• How to open a coconut, throw it out, and burn it

    Date: 2011.02.01 | Category: fitness, recipe, running | Tags: ,,,

    Today I stayed at home due to the weather conditions.  If you’re in the Midwest, you probably know what I’m talking about: sleet, ice, snow, blizzard warnings, state emergencies being declared, National Guard being called, power outages being feared.  It’s safe to say we’ve worked ourselves into a panic.  It has been sleeting all day in St. Louis and there is a sheet of ice covering everything.

    With a little time on my hands, I decided to open a coconut.

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    There are a million different ways to open one.  I decided to go the simple route and take the back end of a knife (the non-blade end) and whack it in an imaginary line around the middle, turning the coconut.

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    I got lucky and one of my hits made the shell come off.

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    There was some coconut water in the center, but I think that stuff is vile so I didn’t bother to save it.  Then, using a sharp paring knife, I cut the meat into sections and took them out little by little.  Soon, I had a real mess on my hands.

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    The brown bits on the coconut meat above still needed to be removed and cleaned so I went about that.  It was during this time when I realized there was something off about the coconut.  I finished the process anyway.

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    Then I googled, “How do you know if a coconut is bad?” and the answer was “Taste it.”

    So I did.  And it was not good.

    At this point I wanted lunch.  With coconut in it.  I had my belly set on something like this (Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Soup).

    Thank heavens for coconut in the can.

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    Also, God Bless Trader Joes for being the only place where I can find canned butternut squash.  I love the taste of roasted vegetables as much as anyone, but when I’m just going to throw it all in a soup, canned is so much more convenient.

    I started making the soup by adding diced onion, ginger and garlic to a dutch oven with oil in it.

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    Then I added red curry paste – I had this on hand thanks to the Real Simple cookthrough I did last fall.  I bought a lot of spices in that period and it makes me happy when I can use the more uncommon ones again!

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    This soup was done in no time at all.  For garnish, I toasted some shredded coconut (yes I also have some already in a bag.  I’m crazy).  I completely burned it to a crisp the first time. 

    Mark doesn’t know I’m cooking until the smoke alarms go off.

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    The soup was good.  I added a lot more curry paste than the recipe called for, but it was still subtle.

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    Next time, I think I would reduce the broth – perhaps nix it entirely – and increase the milk.  I like my soup a little bit creamier.

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    And a salad on the side.

    This morning I did my first training run for my 2011 race season.  I have signed up for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April, and the Lincoln Half Marathon in May.  I also have my sights set on a triathlon in June.  I just need to get more confident about my swimming.

    Anyway – that was a tangent – my run was great.  I did four 400 meter repeats at 7:05 pace, followed with some easier running for a total of 5.5 miles.  I’m following the FIRST plan once again because I’ve had so much success with it in the past, and because I have triathlons on the brain.

    Tomorrow I’m going to explain how to run faster. Smile