Wednesday, 24 July 2013

If It's Too Good To Be True ... & Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth!

If it's too good to be true ...

I go to the market almost religiously and have been doing so for years but, that, I have discovered, is not enough to stop me from being taken. I'm always on the look out for bargains especially on a thursday, which is the sort of official wholesale market day. If you're lucky you can get some items at a better price than normal. It's not as common as it use to be but you might get lucky; so a few weeks ago I see a man in the market selling julie mangoes for a ridiculously low price and because I can't resist a bargain I had to buy a dozen. Even as I purchased them I'm thinking that they looked strange, but of course the vendor is assuring me that they were sweet and he'd already eaten several. No such thing , I was totally taken for a ride. They were sour in parts and looked as if they might have been young and been doctored somehow. I have to conclude that they were probably stolen. So, not only was I lied to, I lost my money and I probably ingested something that was not safe. The next time you're confronted with something that's too good to be true, pass it by, especially if from an unfamiliar source. Not everyone who purchases a spot in the market can be trusted. Don't talk yourself into purchasing something if you have misgivings about the item or the seller.  I am determined to try and take my own advice as I was really mad and upset about the whole incident. Become familiar with the people you buy from and ask questions. Don't take everything as gospel. Draw your own conclusions and make your own decisions based on the information presented. Going to the market is never a quick thing for me. I regularly spend three hours every week and I still make mistakes. Next week is another opportunity to learn as I shop for fresh wholesome foods. Life is a gamble. Do what you can to make the best of it and never buy a dozen mangoes from a strange vendor.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth!

In contrast to the mango fiasco I have a good story to report. Last week I went to the market on Friday after heavy rains on Thursday. There weren't as many vendors but I managed to get most items, but I ended up buying jelly (green) coconuts from a different vendor, but one that I also knew. There was another customer there getting coconuts as well. She was filling up a large bottle with the coconut water. After a while I realized that she was not planning to take the coconut shells with some fairly hard 'meat'. To my mind that was good 'meat' to eat or make coconut milk. I started chatting with her and encouraged her to make milk with the coconut flesh, but she insisted that she didn't like the hard 'meat'; anyway she did get the seller to scoop out some of the meat and take it along with her. In the end there were still several coconut shells with 'meat' that she did not take, so I decided to take them home along with the ones I purchased at a very good price. I did pay the vendor additional for chopping them for me but I think I was given a gift, thick coconut meat that was practically free. Some days you win some. (Good thing I had a large igloo in the car.)

I'm always disappointed if there is no 'meat' in the 'jelly' but I didn't have to guess with these. They were already chopped open. I think it's such a waste to buy a jelly coconut and not eat or utilize the meat  and such a shame to see the vendors with huge piles of coconuts that have 'meat' left in them waiting to go to the dump.
Here's how to make 'Coconut Jelly Milk' or 'Jelly Coconut Milk':
(Please note that it wont be as rich as coconut milk from a dry coconut but who's complaining.)

Using a large heavy spoon, scoop out the fairly thick 'meat' from the green coconut; wash and chop it up. Place in blender with a cup or two of water depending on how thick you like it and blend until nice and smooth. You don't even have to strain it. Add a pinch of (real) sea salt if you don't plan on using it right away and it can stay in the fridge for almost a week or you could pour it into ice cube trays, freeze it and use as needed. The possibilities are endless; plain milk to drink, coconut rice & peas, sauces, desserts, even ice cream.  If you want coconut cream put the milk in the frigde to cool and scoop the thick cream from the top. This is like a three for one special. Enjoy the savings especially bearing in mind the price of dry coconuts these days. See more on coconuts at the link below:-

Have a Happy Healthy Green Coconut Day! 

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