Hi my name is Akanesi and welcome to my blog!
They say where you’re from defines who are you. I say it also defines the foods you love. “iLoveCoconutCream’ is my creative space for sharing foods and recipes I love, influenced & interpreted by my Pacific Island heritage.
Growing up in a Pacific Island home meant that food played an important role and was certainly one of the highlights of our many family gatherings. Everybody in my family can pretty much cook. My brother Dee used to make Banana cakes that were pretty amazing and as adults, my sisters Faith & Sas are stunning cooks and make some of my favourite dishes. My mother used to bake the most amazing pineapple meringue pies that used to wow my primary school friends every time she baked for our school stall and my Dad was one of those Dads that could do everything…he was preacher, a fisherman, a fixer of anything broken, a gardener (he grew kumara, tomatoes, silver-beet and just about everything else in our back yard) and he also used to make an amazing tomato jam. We ate lots of great island food and Sunday lunches after church were always the best meal of the week. Despite all these wonderful food memories, I can’t for the life of me recall ever really making anything of any significance myself or having any inclination to cook anything. I guess I just ate.
Julia Child once said “I was 32 when i started cooking, up until then I just ate”. This made me laugh like how many other people can relate to that? My interest in cooking was for many years limited to recipes off my third form home economics Edmonds Cook Book and my love of eating really only graduated to cooking when I was faced with cooking for my own family. Married with kids can do that to you. “Mum I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?” is a lot of the reason why I started this blog. Kinda like trying to make the best of the situation I was thrown into, I also wanted to get really good in the kitchen. All of a sudden I wanted to make every single dish my parents and grandparents made as well as dishes that I’ve tried over the years that were simply off the charts and needed to be created in my home. The chaos (and mess) has led to some great and not so wonderful dishes. Yes this is messy business but it’s also great fun and who doesn’t love a challenge that you get to eat as the prize of success, right? Another gem from Julia Child: “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing” reminds us that success in anything comes from action and ‘doing’.
I love all types of food and the great thing about doing it yourself is that you can choose amazing ingredients, fresh and real foods to eat. Of course ‘the island in me’ means I love nothing more than recreating my favourite island dishes and trying out new ways to recreate and de-construct those familiar island flavours. This blog is my creative space sharing this food journey with you. Learning, cooking, eating & living! If you love food, we definitely share a passion. And if you love coconut cream, well consider yourself family. Let’s put some love on the table. Welcome to my humble kitchen!