Making coconut milk from a coconut.
So there was this article in one or the other local paper, about opening coconuts and making coconut milk.
Right, thought I. And bought a coconut. They didn't say in the paper, but if you can't hear a fluid swishing around in a coconut it's likely all moldy inside. It might be all moldy inside even though you hear the fluid, but it's less likely.
Opening a coconut: instead of my normal modus operandi (which is, put the coconut into a plastic bag, take it out onto concrete or rock, and slam it with a hammer until you have bits), I used the advice of the paper this time: hammer softly around the equator until bits of shell fall off. They said to hold it in the hand while doing so; I held it on a table. It worked, and I ended up with just a teensy bit of coconut still in the shell. A twist, and that last bit of shell fell away, too. Whee! I've always had to dig out bits of coconut flesh that's been glued to the shell - this is far easier.
At some point or other I cut a hole into the coconut flesh, both to pour out the liquid and to see if it was in fact still sound: the shell had lots of cracks. The coconut was OK.
Pic: Coconut, deshelled, almost peeled, with one hole to let the fluid out.
Peeling the coconut flesh: this was easy, just take a veggie peeler to the coconut.
Grating the coconut flesh: watch your fingers, and note that this is messy. My, this stuff is greasy.
Making coconut milk: cover grated coconut with boiling water, let sit for a while, pour off liquid (or wring through cheese cloth). You can add more boiling water to the same grated coconut, but your coconut milk will get weaker in taste.
Your coconut milk will have a thick layer of coconut fat on top in the morning, in the fridge.
Use coconut milk with rice, in Thai food, and in gravies.
Endnote: this is way too much work. It's messy as well. I think I'll make my coconut milk from grated dried defatted coconut flakes in future.