/Sunday morning showers accompanied by thunder and lightning.

But that didn’t stop the crew members from showing up, cooking, and distributing their hand-made morsels.

The group members credited the effort to Alice Arruda, who supervised the two-day process that resulted in over 200 pounds of batter being created.

No one ventured a guess as to how many malasada that created, but they all agreed that “it is the home-made kind, not machine.” Arruda said the group members usually make and sell the malasadas when they need funds to drive a project for the church. This means she usually musters her crew about once or twice a year.

Charlie Racco, one of the crew members, offered that pre-sales are done and, usually, they have brisk business from the church parishioners following the Sunday 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. services.

The ono malasada formerly was available during the Kaua‘i Hospice “Concert in the Sky” event, but as the crew members began to age, the Portuguese treat is now limited to the church sale.

“We’re trying to get more of the younger people involved so we can offer it more,” the group members said, but for now, either you need to hear about it from the church members, or, “just look for the yellow sign.”

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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