Some senior folks may remember the pre-machine days, when we had to use a manual scraper to forcibly “evict” coconut meat in strips and bits from its tempurong encasement. “Easy does it”, you may say.
Next, if we wanted coconut milk from the scrapings (nowadays we call them “grated” coconut), we would put several scoops into a piece of tough cloth (in those days, usually from flour sacks) and, then bundle them up and use raw muscle power to twist and “perah” the package.
With hands firmly gripping two ends of the package, a powerful twisting action was applied and, out flowed that white, delectable and lemak santan. “Squeezy does it” !
A tribute here to womenfolk of those days, whose hands were often roughened and toughened by work such as this. I was glad to have helped my mum.
note: “perah” means “squeeze” in Malay language. “santan” means coconut milk