Kristen here - The other day when the kids and I dingied to the beach, we found a coconut floating in the water. Being the resourceful woman I am, I took the coconut back to shore and proceeded to shell it. The kids and I had a ton of fun peeling the outside shell. Two separate people walking their dogs came up to us and said that their pooches also enjoyed peeling coconuts. Our plan was to peel and then drill the coconut for the liquid inside.
I didn't expect much from the found coconut. I was pretty sure they had to be at just the right ripeness to taste good. As we were carrying our treasure back to the dinghy, it dropped on the ground and cracked. Not wanting to miss out on the liquid, we all immediately took turns sipping coconut juice. To my suprise, it actually tasted good. The few times I had tasted coconut juice before, from a store bought coconut, it had always been bitter. This one was kind of sweet.
Enticed by the possibility of a truely fresh and ripe coconut, we dingied back to the boat. I proceeded to seperate the meat from the hard shell. If you have ever tried this before, you would know that it is not an easy task. But again, I was suprised. Instead of small peices, the meat came off in large chunks. I stored it all in a ziplock bag for future use.
When I had some free time, I started looking up whole coconut recipes. There weren't many out there. I found out how to make coconut milk (soak shredded coconut in boiling water and squeeze), and one chicken recipe that used fresh shredded coconut. So I shredded the coconut and used half to make coconut milk, and the other half for the chicken recipe. After making the coconut milk, I still had the leftover squeezed out coconut. So, I used that to make some bannana coconut cookies. The chicken was coated with a mixture of fresh coconut, sugar and curry powder. Everything was a hit.
It was quite a bit of work to get to that coconut, but now I know its worth the effort! The kids and I went yesterday to look for another coconut with no luck. Rest assured that we will be keeping our eyes out for more from now on!