After recently commenting on a newly acquainted blogging friends (The Culinary Taste) blog about all the coconuts in our garden and the crafty bits and pieces my husband Pete makes with the coconut shells, she suggested I do a post about it, so thanks Rita, here it is.
The only experiences I have ever had with coconuts was on our honeymoon in Zanzibar a few years back when a guy literally walked up an exceptionally tall palm tree aided only by a belt to collect 2 coconuts – one for my Pete and one for me. I had never tasted raw/fresh coconut before and was extremely excited to taste the flesh and sip on the water. The water was incredibly rich – it baffled my brain that a crystal clear liquid can be so bold and robust. Pete loves the flesh, me, I prefer the desiccated kind you bake with.
Apart from that, coconut cream is something I always have in the cupboard for a Thai influenced meal, like my Green Thai Curry Chicken.
Where we currently live in Mauritius, we are fortunate to have the most remarkable coconuts growing right at our poolside, now you don’t get much more tropical than that.
My very clever husband loves pottering around creating things, usually with wood, but whilst we are away from home, he needed to get adventurous. He thought it such a waste to throw away the outer shell, even though most of the time, it is broken into awkward pieces, hence the coconut projects were born.
Through some trial and error he figured out an easy way to remove the husk to get to the inner shell. Interestingly it is amazing how much water the husk holds, and which stains terribly. I still cannot get the marks out of his T-Shirts and shorts, but I digress. Then with further trial and error and a few cracked shells, he has perfected his art of cutting off the top and scraping out the brilliant white flesh.
To date he has made the coolest candles, bowls, and funky holders for pens or the likes and is working on perfecting his theory for adding a hinge to make a jewellery box of sorts.
A coconut palm is the most fascinating tree. Its palms can only be stripped off in a specific order. It is “designed” in such a way to have the strength to hold the weight of the growing coconuts and for additional strength, there is a mesh of sisal type stuff that is wrapped tightly around the palm arms, and all this starts with a coconut feeding off of it’s self and sprouting “leaves” and roots. Clever coconut tree!
I will post pictures of Pete’s next set of creations soon.