Lately I have been purchasing coconuts with the weekly shopping. From my youth and as far back as I can remember I loved coconuts. In my adult years I cannot remember when if ever I purchased a whole coconut but have purchased many coconut products, that is food. Having said that I do even now have coconut shampoo and conditioner in my bathroom! I love the taste and the smell of coconut. E on the other hand despises it. I remember mom giving us coconut mixed with cocoa powder and sugar as children and she even made ‘coconut ice’ at home (a sweet or candy). I often purchased that too when young and as an adult I would purchase that as well as a candy bar called ‘Bounty’. Those products are not really things we should be eating often as they are filled with sweetened condensed milk and sugar, not good for the teeth or the waistline! I sometimes purchase unsweetened desiccated coconut for use in baking cakes. When I bake those I have to bake an alternative for E, one made with coffee or chocolate perhaps else she would feel left out. So the most difficult part of opening a coconut is breaking open the outer shell. In fact coconuts bought in shops only have the one shell, the outer one is stripped off before it is shipped. Nevertheless the shell that remains is difficult to remove without some sturdy equipment. My dad used to hit them with a hammer which did work but usually left pieces all over the place unless it was wrapped up beforehand. The ‘milk’ (simply flavoured water) is lost unless a hole is drilled to drain it. Fortunately we have a metalworking vice down in the cellar workshop and I have been holding the coconut in it whilst I drilled two holes at opposite ends. I then drain the milk into a glass through one of the holes. The other hole is simply there to allow air in to aid the draining. Once that is done I slowly crush the encapsulated nut in order to break the hard shell. If done slowly the breaking can be controlled and there is no need to use a hammer! The broken shell is then easy to remove but it usually comes off in large pieces. On Monday a couple of weeks back I followed the method as described and expected to end up with large broken pieces of  with the nut still stuck to the pieces. It didn’t happen, it came out of the shell in one piece! In all my life I had never seen a complete nut bare of its inner shell but here is the proof….

Of course it didn’t stay that way long for I broke it up into bite-sized pieces to nibble at. I must be (coco) nuts!

Shirley Anne