I have some pretty amazing, creative friends. During Austria week I mentioned my friend Kathleen and her fabulous ideas. This week, she also helped inspire our Fijian Final Dinner. Over a decade ago (crazy!) several friends and I celebrated her 21st birthday with her at her parents wonderful ranch-style home in the valley. There, we rotated to different meal stations, each representing a different country, with tastings from each nation including different alcoholic beverages. One particular station was set up in their family’s tree house where entrées were served out of large oyster/clam shells. I remember absolutely LOVING this party and kept the idea of serving out of shells tucked into my brain for future use.
Brian and I even purchased some shells in Fiji hoping to have our friends over for a Fijian style celebration where we would show our honeymoon videos, pictures, etc. But, we just weren’t that organized at the time. Fortunately for us, I have a hard time throwing things away, and those shells also go perfectly with our guest bath beach theme. After a thorough rinsing, they were ready to make their table debut and we had an outdoor dinner Fijian style. While I so wish we had a phenomenal tree house to do this in, we settled with our patio table and kid-sized folding table and chairs.
Tallinn and Addie once again displayed their Fijian costumes despite the frigid air and we set up some coconut candles, a beach bucket with shells, and a sand pail filled with rice. We had a lot of fun and our freshly purchased fish was absolutely delicious!
For dessert, I came up with a fun creation using mangoes, vanilla ice cream and a homemade coconut caramel sauce that I adapted from a standard caramel sauce recipe. We even served it out of our broken coconut shells.
Here’s the recipe for the caramel sauce:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup coconut milk.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, dissolve sugar into water, stirring occasionally. Once dissolved, increase heat and bring to a boil, brushing down the sides with a pastry brush and water (don’t stir). Continue boiling until caramel is a deep amber color-about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter and stir until mixed. Slowly add whipping cream, then coconut milk, whisking until caramel is smooth. Serve over ice cream!
Tallinn told me yesterday that he really wants us to take him to Fiji soon. Goodness I hope so! What a vacation that would be. Thank you Fiji for bringing us on a stroll down memory lane and for a fun week learning about the beauty of God’s creation.
And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky’.