Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hello Coconut

"What's that hairy thing?!" she says.

We were at the grocery store.

"It's a coconut and we're buying it." I say.

This is why I try to do the grocery shopping by myself.

Actually I've been meaning to coordinate the buying of a coconut and a visit from my formerly known as Peace-Corp-Volunteer-stationed-in-Jamaica mother-in-law for awhile now, but I keep on forgetting to buy the coconut. If I know anyone who can crack a coconut, it's this woman.

So the coconut comes home with us. We hold it, shake it, listen to it, smile at it.

One child is beside herself at the possibility of milk coming out of that thing. Later I learn it's actually coconut water that drips from it. The milk is rendered by soaking, then straining, the pureed coconut flesh. Details.

Grandma comes and the coconut experience begins. Girls giggle. A man gets involved.

Tools fly. I mentally flip through recipes.

First we made two holes for the water to drip out.

We tasted it.

We struck the coconut to break it into pieces and scraped out the flesh with a knife.

We pureed the flesh with water, strained it, and voila, it's coconut milk.

I love how the pureed coconut has brown flecks in it, reminding me that it did not come from a bag, thank you.

We used the coconut milk to flavor that night's brown rice and curry lentils. Delicious and tropical.

Some of the pureed coconut appeared in this Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe from Cooking Light, April 2010. Amazing.

The rest of the coconut milk and the pureed flesh appeared in these Coconut Cupcakes from Baking in America. I'm done for.

What about the family? They're a little hard to read.

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