This is just a glimpse at the preparations for the party. I had some touch nuts to crack!
The coconut was to be used in the Mexican fruit plate/salad (see below). You start by poking the holes at the top of the coconut (I do it with a hummer and a nail, but you can also use a screwdriver). If the water smells and tastes sweet, it's a good coconut. If it smells and tastes sour, don't bother opening it. This was the second coconut I tried (the first one was rotten!), and it was so good Tamya and I sipped out the coconut water with a straw. So much fun!
Coconut Cocktail Au Naturelle, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.
Cracking a Tough Nut, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.
After draining out the water, most coconut cracking experts would tell you to use a big bone knife and just attack the center. Being a vegetarian, I don't have a bone knife and I am too scared to hurt myself in the process, so I just use the primitive method of nailing the coconut in a corner and than banging heavy objects such as rocks at it until it cracks up. It shouldn't take too long. A hummer is my favourite choice of a heavy object because it has a handle and this way I don't risk banging my fingers when the rock hits the coconut ;-)
Cracked Coconut, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.
To separate the meat of the coconut from its brown shell, you msut use a flexible knife and work your way around. Try to break the coconut into smaller pieces, that helps too. Once all the meat is removed, you still need to use a potato peeler to remove the brown skin that separates between the white coconut meat and the hard shell. Be sure to store your coconut in clean cold water in the refrigerator until use, so prevent it from turning gray or drying out.
P.s. It surely was not helpful that we had a heat wave and the kitchen felt like oven during the day. So I did most of the baking late at night... During the day there was no way I were able to make a shortbread crust of butter cookies of any kind!