Feb 14, 2014

How the year has begun...

It's the middle of February now... We got only a few really cold nights this year. But our jack fruit tree is up to his old tricks again. He chuckles quietly when I shake my fists at him for littering the yard when I've just finished sweeping it. But both of us know it's just in jest - he has to do what he has to do this time of the year and I hold no grudges!

This was our combined activity in Karthi last month:


Our coconut yield was smaller this year - must've been due to the extra-dry summer.  So in two weekends DH finished dehusking, I shielded my hand with a pot holder and smashed them all open (got any violent feelings to dissipate - I recommend coconut smashing as the ideal activity!!!). The kids carried the husks to be put down around our coconut trees - to protect the root area in summer and to add to the soil cover by decomposing, of course. Most of the coconuts were dry already so they required only a week's drying before they turned into this...


...around some 7.5 liters of coconutty goodness - yellow now because I added dried whole turmeric to it to prevent it from getting rancid. Some say adding sea-salt crystals and putting the jars in the sun would do the same thing, but I prefer the golden color and not adding more sodium to our diet.

Then I noticed that most of my kitchen rags were literally that, rags!


Poor thing was just begging for retirement! I always recycle any old cotton dresses to make kitchen rags and this has been one for at least 3 years! So it was time to rouse my trusty sewing machine from hibernation and sew up a new set!


They are so thick because I used one layer of cotton and one layer of toweling...


Also with a loop of the cotton material to hang them up by if required...


And then after a lot of drama and diva-esque behavior later, it was time for our histrionic member of the family to do a star turn.. well two actually!


There he is shaking a leg or waving his hand rather, in "Shalala la la la" on his school annual day.


And here he is charming Cinderella as ... who else, Prince Charming himself!

That WAS a good month, wasn't it!

3 comments:

Stellamarina said...

Hi...just found your blog from visiting another blog....and really enjoyed having a look at it and family living in India. I am very interested in how you made your coconut oil. Did you take your dried copra to some sort of commercial press to get the oil out? And how long will tumeric keep the oil from going rancid? Something I had not heard of before. Aloha from Hawaii.

Sreekala Rajesh said...

Hi Stella, we take it to the local flour/ spice mill (not corporate, run by an individual) where they have an oil press too. They give us the oil cake too which we use as fertilizer in the veggie garden. Last time our coconut oil lasted with no problems for around 10 months - at which point it was finished, so I can't tell how long the oil will keep more than that! :)

Stellamarina said...

Thanks so much for the reply. I will be checking in again.