Monday Meal Review: Maldives


I’m not sure words can really do this past week justice. So I’m going to give you a visual presentation of my mother’s surprise birthday weekend in Florida, which just so happened to coincide with the week we ate sunny, tropical Maldives.

First, of course, there was the surprise. And, boy, howdy. Mom sure was surprised. She knew she was flying in from Boston to visit her son Keith, but she had no idea her three other children would be there (including me), plus three grandchildren (including Ava). We came from Oklahoma, my brother Chris came from Virginia, and my sister Elisa and children (Amanda and Donovan) came from New Jersey.

I thought she might fall over from the shock. And she almost did.

Thankfully, she quickly recovered and we all had a really nice week in Florida.

We ate our meal, which of course meant Mr Picky filmed it. Eating the whole fish was quite the topic of discussion. Especially one particular eyeball, which my nephew almost ate. While it eventually went untouched, the prized cheek meat did make it into my niece’s belly and she loved every morsel.

While we were in Florida, we also honored the 20th anniversary of our brother, Damien’s, passing (at age 14).  It was a sweet moment – time we spent reminiscing about his life and the things we loved about him.

While we were there, Ava spent a few dreamy moments looking over the ocean. And jumping in it, of course.

Then Ava got to see the world from a boat, which fascinated her.

P.S. Did I mention? Florida has the best weather… we were in swimsuits half the weekend.

Even with all that excitement, Ava’s favorite part might have been staying up past her bedtime.

And all the cookies. Of course.

If you can ever give a loved one a surprise party, I highly recommend it. Especially when coupled with a getaway to Florida and a daydreamy meal that takes you to Maldives.

Also, if you ever need a fun, meaningful gift idea – try a love box. We filled a beautiful wooden box with 70 notecards/photos – all sorts of happy memories and loving thoughts. Each of us put some love into the box, and she can look through them for years to come.

Happy Birthday, mom!


Roasted Whole Fish from the Maldives (Fihunu Mas) [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

The spicy coconut marinade was wonderful and, once I figured out how to cook the fish without ruining the beautiful crust, I loved it. Buying large whole fish can be expensive, but if you’re resourceful, you can make fish stock with the bones and fish cakes with the leftovers. My family wasn’t too sure about trying this one, but by the time we ate the fish, they enjoyed it (although I don’t think anyone will be making it themselves, except perhaps my niece, Amanda, who really took a liking to it).

What I loved least about this dish:

I just couldn’t grill the fish and have any success. I would love any tips from seasoned pros.

Lomi Lomi [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

Well, as mentioned in the recipe, I loved that I learned the recipe on twitter. Epic! The flavor is incredibly intense – it’s like a gingery limeade with a heavy dose of honey. Mr Picky enjoyed it, as did everyone else…although Ava did find it “spicy.” The key is to mix and match the flavors to your own personal preference.

What I loved least about this dish:

Making the ginger juice seems like a bit of a bother, until I rolled up my sleeves and realized it took just a few minutes and the results were well worth it. You can also just crush bits of ginger in a garlic press, for small uses. That could be a good way to make a single serving of this drink.

Maldivian Sliced Custard [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

This is sweet, creamy, and custardy. Definitely yum. All those who sneaked a nibble from the fridge said so… so that’s a pretty good review, if you ask me.

What I loved least about this dish:

When cooking this over the stove top I curdled the eggs. When I cooked this in a double boiler, it took 2 hours to make, with continual stirring. Ugg. Tips welcome and appreciated.

Ava’s Corner


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