Getting MORE of ALMOST What You Want

I had a craving for young coconut water. I mentioned it to Ketut one day in passing, I wasn’t suggesting or insinuating, I just innocently asked if we ever had young coconut water. “Young coconut?” he asked. “Yes, coconut milk, coconut water…” The conversation ended in that sort of foggy never-never land, a little like the feeling when two socks go into the laundry and only one comes out…! But the following day, sometime mid-morning, Ketut called to me from the garden, “You like young coconut water?” It’s a strange sensation, sort of like I flipped the switch yesterday and the light came on today, startling me in a pleasant way. “Yes,” I said, wondering what he was leading up to. Ketut pointed to a cluster of coconuts in the palm next to him. “I get for you.” Okay, this was good. I grabbed my camera and raced downstairs in time to capture the whole process.

Ketut on his way up the tree

Selecting just the right one

Ah…got it!

Trimming the top and bottom

Poking a hole for the straw…

Hurray! Young coconut water! It doesn’t get fresher than this!

For those who have never tasted young coconut water it is…unusual. There is a slight sweetness, a hint of coconut flavor, and a sense that you are drinking something that is very, very good for you!

So this morning, based on my current success rate, I decided to go out on a limb. About once a week I treat myself to coffee with breakfast. I always regret it because I drink the whole pot and I tolerate caffeine poorly. But it’s just one of those things and it’s only once a week. So this morning I asked for coffee, then said, “And Ketut, do we have milk? Susu?” As is our routine he repeated, “Susu?” I agreed, “Yes, milk, susu, with coffee.” Again, never-never land. A few minutes later I saw him disappear through the gate and head off down the path. I thought nothing of it until he reappeared a few minutes later and called up to me from the garden. He was holding up a little can and asking me if this was okay. “Just a minute,” I called back, grabbed my flip-flops, and ran downstairs. I studied the can and in the jumble of Indonesian komposisi (ingredients) I saw the word creme. Well, maybe in Bali cream comes in a can. Milk would be fine but cream would be absolutely wonderful. “Perfect!” I exclaimed.

I went back to my writing fantasizing about coffee with sugar AND cream. I could already feel the onset of jitters. Pavlov again? But I didn’t care. Pretty soon the soft, “Hallooo,” told me Ketut and my coffee had arrived. “Masuk, Ketut, come in!” The tray laden with half a papaya, toast and peanut butter, and the thick, black Balinese coffee I’m beginning to love made my mouth water. And there is was…the little silver pitcher of…oh, oh…sweetened condensed milk??? Note to self…creme does not mean cream. Once again I was profuse with my thanks and Ketut left beaming. I spooned a glob of the sticky, yellowish goo into my coffee trying not to think about the calorie count. I could take an extra long walk today, I told myself, knowing I wouldn’t. And you know what? It’s good! And there’s 9/10th of a can left in the refrigerator. I could have this in my tea, too.

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