Archive for September 30th, 2007

September 30, 2007

The mighty coconut

This is a little off topic but..Listen Apple! Do not offer an update to iWeb 2 that results in my entire blog site disappearing. This can result in me needing Depends™ and then searching my trusty notebook Tinkerbell  for my files. I ended up finding the domain file in my Documents folder for some inexplicable reason…so I managed to salvage my site. The thought of going online and trying to cut and paste my entire blog back into the programme was making me apoplectic. Now back to the greatly under-appreciated coconut.

Those of my friends who live in non-topical regions may not fully understand or care about the greatness of this amazing plant. The coconut tree is, quite possibly, the most amazing plant on the planet. I think it is safe to say that no plant exceeds our tropical friend for versatility. The tree itself is quite astounding even from a structural point of view. What architect could even design a structure that stands so high with only fibre holding it up and a splash of leaves and heavy fruit topping the whole affair? If you have ever seen a hurricane hit our region and watched the seemingly endless ability of the coconut tree to take punishment  and bend almost to the ground  you will appreciate the plant even more.

The leaves can be woven and used for roofing and even the trunk can be used to make useful household items. Our friend does not stop there. Strip the leaves and the spines are a commonly used broom in many parts of the world –  called a cocoyea broom in Trinidad & Tobago.If you happen to chop the whole tree down, get to the base of the leaves and you have the delicious palm heart.

Now we meet our friend the actual coconut. Most North Americans and Europeans think a coconut is a brown nut that appears in the supermarket…this is not the case..the coconut is a green or yellow creature. When dried the coconut turns brown and, if you strip off the husk, you have the nut you see in your local Tesco. But the husk is also useful. In days gone by it was used for stuffing cushions and even used in WW1 helmets for padding. And now we finally deal with my beloved coconut fruit.

I must first start by telling food writers worldwide that the liquid in a green coconut is not milk. It is coconut water. If you grate an older coconut and squeeze the grated pulp the result is milk. If you blend or just let the milk settle and skim off the stuff on the top it is coconut cream….very simple…try and learn it…you all sound stupid when you mix them up.

Coconut water is wonderful..especially when sloshed down fresh from the coconut. It is also, I learned many years ago, a good substitute for plasma and can be injected directly into your veins. A little research has also revealed that it HAS in fact been used IV for plasma in tricky situations. How can you not love a fruit that you can inject intravenously? If you are not in a climate that allows direct tasting I should also tell you that a greenish coconut also yields coconut jelly which is beyond delicious. Damn….power went again…ah well…have notebook will blog…just forgive any typos. I have ben told coconut water replenishes the system better than Gatorade™. If you are lucky enough to obtain a recently germinated coconut then you have a marshallowey treat that is indescribable. Did I mention I can’t see the keys right now? The dried coconut flesh is also the source of coconut oil and more sugar cakes than I can count.

Let us revere the coconut and fall on our knees before it. Perhaps if our electricity producers T&TEC and Powergen  had a supply of coconut oil I might not now be trying to see the keys and praying my PriceSmart™ bought UPS will send this blog. We live in hope.