May 10, 2012

Living up to the name

Yep, gonna live up to the blog's name.

Yesterday night, I was sitting peacefully having finished most of the day's chores when I heard an intermittent soft plopping sound. Rising reluctantly, I checked the bathrooms for open taps, but was puzzled when I couldn't find any. The plopping sounds came about once in every 10 seconds and I kept looking around for the source till I reached my kitchen...

My wet grinder was going on merrily in the kitchen. It had evidently decided that Christmas had come early this year. So it was decorating a circle 3 feet around with artistic blobs of white dosa batter that looked uncannily like snow. One side of my red fridge was looking very pretty with the pretty white splotches.  The Empire State Building magnet looked like it was actually in mid-winter Manhattan. The floor was still being bespattered in beautiful random patches. The contrast of my black granite counter tops and the white blobs was breathtakingly beautiful. I called my family to witness the scene and we laughed a lot. Only my DH voiced the concern that we might have to turn off the new decorator before all our breakfast ended up on the floor (he's VERY particular about his breakfast, my DH!)

And all this because of what??? Because I added slightly more urad dal and rice to our usual quantity so that it would stretch for another day. Learned my lesson! BTW, come next Xmas and you don't have any snow to decorate your tree with, try some thick dosa batter - looks more realistic than cotton wool. Be sure to freshen it up each day!!! :-)

Now for something that did turn out perfectly after a botched attempt. Remember when we had put out our coconuts for drying? The previous time, we had broken our coconuts in the evening and the delay in getting a tarpaulin to spread the coconut in the sun and the lack of sunlight after we got the tarpaulin, all contributed to our coconut getting spoiled and the resulting dark oil was fit only for lighting lamps (though it did smell great). This time everything went well and what copra we could save after the ants and our enthusiastic helpers foraged regularly, gave us almost 9 liters of pure, sweet coconut oil. Aah, the benefits of living in the country!!!

So we at Karthi provide these guidelines for novice coconut oil makers:

  1. Check the weather forecast for a week ahead and make sure you have a sunny stretch coming up.
  2. Dehusk and break open the coconuts before 11 am so that they get the best of the sun the first day.
  3. Get out the copra out of the shells by the second day and cut them into small pieces immediately (the longer they stay in the sun the tougher they get. Ask me how I know!)
  4. Put them out on the tarpaulin every day in the sun for a week.
  5. When you break a piece, if it snaps crisply and you see the oil oozing out, take the copra to the mill and get the oil extracted promptly.
  6. Enjoy your home made coconut oil!!!

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