Tuesday, December 8
The Bikoi came early today because it is making extra runs to get everybody home for Christmas. So, the kids and I went down while Aaron stayed home to study and watch the banana cake cooking very slowly in the oven. The kids swam, and I walked around and storied with the neighbors. Hilda had just collected loads of three different kinds of shellfish. Suta (clams) were in the pot already cooked, and she offered me some - yum! Then, she offered me some kalimeto. I know no English equivalent, but they were a little bit like snails.
She told me to boil them in salt water, and then pull them out of their shells. Each critter had a tiny hook that it used to pull itself around on the ocean floor, and you just grab the hook and out slithers this small marine animal. Eileen had to show me how :-) If you can't reach it, you take the back of your knife and crack the shell until you can take hold of the hook. Then, you clean off the intestines and break off the hook. After you wash the kalimeto well, you stick it back in the pot with some thick coconut cream, onions, and curry and boil it a while longer. Our pot full of shells made enough to fill a very small bowl with soup. I have to say I was skeptical at first, but it was delicious!