Moving involves work. Whether you are changing your neighborhood, city, state, or country, there are adjustments to be made.
Before we left Minnesota, our friends helped us prepare for the move. God has also blessed us with kind contacts upon our arrival in Colombia.
When I was a kid, we had friends that came to Ohio from the islands of Micronesia. My mom led a children’s Bible club at their house, and the oldest daughter rode with us to school. Our family was able to help them adjust to life in the USA, and they taught us a few things too.
A specific "lesson" that I remember was a demonstration on how to use a fresh coconut. They had buit a small stool. On one end was a blade. The person holding the coconut would sit down and break the coconut open by slamming it against the blade. It has been so long that I don’t remember much more detail than that.
I don’t have one of those handy-dandy coconut cracking stools, but when we were deciding what was important enough to squeeze into the suitcases we were allowed to bring on the airplane, I included one big cookbook, The South American Table. In addition to recipes, the book has a section that gives instruction for basic preparation of some of the less familiar foods one may find.
I was glad to find coconut preparation included.
First, you need to drain the coconut. The three eyes aren’t as hard as they may appear. Just hammer away at them with a screwdriver. One of them will be softer than the others, but go ahead and pierce all three.
Drain the liquid from the coconut before proceeding.
The book suggests that the next step be to heat the whole coconut in a 350* oven for 10 minutes, then place it in a paperbag. Our hosts here in Bogota, said that they open the coconut raw, so I skipped that step.
Set the coconut on a solid, sturdy surface and strike the side of the coconut with a hammer until it cracks open. You may need to pull it apart with your hands, once you’ve got a substantial crevice.
When I got to this step, the fruit didn’t want to separate from the shell, so I decided to heat it a bit to see if it would soften. After several minutes in the oven, it was still difficult. A few minutes steaming in the microwave helped a little bit. When I did get the shell off, there was a bit of brown skin that was easily peeled off. I shredded half of it by hand, then chopped the other half and blended it with about 2 cups of filtered water.
Maybe we’ll have curry this weekend