Thursday, March 27, 2008

A lovely bunch of coconuts.

Actually, just one coconut. There is a giant coconut tree just outside my office, and on the way home before the long weekend I grabbed one from the ground that still had juice sloshing around inside.

Getting the thing open proved to be a team effort, with lots of hacking and pulling

and eventually, sawing.

We were left with a big pile of coconut husk…

…and a hard little nut.

We took it inside and Andy smacked it a few times with a dive weight.

The juice was caught in a bowl.

And the coconut was cracked the rest of the way.

We strained the juice to get out most of the dirt and husk pieces that fell in.

Then I pried out the meat with a knife.

We ate some for lunch, a welcome treat after working up our appetite trying to get into the thing.

With the rest of the meat, I had an idea… I chopped it up and then tried to blend it along with the juice from inside. It didn’t work so well in the mini-chopper, but the stick blender did a better job. Then I dissolved some agar and sugar and mixed it through to make coconut jellies.

They weren’t sweet enough on their own, but with a bit of maple syrup or strawberry jam they were a good without being rich. They weren't great, but it was fun to forage for my own food!


Romina said...

Omigosh! I'm so jealous. I love fresh coconut!

the little one said...

Holy! No one can ever say you give up! That was some serious effort! And Nacho was so sweet to lend assistance or at least loving support.

evehow said...

This type of coconut is not so good for eating! The flesh however is good for coconut milk. You need to shred the white flesh and then squeeze the milk out with a muslin cloth bag. This blog post gives a good description of how this is done at home:

Coconut milk is seldom drank straight but used in curries or desserts.

Shredded coconuts are also sprinkled on sweet cakes, or "kueh" or "kuih" in South East Asia.

We usually eat the flesh of young coconuts. It's a lot more tender than the old ones.

Divine said...

Love the picture of Nacho watching the juice!

Alec said...

I wish I could forage for coconuts in Boston!

P.S. I didn't realize you were originally from upstate NY. I went to Cornell for undergrad. I imagine your new climate is a lot different than the cold cold winters from home.

Bianca said...

Wow, that would be so amazing to have a coconut tree outside my office. All we have here around my office are warehouse lofts and the Mississippi River. And the river's nice, but it doesn't make coconuts... :-(

Veggie said...

Wow, coconuts just outside your office. I'm so jealous.

I love the pic. of Nacho watching the bowl!

Theresa said...

Thanks for the advice, evehow. I actually grated my own coconuts in PNG and squeezed them into milk, it was lots of fun!

Alec-yeah, it's heaps different! My parents always mention the weather up there and I am definitely not jealous of snowstorms and ice. I'll take my fresh coconuts and warm beaches any day! And I went to St Lawrence for undergrad, and my supervisor graduated from Cornell. Small world, eh?

Little one, divine, and veggie-Nacho was watching and waiting for an opportunity to steal coconut juice! We scraped a little of the flesh for her and she scarfed it down. There was nothing sweet about her intentions! But still cute :)

Liz² said...

I love how the most complicated step (to me) happens in a flash, right at the end, like - all of a sudden pudding! Looks wonderful, with the flecks and everything. Flecks of resourcefulness! :D

Vegan_Noodle said...

I had never had fresh coconut until recently, and it is so good!! Luckily someone else got to open it.... what a pain they are!

Lovliebutterfly said...

I've never thought of making coconut jellies before and there's 4 coconut trees the garden at my parents. I usually just eat the flesh when they're still tender, or use the firmer ones in curries and chutneys.