Ok, so part of raising kids is introducing them to foods that they normally might not come into contact with on a regular basis. So when I was at the grocery store the other day I ran into a display of coconuts. I have to admit here that the only coconut I'm familiar with is shredded and comes in a bag. This was going to be a learning experience for me as well as the kids.
So I plucked around the display until I found a nice heavy coconut that sloshed when I shook it. Since I knew nothing about opening a coconut I enlisted Google's help and found this very informational website. First off I had to drain the water. My initial thought was to use a power drill and small drill bit but Sean then informed me that he uses those drill bits on all sorts of questionable stuff out in the shop and it might not be a good idea to use them with food stuff. So I used a cork screw in one of the three coconut eyes. Worked great. I couldn't get the kids to touch the water but I tried it. It was....interesting. Supposedly very nutritious. So the next step was to crack that sucker open.
The website says to use the blunt end of a knife to just whack it open. Uhh no. Another option is to just smash it on something hard. So once it was emptied of its water (can you imagine the mess?) Sean went out on the concrete steps and smashed it (repeatedly) into the concrete. Let's just say it was not as easy a process as the website would have you think. The kids and I found this highly entertaining to watch from the warmth of house.
Ok, it's open! Now what? That coconut meat was firmly attached to the husk. One option was to pop the whole thing in the oven and cook it for 15 minutes to soften and separate the meat.
It softened it but it didn't separate it. It was still firmly attached to the husk. So I took a knife and pried it from the husk. I'd have to say in retrospect that it wasn't a good idea as I nearly took my finger off several times.
I have new respect for that bag of shredded coconut sold in the store. I must have worked on that blasted little coconut for at least half an hour. What I was left with was a bowl of coconut, ready to be shredded.
I shredded it in the same manner that I shred a block of cheese. It worked well and I got right at two cups of shredded coconut. Now what to do with the coconut? Well duh, the only acceptable thing you should ever do with coconut.....make macaroons! I had run across a freakishly simple recipe for macaroons only calling for three ingredients: coconut, egg whites and honey (although I did add vanilla). Here is the recipe in case you are interested. I thought they were delicious.
The kids lost interest after Sean opened the coconut, wouldn't try the coconut water and thought the macaroons were nasty.....so it was a fail with the kids but at least I tried. What will the next "Name that Fruit?" experiment be?