Curaçao’s Coco Balentien (29) has broken Japan’s single-season HR record (55) hitting his 56th and 57th HR on Sunday, September 15, 2013!!!
Coco’s journey is particularly inspiring – and not just because he’s from tiny little Curaçao – but because he was considered a ‘has-been’ by Major League Baseball.
“It’s not like there were two [Major League Baseball] clubs that passed on him and he went over there [Japan] and played great. There were 30 clubs that passed on him, and he went over there and found his niche. It’s kind of remarkable what he’s done.” — Former Mariners GM Bill Bavasi (Source)
Goes to show, no matter how many times you get rejected and how many times you want to give up, hang in there, don’t stop believing. Never, never, never give up on your dreams!
Lets celebrate Coco’s historical record-breaking with some ‘Kokada’ a.k.a. Curaçao-style Coconut Candy.
‘Kokada’ freshly grated coconut patties held together in a sugar syrup, tinted with food coloring for a festive look, should not to be confused with the more popular gooey coconut macaroon or hard Vietnamese ‘kẹo dừa’. Typically sold as colorful palm-sized patties by street vendors, bite-sized versions (in small cupcake wrappers) tend to adorn Curaçao-style dessert table at weddings, first communions and birthday parties.
2 cups water
2 lbs sugar
1 lime rind
food coloring (red, green, yellow, blue, whatever you prefer)
2 tsp cherry extract
2 tsp anise extract
2 tsp pineapple extract
2 tsp coconut extract
1.5″ ice cream scoop
- Crack coconuts, remove shells, peel brown skin off coconut meat. Finely grate coconut meat [You could buy frozen grated coconut, but grating it yourself is a lot more fun!]
- Bring water and sugar to a boil until the mixture becomes a thick syrup.
- Add grated coconut and lime rind. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat. Discard lime rind and scoop 1/4th of the coconut mixture in a small bowl.
- Add a few drops of food coloring and mix well and section by spooning (or using an ice cream scoop dipped in hot water) [red + cherry extract, green + anise extract, yellow + pineapple extract, white + coconut extract]
- If the coconut mixture becomes too hard to work with, add a little hot water and heat again while stirring.
- Allow to harden completely and store in an air tight container. [Holds for about 1 week]