Growing up in hotels was like living in a constant amusement park. Swimming, jet skiing, boogie boarding, diving, wind surfing, tennis, golf or simply lazing, we could do anything we wanted, whenever we wanted. The fact that we lived in Qatar and were guaranteed 363 days of sunshine, added to the pleasure of the perfect amusement park atmosphere.
As my dad worked in luxury class resort hotels we were also used to doing things others thought of as pure indulgence. Like the fact, we simply went into the main kitchen and helped ourselves to whatever we wanted. The chefs and pastry chefs knew us from a very young age and spoilt us with exotic foods and desserts. We got what we desired whenever we craved it. Sounds like we were spoilt brats, doesn't it?
Thanks to fantastic parents, who always found it very important to teach us the values of respect, modesty and courtesy, both my brother and I never took anything for granted. We always knew where we stood, knew that what we had was something special but nothing we should take advantage of.
So, we always appreciated the waiter who went out of his way to get us a special fruit juice cocktail or adored the pastry chef for making our favorite dessert.
Today, it is upon me to teach these same values to my son. My dad still works for fancy hotels, but now he says he can take leave of playing the teacher role and fully concentrate on spoiling his grandson. As I am currently in Dubai visiting my parents I see so much of history repeating itself. Soeren spends his days on the beach or the pool, lunches are at the restaurant where a buffet of exquisite food is on display. If he does not like something on the buffet, he is guided into the kitchen where he is spoilt rotten by the kitchen staff. He comes back with a bowl of mousse au chocolat, or sticks of chocolate, pasta with tomato sauce - whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.
On one side I have to remind myself that we are on vacation and throughout the year he does not lead this lifestyle. So, I should not be as strict as I think I should be. On the other side he is 5 and at this age, I believe they are ready to be molded into what they become and think later on in life. I have to induce a few valuable lessons. It's a balance act. But I am lucky because I have an intelligent and sensible boy. He takes in what we tell him with an eagerness I have not seen in kids his age. He will repeat things, as if to remind himself, and follow the guidelines to his best ability.
One thing I remember about growing up in the hotel in Qatar was the poolside bar. The food was not specifically out of the ordinary - your typical grilled fish and meat, burgers, sandwiches and salads. However, among all the fancy food readily available to us there was one that I loved. It was a simple platter of fresh fruit served with a delicately flavored fruit sauce, granola and cottage cheese.
The fruit was always fresh, juicy and sweet, served with the three variations - tangy sauce, crunchy granola and creamy cottage cheese - it was always an exciting new combination of flavors. Perfect after spending part of the day in the hot sun.
Also perfect for this month's Monthly Mingle theme. Abby, who is this month's guest host, selected a spectacular theme for this month - Spring Fruit Sensations. What can be more sensational than a platter of fresh fruit served with mouthwatering condiments?
Printable version of recipe here.
For the Ginger Mango Sauce
2 small ripe mangoes, peeled and quartered
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2-3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Put all the ingredients for the sauce into a food processor and process until the sauce it thick and smooth.
For fruit platter
You can use any fruit you like here. I used:
1 papaya, peeled & sliced
3 yellow kiwis, peeled & sliced
2 blood oranges, peeled & sliced
2 passion fruit, cut in half
Handful of strawberries, quartered
Lay all the fruit onto a large platter. Arrange granola and cottage cheese in small bowls.
Serve fruit spooned with the ginger mango sauce, sprinkled with granola or just eat the fruit with cottage cheese.
Fresh, fruity and simply full of spring. There is no better way to describe this. The fruit complemented with the ginger mango sauce is scrumptiously tangy and succulently sweet. I love the added crunch of the granola - it adds a lovely body to the dish. All I say is - sensational!
You might enjoy these fruit sensations too:
|Apricot and Pistachio Ice Cream|
|Strawberry Mille Feuille|
|Figs In Cherry Caramel|
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