We had some friends over for dinner a while back, and as it often happens, we started talking about food. Coconut milk is one of the things that came up and I realised that I hadn’t posted anything with coconut milk. Someone asked which brand of coconut milk I buy and I said I don’t buy often enough to remember, I usually prefer to make it myself.
They asked why, I could tell they were expecting a well thought out answer about how it’s better to make it yourself, and avoiding the harmful chemicals in canned products etc etc. But the truth is I actually just like to make it. I enjoy the processes in the kitchen, I rarely look for an easy way out. Nothing wrong (that I know of) with buying the canned coconut milk. I didn’t really have a clear answer at the time but I thought about it later and it just brought back memories from when I was a kid. I realised that I’ve been repeating many things the way I have seen my mother do. From how I cook to the way I arrange the kitchen.
I have an archive of memories, snippets of images and moments, when I happened to catch my mother doing something in the kitchen. So I often default to what I remember seeing and it is what makes my time in the kitchen enjoyable (not that it wouldn’t be, I already like being in there!). It’s exciting! I saw her do something years ago as she prepared a meal for her family and I just enjoy recreating some of those moments in the present as I prepare a meals for my family.
One of those things is making coconut milk
I had been looking for a mbuzi for two years. I remember the one my mother had and I wanted the same design but I just couldn’t find one. They used to make them very beautifully, the wood was curved out with designs, and they were much bigger than the ones I’ve seen in the market today (or maybe I was small! ha ha ha!). They were like art pieces. My mother gave hers away when we moved a long time ago.
Before I got the mbuzi I would pull out the coconut from the shell in large chunks and grate it. I would even cook with the grates …
Next, put in warm water and let it sit for ten minutes. Don’t use too much water, use an amount that makes sense for the quantity of shavings you have so you can get nice thick milk on the first round of squeezing. There are three rounds.
I also use the same amount of water each time. Wash your hands before you do this part. By the way, there is a bag that is used for squeezing out the milk, I have never used it myself and my mother used her hands too so that’s what I do. But if you can get the bag, do. I’ve heard you get more out of the coconut with it.
I made mbaazi with this batch of coconut milk, that post will go up tomorrow morning, you will be back to check it out, right? (^_^)