This week I started thinking about how much times have changed since I was kid. During the holidays, it wasn’t unusual to find 3 coconuts, husks on, in the grocery bags. We all knew that meant. At some point, could be as immediately as while unpacking the groceries, we were going to get my dad’s industrial-weighted heavy-duty wire-locking pliers out. Then, one of the adults (until we could eventually do it) would hold each coconut in the palm of their hand, and with a solid “whap!” crack each open. Sometimes, you would hear, a kiss teeth and “How old is this coconut anyways?’’ Since it seemed incredulous that three coconuts couldn’t really make just one less-than-half-glass of coconut water. Preparing coconut, in the dead of winter, with the view of snow falling from every window, had its own irony. But, our house was like that. Music playing, soca, oldies, disco, classic country like Patsy Cline, or some gospel soul like Mahalia and Aretha. At some point, we switched to frozen coconut cream. And if my mother forgot to thaw it in time, she would let it partially unthaw under warm water and slice off a section.
I miss the time we used to have built into living. Time we used to make our food from fresh and to make it layered with flavor. Time we used to spend together.