One the first dishes that I learned to make with grandma Ruby was coconut bread. It was quite a production, first she cracked the coconut, peeled it, grated it (by hand) then drained off the liquid and then the coconut was ready for baking. As you can imagine, it’s quite a time intensive process but one that I still follow to this day.
Granny Olive just “couldn’t be bothered wit alluh dat” so she used creamed coconut instead which gave the same coconut-ty taste with one-fifth of the effort. I made that bread with Grandma Olive at least twice a month and although she wrote a lot of recipes down, this wasn’t one of them. Although I’ve tried to re-create the recipe, I haven’t found the right combination of ingredients as yet, and it’s driving me crazy, and I can’t just pick up the phone and call Granny Olive to find out what I’m doing wrong.
Last Wednesday there was an unexpected death in my extended family. It’s weird to say unexpected because I don’t think that anyone can ever really be prepared for the passing of a loved one. For those left behind, the pain of the loss is interminable.
With death there are no second chances. No opportunities to try and right wrongs, no chance to take back things said in haste, no more chances to un-think thoughts, and no more I love you’s. No more snuggles, hugs, kisses, conversations, cooking and inventing new recipes.
There are days that I would give anything to speak to Granny Olive one more time, and amongst the many things that I would ask is what the heck is the ratio of the creamed coconut to the fat and this time I'd be sure to write the bloody recipe down.
RIP Uncle David!
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