I get major mom points this week. Regi learned about coconuts at school and by total coincidence I bought a coconut at the store. So what do we do on our Friday night? Make like Gilligan's Island and play with coconuts!
Let me just say if Gilligan really got hit in the head that many times with these things then no wonder he acted so dopey. That bugger was tough to get into!
That's me holding a screwdriver while Regi hammers into it so we can drain the water out. The idea here is to poke holes into the 3 eyes (looks kinda like a bowling ball).
Now that's the easy part! We have to crack this thing open. I've seen this done on Top Chef. They used hammers and chisels and did it fairly quickly. Or maybe that was good editing. Still I didn't expect this...
After several minutes of both Regi and I hammering into it with the meat mallet I made an executive decision: I threw it on the floor. And guess what...
That's right! Just a crack...but the kids thought it was funny.
So after additional prying with the screwdriver and mallet I finally managed to crack it open.
I flaked a piece off for Regi to taste to complete the coconut education. The verdict:
Then the kids decide they want coconut ice cream of all things. I think, okay what else am I doing?
The coconut meat looks the picture of innocence...all white and pure. Like snow or cotton, something soft and pillow-ish. This is not the case. It's a exercise in determination to get that crap out. You'd HAVE to be starving on a deserted island...
After some googling, and being abandoned for basketball by the kids, I ditched my sharp, pointed fruit knife for a serrated steak knife. I'm not sure either did a great job. But the steak knife was thinner, longer, and able to slide between the shell and the meat. Basically I scored the meat and shaved it out of the shell, kind of like a mango. But much, much more difficult and time consuming.
45 minutes later...
I grated my coconut in a small food processor:
And from one coconut I yielded about 3 cups of shredded coconut:
I found a simple coconut recipe here
As most cooks know you can add flavor to any raw ingredient by heating it first. So, before steeping my coconut in my sugar/milk mixture I wanted to toast it to highlight it's flavor.
I then added it to a mixture of 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1 cup milk and brought it to a boil.
Then I strained the liquid from the coconut.
Then I covered the liquid with plastic wrap and placed in the freezer for 2 hours. Once it was cool I let it do it's thing in the ice cream maker:
20 minutes later I have:
In case you can't tell that's coconut ice cream. Like soft serve. And I did add the shredded coconut back into the liquid before I put it in the ice cream maker. It added a lot of texture to the ice cream.
I tasted it and it was magnificent but I wanted something else. So I'd read about making a "magic shell" topping with coconut oil. Why not keep the coconut thing goin'? So...
Two parts chocolate (whatever kind you like) to 1 part coconut oil, heat in a saucepan (NOT the microwave) and pour over your frozen dessert of choice. It hardens just like the stuff you buy in a bottle.
So was it worth it? Absolutely not! lol But my kids did see what otherwise seemed a useless hard thing turn into a very sweet confection. Which in itself is useful. Regi now has life experience to take back to his friends and teachers at school that will directly relate to something he was taught. I feel accomplished as a mother. And the ice cream and chocolate was GOOOOODDDDD!!!!!!!! :)