Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Live With Coconuts And Jack Riepe Envies Me

I had a conversation with Jack Riepe yesterday and consequently he rounded up, apparently, his coterie of neighborhood lunatics to descend on this modest page and flood the comment section. For those of you who have not seen riepe's comment cohorts they are something to behold. That being the case I figured I might as well hold this essay over a day in the hope the fumes from the comment section will dissipate into the ether and not into my pink clad iPad. I encourage you to go to his website and order several copies of his book, at www.jackriepe.blogspot.com I have ordered my copies and look forward to reviewing it here when it arrives. His previous effort was a great read and he assures me this new book is his best effort yet.


One thing I didn't do properly when I was preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac was to knock down my coconuts before the strong winds arrived.








My home is surrounded by mature trees loaded with nuts and in a storm they can become lethal missiles.






I lack the strength agility and skill to climb a coconut tree like one sees in residents of other Caribbean islands so about seven years ago I popped down to the hardware store and bought one of the best most reliable tools ever:







It extends about twelve feet and as hard as it is to wield at that length, this venerable tool can still cut down the nuts from a great distance and I'm lucky because my home has a wide balcony wrapping the entire house. The wide wood balcony makes it easy to put up hurricane shutters and to trim encroaching trees.






I am not a fan of power tools as they need care and maintenance and they make noise and they smell too. So instead I use a machete. I don't care for sports either so we have no need of TV reception which leaves me behind in the red blooded masculinity stakes. Instead I wield a machete and I have a whetstone to keep a blade on the big knife.







Coconuts aren't native to the Keys but they are ornamental and tourists expect to see them in these sub-tropical islands. They produce tons of fronds and lots of nuts when mature. Coconuts in the wild don't look much like the brown hairy orbs you can buy in first world supermarkets.






I like to drink from my nuts while working in the heat and to do that I rest the coconut on a brick and hack the pointy end with the machete. The coconut comes from the tree wrapped in resilient fibers which cover the nut and the meat inside the hard shell. In decades past copra, the white meat was preserved to make coconut oil which has fallen into disfavor in much of the first world.






The brown nut is hidden inside the fiber. Normally I clip the fibrous covering from the pointy end and cut the nut to access the water inside the meat. For clarity I've stripped the outer fiber from this entire nut:




Inside you'll find maybe half a pint of water and it tastes sweet and refreshing. I've tried mixing it with ice and rum or vodka or gin but I find it tastes best direct from the nut.






The fresh meat is sweet and very filling. For those that care you can grate it and dry it and call it copra. Below we see a professionally trimmed tree, as ordered by some snowbird sitting out hurricane season Up North.





I've been told that cutting all the nuts at once off a tree can weaken the growth of the trunk leading to bendy weak spots in the tree, like this:



In the event I've got some time before the next storm to cut my coconuts down but I'll probably procrastinate a bit before I deal with them. That's living with coconuts.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I share your disdain of power tools. My neighbor finds my uneven lawn edges unpleasant but I refuse to pollute the air and assault my eardrums with a two cycle engine. Oh well...

Conchscooter said...

Uneven lawn edges, ohmigod! Savagery...

Anonymous said...

Looks like you've got a lovely set of coconuts there conch LOL, and I simply loathe uneven lawn edges :)~

wannabeconch

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

I represent an Iowa-based group called "Really Pissed Off Women Who Hate Anything With Nuts." I found your blog site in the most amazing way: by searching "cutting off mature nuts with a nasty looking tool."

Your blog was not what I was expecting. Come to Iowa and we'll handle your nuts in a way that will surprise you.

Sincerely,
Winona Cradshaw
President WWHAWN

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

Please inform Winona Cradshaw that while my nuts are average, I do have a pretty nasty tool.

Yours Truly
Tillman Groote
Protocol Liaison
Syrian Presidential Press Corps.

Anonymous said...

"I like to drink from my nuts while working in the heat" - dear Mr. CS, in your haste to post did you forget to proofread? Is this code for something entirely different? Thanks for a good laugh and bizarre mental graphic as I prepare for another long night shift...

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

The bald, green immature nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

As ever,
The Fast Red Fox
Junior Year Typing Class, 1948

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

Do you know why coconut palms have names like Billy, Josh, and Mike? What else could you call a tree with nuts?

Sincerely,
Ted Shitferbrains
White House Committee on Limited Use Agrarian Products

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

You and my mother-in-law have a lot in common. She cuts the nuts off anything that can't run too.

With high regard for your blog.

C. Evans LaDouche
1515 LaDouche Street
LaDouche, Wisconsin

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

There are times when one is forced to use French to make a point. Such as Ou est la douche?


As ever,
Millicent Baubo
The French Teacher
Feed Lot, Iowa

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

We are the largest growers of Banzai Coconut tress. These are approximately four inches high, but yield perfectly normal-sized coconuts One won't hit you in the head, but you could stub your toe.

Conchscooter said...

Oh Christ. What did I do?

Len said...

Who put a quarter in Riepe?

Conchscooter said...

He's feeling his oats suddenly. My nuts are shrivelling. Buy his book. Please.

Anonymous said...

Insanity reigns!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

I am not a friend of Jack Riepe nor have I ever showed him my coterie, as you have stated. Please be advised that we'd like to honor your nut-cutting blog at our next meeting, but need your home address to do so.

Sincerely,
Winona Cradshaw
President WWHAWN
(Women Who Hate Anything With Nuts)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sir:

I noticed in the brief rehash of the blog that you had posted yesterday that I am listed among the coterie of friends in Jack Riepe's neighborhood.

Does Jack Riepe live in LaDouche, Wisconsin? That would make him a real LaDoucher. I really like your blog and would love to send you an environmentally sound, reusable grocery bag, made of tied-died naturally harvested canvass, colored with natural vegetable dyes. Our town's name is emblazoned on these and we refer to them as LaDouche Bags.

I think you'd probably like a big one.

C. Evans LaDouche
1515 LaDouche Street
LaDouche, Wisconsin

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

Since posting on your blog yesterday, I have gotten tons of smutty email, referring to nuts, huge tools, and LaDouche Bags.

Is this normal?

Millicent Baubo
The French Teacher
Feed Lot, Iowa

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir:

Are you aware of the troubling implications of being referred to in a public forum as the resident "CS?"

Sincerely,
Tillman Groote
Protocol Liaison
Syrian Presidential Press Corps.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conchscooter:

What a nice thing to do, plugging my book! Your order for 125 have been processed. I think it was a great idea of your to replace the hymnals in a local church with Conversations With A Motorcycle.

The book should sound great sung.

Sincerely,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads

Anonymous said...

I think this book would be a fine addition in the library at the local state psychiatric hospital...

Conchscooter said...

The hospital would have to keep it in the bathroom next to the douches, I figure.
Sincerely
CS Head Douche.

Conchscooter said...

Dear Millicent, entirely normal. I am constantly being harassed for being a progressive douche. However my nuts are large enough I shake off the right wing douches and keep moving.
sincerely
CS
Candidate on The Douches Of America Ticket.

Brady Steffl said...

I just wanted to be around for this. I coughed a couple times with laughter. This is shaping up to be a pretty good morning.

Brady
Behind Bars