Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Coconuts Part 2

Husband was very excited to get the coconuts down from the tree. As you remember from the last installment, the coconuts were giving me a panic attack because there were so many and I was convinced they were going to fall and kill someone or destroy the neighborhood in the event of a hurricane. Husband, who doesn't perceive the world as I do, did not think for a second that coconuts could ever fall out of a tree and hurt anymore, but still was quite excited to get the coconuts out of the tree because he believed we were sitting on a coconut goldmine. Money, in other words, really did grow on trees. He also wanted to eat the coconuts and I admit I kind of did too. So Husband pulled out the ladder, set it up in an extremely dangerous fashion, climbed up it with pruning shears and proceeded to cut down about forty coconuts. The picture above was taken immediately after the removal of the forty coconuts. The tree looks a lot lighter.

But then there was the question of what to do with them now. Husband wanted to eat them. I thought this sounded interesting. I had just read somewhere that coconuts are the same chemical composition as the human body or some such and that they have more electolytes than Gatorade and are really good for you if you're sick or dehydrated or hung over. I don't know if this is true, but it was intriguing. We decided to eat some coconuts. We felt all locavore and like we were living off the land and this was a very exciting feeling for all of about thirty seconds, because then we had to face the big question of the day - How Exactly Does One Open a Coconut?

I have seen the Discovery Channel people. I knew how to open a coconut. You have to have a sharp stick, upon which you impale the coconut and then hack at it with a machete. The problem was we didn't have an sharp sticks or machetes. Well, surely, I thought, it can't be that hard because people who wash up on desert islands manage to survive on them so that means they can open them without any fancy tools. I saw "Castaway".

I figured the coconuts needed a good smack which would make the green husk split open. Then I could peel it away and get at the nut inside. I banged the coconut on the patio. Nothing happened. It didn't even bruise. I banged it a few more times. Still no results.

Next, I threw the coconut on the ground. This did very little as well. I also hurled it at the trunk of the tree from which it had just been cut. After that I went up on the second story and threw it out a window and down onto the patio. My first few attempts ended up in the pool but finally one landed on the concrete. I ran back downstairs and...guess what? It still didn't open. I threw a few more out the window because it was fun. None of them cracked.

At this point I realized that I must never ever go on "Survivor." I would be the first person voted off and I guarantee you that it would have something to do with my not being able to open a damned coconut.

Perhaps, I thought I could run the coconut over with the car. My car didn't work. The coconut just rolled out of the way, so I realized that the coconut just needed a more formidable car. Like a Hummer. The guy next door drives a Hummer, so I went to his door all prepared to ask him to run over some coconuts for me, but sadly, he wasn't home.

I dragged out the power drill and tried to drill into the coconut. It broke the drill bit.

I tried to stab it open with the heel of one of my mother's five inch stilettos. It ended up pock marked, but the good parts still were nowhere close to being accessible.

This got me to wondering. How did early man realize that coconuts were edible in the first place? If I were stumbling around in animal skins in prehistoric times, or whenever it was that early man ate the first coconut, I would probably eat what animals were eating - berries and things like that. I don't think it would have occurred to me to eat one of those big green rocks hanging from the palm trees. How did they get the idea to get them down and then how on earth did they get them open to get the meat and water out and what made them want to open it in the first place. I wonder this about shellfish too. I'm sorry but shellfish don't look like food to me. They look like stones.

I exhausted every possibility (except the chainsaw, but chainsaws scare the crap out of me) that I could think of to open the coconut.

Meanwhile Husband was imagining how he was going to sell the coconuts and drawing up a business plan.


Unknown said...

Have you Googled it?

JoeinVegas said...

I think about lobsters. Who the heck first looked at a lobster and thought 'wonder if that tastes good'?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this very thing happened to my fiance and I here in Miami. Some men suddenly arrived at our apartment building to prune the palm trees and cut down the coconuts. They deposited the fruit (nut?) on our front doorstep. Like you, I felt all localvore and had plans to make coconut oil.

We never got past the opening of the coconuts, either. I did notice that an elderly gentleman in my neighborhood who collects the coconuts with a long stick has a sharp machete to open them. I thought it best for us not to try that ourselves.

Nicole said...

The internet knows everything...not only will it tell you how to open the coconuts, it will also tell you 459343 gazillion ways to cook with it.


Anonymous said...

A hammer and chisel work quite well I think. Or use a hacksaw, lol.

Anonymous said...

Try this

Anonymous said...

How to open a coconut:

Unknown said...

My husband drinks the Amy & Brian brand of coconut water all the time; he swears by it.

We both also swear by cooking and sauteing with coconut oil only, so I'd be interested in finding out if you could make your own unrefined, natural, virgin coconut oil.

I have no clue how to open one. I'd Google it too.

Anonymous said...

Oh my dear, the advantages of coming from a 3rd world country!!!


1. Look for any of the 3 "eyes" and with a thin knife poke the eyes to remove the flesh and get the coconut water out - it is delicious and has excellent properties against constipation.

2.Coconuts have 2 skins. The exterior one must be removed WITH ALL the hair covering the hard skin.

3. Once the "hard skin" is naked turn on the stove and place the coconut in direct heat (over the burner) which creates a lot of smoke (we all know what happens at casa di locos and their alarms) so I suggest you use a pan. The heat will make the coconut crack by itself. As it cracks, keep turning it to keep cracking other areas.

Courtney said...

Um, what kind of stilletos is your mother buying? I need the stilletos that do more damage to a coconut than a drill bit.

booda baby said...

How did early man realize that coconuts were edible in the first place? Variations of this question have entertained me for years!! Weren't we just ballsy once?

Love it! I wondered the same thing as Southern Doll. Really, that's some astonishing pedi-hardware that beats a drill bit.

Robin Noelle said...

Well, they use machetes here to open the coconuts, but I suspect a chisel would work as well. Of more interest to me is the fact that when they aren't shimmying up the trees sans ladder to cut down the coconuts, they use a long pole with a curved, serrated blade on it to cut them down. Handy!

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