Hand made, local crafted for 25kina. Any guesses?
It's a coconut scraper. Janet gave me a lesson on how to use it. First you grab your bush knife (which all men, woman and children carry)
Clean the coconut, whack it 3 times with the knife and it magically splits open. I have a feeling if i was doing it, things wouldn't go so seamlessly.
Then you sit sideways on the stool and holding the coconut firmly you scrape the inside flesh over the metal scraper.
It is actually much harder than it sounds, as you know coconut is quite tough so it takes a bit of elbow grease. I clearly wasn't cut out for it so handed the task over....
The flesh was so good, sweet, crunchy, sensational! The girls couldn't get enough. So much better than the dried up old crappy coconuts you can occasionally get in Victoria.
I asked Janet to show me a traditional PNG dish. I bought some cooking bananas, these are not sweet, more like a root vegetable in taste really, but these ones look like lady finger bananas. The bananas were not quite ripe, quite firm, perfect for cooking apparently. I peeled them and cut then into segments and then boiled them in water for about 20 minutes.
While that was cooking i made the coconut cream. After adding a little water to the coconut i squeezed the flesh with my hands for about 5 minutes. Then drained the liquid using a strainer.
The result was lovely thick coconut milk......
and left over flesh............
The flesh tasted like wood chips, no flavor left, so that gets thrown. We drained the bananas and added the coconut cream, some onion, ibeka (a green, something like spinach but totally different) and a little curry powder. Cooked it for about 30 minutes.
It was delicious! I must admit i was a little surprised.