Hawaiian Haystacks, or "17 Ways to Use a Coconut"

Hawaiian Haystacks
Serves 2-3 (easily adjustable for large groups)

1 c. cooked rice
1 c. cooked and shredded chicken + 1 can cream of chicken soup.  Heat over medium heat until soupy.
-chopped celery
-diced tomatoes
-sliced green onions
-crushed pineapple (drained)
-shredded coconut
-shredded cheddar cheese
-chow mien noodles

Start with a spoonful of rice on a plate.  Scoop the chicken/soup mixture onto rice.  Add choice of toppings and enjoy!

I took Baby rhymeswithsmile on a road trip this weekend - first out-of-town trip for me since Thanksgiving, and ever for the babe.  I could write entire blog post about the adventure of changing a diaper in a compact car or breastfeeding in a small-town gas station parking lot, but I will save that for later.  This post is about Hawaii, and coconuts, and sibling love.

You see, my youngest brother is in the army, and suffers through his tropical assignment of Hawaii (insert jealous glare here).  He is getting married in a week, and our parents will be joining him and his fiancee on the island for their beach ceremony, but the rest of us (me and two other brothers) won't be able to be there.  However, the two brothers and I were all at my parents' house this weekend, and Mom decided that we needed to have a Hawaiian-themed dinner in Youngest Brother's honor.  I suggested Hawaiian Haystacks.  I think it's such a fun meal, and it's great for a crowd because each person can build his or her own plate to taste.  There ended up being 16 people for dinner (my parents tend to collect house guests, you see) so we ended up supplementing the haystacks with a pan of lasagna ... but I digress.  Haystacks.  Hawaii.  Coconut and pineapple on rice.  Youngest-Brother-themed dinner and wonderful time with family and friends.
Youngest Brother's handsome face attached to popsicle sticks

Mom, wearing her "Hospitality Queen" crown bestowed on her by house guests
(I'm pretending that the H is for Hawaii)

The meal was really tasty!  You should try it (and be creative with your toppings and the decor, of course)

I think that this might be overkill, but I'll do it anyway ... 16 more ways to use a coconut (this list comes from none other than Uncle John's Unsinkable Bathroom Reader, 21st ed.)
2. Make candy from the sap
3. Buff floors with dried coconut half-shells
4. Make small canoes out of the hollowed-out trunks of the palm tree
5. Make mouthwash 
6. Make a short-term intravenous hydration fluid out of coconut water (really!)
7. Simulate a horse's hoof-beats by banging two coconut halves together
8. Make a bomb out of coconut shells filled with gunpowder
9. Carve shirt buttons from the shells
10. Drink the water to relieve fever, headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, and dysentery (watch out pepto! you've got competition!)
11. Create cooking skewers out of the ribs of the palm leaves
12. Feed the husk fiber to livestock
13. Use the fibrous husk to make an aquarium filter
14. Prevent fogging on snorkeling goggles by rubbing a fresh, inner coconut husk on the lens
15. Use coconut oil to treat snakebites
16. Fray a piece of the root and use it as a toothbrush
17. Make a hamster bed out of a hollowed-out shell (in case you were wondering how in the world you were going to ever get that hamster to sleep in its own bed)

sibling love!

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