Monday, March 14, 2011

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

I'm back!

I know. I haven't written anything here on this blog in, like, two weeks. But I have a good excuse, really.

You see, I've FINALLY gotten back on track with finishing my novel. Finally. And I'm going to finish this draft by March 31st if it means going a week without sleep.

But anyway, that's not why you're here. You came by for this:

The vinyl kitchen chair stuck to the backs of my legs in the sticky summer heat. I gulped Kool-Aid, staining my upper lip a brilliant shade of fuschia and continued the search through a pile of cardboard pieces, finally locating the last corner of the puzzle that started to take shape on the table.

"Here, try this." Grandpa held a bowl to my level. It was filled with white chunks of something I had never seen before. Not in that form, anyway.

"What is it?" I sniffed at the contents.

"Just try it."

My younger brother Marc left his seat with a loud snap as vinyl peeled away from his skin. He grabbed a piece from the bowl without waiting to find out what it was. With a full mouth he pronounced it "delithuth."

Still, I hesitated. The kid ate Play-doh, after all. His palate wasn't exactly picky.

"You'll like it, I promise. And if you don't, there's a whole box of fudge-sicles in the freezer."

The promise of fudge-sicles was enough to convince me to do just about anything. I reached out and found the smallest bit, turning it over in my fingers, inspecting it carefully before committing my suspicious taste buds. Marc was reaching for his third by now and I shoved the piece in my mouth before I could talk myself out of it.

A strange combination of crispy and creamy mingled with sweet. I smiled. "What is it?"

"Fresh coconut," Grandpa said, as if the answer should have been obvious.

I was puzzled. Coconut came in shapes besides shredded? And shredded coconut had never tasted as delicious as this treat. I snagged another before Grandpa could take the bowl away.

Three weeks later, my third grade teacher began a unit about Hawaii. She pulled out a bowl filled with chunks of something white. "Who can tell me what this is?"

I raised my hand with pride and hope of another taste.


J.J. in L.A. said...

Coconut. Ewww! I'm a very picky eater (although you can't tell by looking at me, lol!).

I like your writing, it draws you in almost immediately. But you meant Kool-Aid, right? : )

Jennifer Shirk said...

Mmmm...I love coconut! But haven't had fresh coconut is YEARS.

tsonodablog said...

I LOVE fresh coconut! Oh yea, and I really love Hawaii! Now you have me craving both. Good story. Nicely done!

From Tracie said...

I had fresh coconut one time when I was really little and I remember it to this day. So yummy!!

(fudge-sicles are still my favorite cold treat! I should really pick some up at the store)

Jennifer said...

I hope the teacher gave you a piece! My grandfather too was the one that caused my coconut revelation, I'll never forget it. He drank the juice too, decades before it was all trendy and conveniently packaged. I wonder if it was a generational thing.

Pamela Gold said...

This is sweeter then that first bite of coconut you ate, if that's even possible. I recall a hammer being involved in my first attempt at eating fresh coconut.

Galit Breen said...

I adored this post and i seriously adore coconut! Lovely job!!

Lori said...

"Coconut came in shapes besides shredded?" Hahaha...loved that line. I love coconut too, in any form. Oh and congrats on almost finishing your novel. I am impressed!

Home In The Hollow said...

What fond memories you brought back for me eating fresh coconuts! Great work!...Thanks...:)JP

Renee said...

Fresh coconut! It's be years since I've had any. I remember my Dad bringing a coconut home.

I love the fudgesicle bribe.
Well written.

PearlsGirl said...

I've never eaten fresh coconut before either, so I loved the comment about it coming in other ways than shredded!! I love stories about grandparents, parents, etc. Thanks for sharing your bit of pleasure and fun as a child. And ... I bet all those students in your class just thought you were the smart one!!