Monday, September 3, 2012

"Call It Courage" Baked Coconut & Bananas

We are enjoying the book "Call It Courage" by Armstrong Sperry.  The gist of the book is a young boy, Mafatu, who, because of a storm that claimed his mother's life, is afraid of the sea.  Not real conducive to life if you live on an island and your father is the chief.  To over come his fears, and escape the jeers of other boys on the island, he sets out at night in a canoe to find another island where he can make his place among strangers.  Of course, instead of successfully finding another island, he is caught in a storm and washes up on the shore of what he hopes doesn't belong to the "black eaters-of-men."  This is where we left Mafatu to try a few island culinary delights that he is enjoying his first night in the island wilderness.
Baked Coconut
First thing was to get the milk out of the coconut.  Spark used a screw, a nail would have been easier but a screw was handy, to pierce one of the soft spots on the coconut.
He drained out all the milk and then ran it though a milk filter to remove all the random chunks of shell.  We each had a sip of this rather oily fluid, Dad was the only one who thought it tasted okay.  To be fair, none of the rest of us like coconut.  Spark then put the whole coconut in the oven in a baking dish for a good hour at 350 degrees.
After it came out and cooled, we started the arduous task of getting that bad boy open.  We all took turns whacking it with the hammer, sticking a screwdriver into it and a combination of the two of these techniques until finally....
only one band aid later.....
we broke it open.  Once it was open it wasn't hard to get the baked coconut off the inside of shell.  We each had a little nibble and deemed it tasteless and fibrous.  I told myself it is the process, not the product, and tossed the whole thing in the garbage.  I would recommend doing this again though as it was fun and adventurous. 
Baked Bananas
So for as unsucceful the coconut was, the bananas were the opposite.  These are good, good, good!
4 bananas
2 tablespoons butter
juice from an orange
1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the bananas and place them in a baking dish.  Squeeze the orange juice over the top of them to keep them from turning dark, sprinkle the brown sugar over the bananas and dot with the butter.  Bake for 25 minutes, stirring and basting occasionally.  These were good by themselves and would be heavenly stirred in oatmeal or ice cream.

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