Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Viva la Coconut!

They're everywhere!
In recent years, I've noticed quite a trend in the production of bottled coconut water--where grocery store shelves are lined with the small pouches of 'nature's medicine'. The hype seems to be growing and growing, and lots of new brands are coming out with their own versions of 'pure coconut water'. It's extremely hydrating, rich in potassium and magnesium, aids digestion, reduces stress while providing energy, and bears antiviral properties (sounds like quite the elixir!). While it's nice that people are acknowledging a seemingly healthier alternative to energy drinks and turning to natural options like coconut water, it's really wonderful to have the opportunity to have real water from the fresh coconuts here on the island.

In researching the health benefits of the coconut, it's delightful to learn how far back in history and different cultures these benefits are recognized. They've been used for energy and hydration in areas where water quality is poor and food scarce--offering some bits of nutrients and sugars to keep going. In fact, the Sanskrit for coconut palm, kalpa vrishka,  translates as 'the tree that provides all the necessities of life.' So hey, if that doesn't sum up the multifaceted advantages of the coconut, I'm not sure what will.

Fresh coconut water in my room
Considering these wonderful health attributes and also what I think to be a delicious beverage, I'm surprised how few people who stay here take interest in trying fresh coconuts. Maybe it's not something that directly comes to mind as something to try since some of the trees are so tall and as they say--out of sight out of mind. But this place is teeming with fallen coconuts--all laying on the ground or rolling into large piles as seen behind the cabins. So they're really not out of our sight at all! In the month(ish) that I've been here, I can only think of three guests who have plucked a green coconut from the palm and asked someone to cut it open to try the 'nectar'. This seems like a very small number of people to me, and I hope more are curious because they're really tasty, and as we have already established--very healthful. I personally have made a pleasant habit of having a couple fresh coconuts a week, eating the jelly as a dessert...mmm. 

If you're coming to stay here for any length of time, I highly recommend at least trying one of the coconuts. After all, we have a special coconut machete for hacking away at the shell. Or you can even taking one to the bar and having Tony make you a super-fresh 'Sky Breeze'....a delicious rum drink with fresh coconuts. But if you don't care to try any, that's okay too....because that leaves for coconuts for me! 

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Pie

In the past week I've had the pleasure to feast on the Reese's Peanut Butter Pie several times for dessert (several times in a week! wow!! I feel so spoiled). And as promised to Spencer and co., here's the recipe to make back home with your famous chocolate sauce.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie Makes 8-16 portions
1 ½ cups Graham Cracker crumbs
2 tbsp Sugar ¼ cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp. Butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cup Whipped topping
1 packages instant chocolate pudding 4 serving size (or any flavor)
2 cups milk

1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cocoa powder and butter.
2. Mix well and press into pan.
3. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
4. Cool completely.
5. Blend peanut butter, and powdered sugar, until smooth; blend in egg yolk.
6. Fold in whipped topping.
7. Spread this mixture into crust.
8. Mix the milk with the pudding and blend until it thickens and of proper consistency.
9. Spread evenly on peanut butter mixture.
10. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until set.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Card Sharks

These past few days it's been mighty windy and the raging sea has been crashing down on the rocky shore. Most guests have been relaxing in the lodge by the fire, but no amount of surge could keep our card-playing friends from taking their Bavarian gambling to the waters. Lars, Tom, Phillip and divemaster Claudius take  'Card Sharks' to a whole new level by slapping around cards, coins and downing Kaliks in the water by the dock. Check it out.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Land Tour of Andros

Though I am not new to Andros and have visited several times throughout the course of my life, I have never really explored the island. I am currently working as an intern for the next few months and will be sharing some of my experiences here at Small Hope and around the area. I've only been here for a week so far, but on my day off I joined some guests (Cheryl and Jeff) on a land tour with Dennis. The agenda was to explore some blue holes, caves and check out the northern part of the island. On our way up to Conch Sound, we passed pine forests, schools, colorful houses, a Mennonite farm, and a handful of building projects that were left abandoned. It was certainly insightful to ride with our knowledgeable tour guide (and trusty divemaster)Dennis, who answered our questions with ease. When we reached the sound, we saw the flattened water which signified a blue hole underneath and we all got our snorkels on to explore.
Blue Hole at Conch Sound

What a sight! The cracks in the limestone fell deep and hundreds of fish were passing through as the limestone walls bent and curved in different directions. Several schools of fish of varying size swam beneath us as we floated at the surface. A large blowfish hovered in the open space while another hid behind a crack and slowly peered out everytime I moved a different way. As I watched a lionfish swim around, Dennis called me over and pointed to a sleeping nurse shark, which was exciting for me but  unfortunately it swam away before Jeff and Cheryl could make it over to see.

Unfortunately we set out on a relatively chilly day and the water was so cold I had goosebumps and we were all shaky. We returned to the car, cracked open some drinks, and further explored the island and saw some lovely beaches, Captain Morgan's caves in Morgan's Bluff, and met some locals after having experienced some car malfunctions. We missed out on Captain Bill's Blue Hole, but I'll check that out sometime soon when I have the time. All in all, we had quite an adventure and I look forward to more trips like this. Pin It Now!