Recipes Wanted!

My daughter, as part of her school assignment on Vasco Da Gama, bought a bunch of stuff that Vasco brought to Europe from Asia. Now I have all those foodstuffs and do not know what to do with them.
Cucumber and melon were easy.
But, what would I do with a coconut, a jar of cinnamon sticks and a jar full of whole cloves?
Give me your recipes or links to recipes to good dishes that contain one (or two or all three!) of those ingredients. And, if those dishes turn out tasty, I may as well start on my foodblogging career!

9 responses to “Recipes Wanted!

  1. You can make a yummy rice pudding with those ingredients. Scrape out all the meat from the inside of the coconut, and puree until it is liquid. Strain the flakes and use this milk along with regular milk to make the pudding. Any basic recipe will do. Throw in cinnamon sticks and cloves while it is cooking, and remove them before serving. You can use the flakes you strained out to decorate by sprinkling over the top. My grandmother makes her rice pudding like this, and it is just wonderful!

  2. oneproudaardvark

    That rice pudding sounds great, but I thought I’d offer alternatives for the sake of options. A whole jar of cloves can last you a long time, nothing uses that many at once besides maybe decorating oranges for Christmas or making a gigantic ham. So chances are you will still have some left after the pudding. Tossing a few (maybe a scant tablespoon) and a cinnamon stick into a pot of cider and heating it makes enough yummy spiced cider for the whole family, great for what’s left of winter. You can wrap them in a cheesecloth or tea strainer for easy removal if you like. You can also grate a cinnamon stick with the funky-looking side of a cheese grater and use that anywhere you would use ground cinnamon.
    Personally, I just like to eat coconuts straight. Hammer a nail through the 3 depressions to make holes and drain the juice into a cup. It’s terrible for your cholesterol but very tasty. Then drop it out of a window onto a sidewalk (you can layout newspaper or something) and eat the meat inside. You can open it without the defenestration, but that’s half the fun.

  3. As Dr Johnson said: Cucumber should be chopped, dresed with vigegar and pepper, then thrown away as being good for nothing.’
    Or words to that effect. So cucumbers are Vasco’s fault, eh? I haven’t had a good row today. Where does he live?

  4. You can use cloves to add to a soup or when poaching (pierce an onion with cloves and drop in the liquid). You can also use grind the cloves and use them when making a stir fry (sort gives an Indian curry flavor).
    Grate the cinnamon and add to your latte. It’s also good for baking (pies, crisps, quick breads, etc). You can also make cinnamon sticky buns with the grated or ground cinnamon.
    Coconut … maybe coconut pie? Or use the milk to make a curry along with the cinnamon and cloves.

  5. Forgot to add that you can go to and plug in your ingredient and get a list of recipes.
    Good luck!

  6. I often put cinnamon or cloves into my coffee. Uusally I just put them in with the grounds. Cardamom is good too. Coconuts I usually each straight, but living on the 15th floor, I’d use that hammer to open the coconut. 😉

  7. Some chai recipes call for whole spices — that might be a good use for the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

  8. Cloves: ground in chickpea and potato curry (I’m a carnivore) which is a knockout. Tasty, very filling, fast to make. Exact recipe follows.
    Cinnamon stick: again in some curries, but shove it in a pot of honey and leave before putting honey on hot buttered toast.
    Combo: drain coconut, simmer cloves and cinnamon in coconut millk until infused and reduced, slice melon, top with shavings of coconut, drizzle with strained clove and cinnamon coconut milk. Could be crap…
    Whole coconut, useful for hurling at Mormons, JWs, Evos etc if they knock at your door.

  9. Howdy – my friend (and, one presumes, yours) Rob linked your question on my blog. I’d add allspice, hot chile and nutmeg to the cinnamon and cloves, grind them all together, and use them as a jerk rub on chicken. Unless, of course, you are a vegetarian – jerked tofu or seitan, maybe? The coconut could be shredded into a salad, with onions and citrus, or cooked into a rice pilaf to go with the jerk.