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The language of love 💕

The language of love 💕

The time of the year that I always look forward to is the Christmas holidays. Since New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, there are two glorious things that happen... 🥰
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1. It's summertime, gorgeous hot days!
2. Daylight savings - being on the last Sunday in September, we put our clocks an hour forward, so we get to be fabulous for 1 hour longer!

We all usually save up our annual leave, so we have additional time to spend with all our loved ones. When my mum was alive this was the time, I used to dedicate my time with her at our family home.

I would love to say that this was because I was being a dutiful daughter, committing my time to care to all her needs, but honestly, my mum was the most fantastic cook in the whole wide world, & she also blessed me with I would best describe as a Hogwarts pantry! Always jammed pack with deliciousness, housing everything that I loved to eat - childhood favourites, intermixed with my latest faves. How did she know what was latest food fad, you may ask - was she psychic, mothers' intuition?? No... I was simply a pro at hinting, & TBH I would've probably given her the supermarket details & aisle to where she could buy it... just to save time & confusion! 🤭

No word of a lie, every time I arrived, it didn't matter if I arrived on the first flight at 8am, the moment I stepped through the front door, I would be welcomed by the mouth-watering aromas of the dishes that "only your mama" can make. I knew that when I entered the kitchen, I would see two pots on the stove - one with the spiciest aromatic, melt in your mouth lamb curry, and the other filled with the fluffiest rice. To the side covered with a tea towel, was a stack of the softest buttery roti bread. Every summer I would put on at least 5kgs of my mother's & now my love language -FOOD!

One of the first dishes my mama ever taught me, to make is a traditional Fijian raw fish salad, called Kokonda, also known as coconut ceviche. This fish salad is always a firm favourite at any Fijian celebration as it's our national dish. Kokonda has the perfect blend of the creamiest tang from the coconut milk & citrus, the crunch from the fresh veges. with the hit of heat from fresh chillies – with all these lush ingredients, for the squeamish of anything raw, the fish actually gets cooked by the citrus juices of the lemons or limes. & ask any Fijian for the secret ingredient however, they'll always say that LOVE is the special hit sauce! The more love put into making it, the more delicious it will be - it's pacific love in a bowl. 🤗

So as my appreciation & love for all of you, this is a simple yet delicious dish that will complement the other dishes on the table – I invite you to create your own bowl of love for your friends & family this holiday session!! 💞




  • 500 gm of snapper (or any other firm white fish)
  • 3 large lemons or 6 limes (enough juice to cover the fish)
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • Pepper I small red onion
  • Spring onions to garnish
  • 1 red capsicum
  • I cucumber
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 red chillies
  • 400 mls of coconut milk
  • Lemon or limes to garnish
  • A bunch of coriander/cilantro roughly chopped (I didn't include as I'm one of those people that don't like it)


Cut fish into bite size pieces 1-2cms squeeze in lemons/limes mix, make sure you don't use a metal or paper bowls.

Cover and set aside to marinate for 30-40 mins in the fridge. Until the fish is opaque. I like to do mine overnight.

Once the fish is ready, I use a sieve and squeeze out the citrus marinade. I season the fish with salt & pepper at this stage. Do it to your personal taste, or the fish will taste bland.

Cut the red onion capsicum cucumber (deseeded) tomatoes into smaller pieces than fish, but not minced.

I season the veges with salt and pepper then combined, before adding the fish & coconut milk and ½ lemon/lime and chilli (finely chopped). Oh yes those of you that are lovers of coriander/cilantro this is when you go wild with it.

Have a taste and see if the favour combo suits your pallet. Depending on whoever I am making it for I may add another chilli for that additional kick of heat.

The wonderful thing with Kokonda is that every Fijian family makes it slightly differently. So, I give you full permission to make it your own special bowl of love!!


@philandteds cook this delicious Fijian dish, Kokonda, with Sofia! & make sure to check out her NEW blog on 'Oop's I'm a parent - the language of love ❤" #philandteds #recipe #kokonda #delicious #food #cooking #yummy #fyp #oopsimaparent ♬ original sound - phil&teds


I'm going to be taking a break over the holiday season, but when I'm back in 2024, my next blog is about being the first of my friendship group to have a kid... OMG! This one I'm still shaking my head over - laughter & tears...but so much love!!

Please do leave me a comment here about anything – from advice to telling me what you want to read about next year!

‘Til then, happy holidays, & I look forward to seeing you all next year.

Sofia 🩷



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