Do you remember when the “kitchen sink drama-realism” was all the rage? Those of my vintage would recall the many films, plays, novels etc., which emanated out of Britain in the late 50s and early 60s. The “kitchen sink dramas” depicted “angry young men” disillusioned with modern society, seeking escapism from their dreary lot in life. I think a few “angry young women” were in the mix…tossing tea towels at the “angry young men”. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of hovering over my kitchen sink with serious intent and concentration.
It’s mango season, which means there is no place better to devour a mango than over the kitchen sink. Unladylike the practice might be, but I don’t care. I’m not flash, and never have I professed to be, but over the kitchen sink I can devour a mango in a flash with flair!
Mr. Rice, whose nickname was “Sago” (why it wasn’t “Fried” or “Risotto” beats me) lived on a rather large parcel of land at the end of a short lane across from where I spent my childhood years…my first childhood, that is. At the end of the lane in which he lived was Gympie’s tar works, a place we neighbourhood kids loved to act out our imaginary adventures. Mr. Rice’s favourite pastime was gardening. “Sago” spent hours in his garden. Along with productive vegetable plots a variety of fruit trees grew. Generously he shared the yield of his crops, which included citrus fruits. Come mango season he had more mangoes than his kitchen sink could handle. So his nearby neighbours became beneficiaries of the iconic balls of sunshine. Mr Rice was also generous in sharing his gardening knowledge. He took my brother Graham under his wing and taught him so much. It was through Mr. Rice my brother’s love of gardening grew, a keen interest that lasted throughout my brother’s life.
Nearby mulberry trees were raided regularly, too; a crime we couldn’t disguise. Our purple faces, lips and tongues were evidence impossible to deny. Fun times (and feeds) were had. Our families of silkworms thrived on mulberry leaves. In one corner of our front yard a loquat tree grew. It, too, was a generous supplier of fruit. Often Nana made loquat jam. I can’t recall seeing a loquat tree, or the fruit, since those days of yore. Do loquats still exist?
In the early 80s I had a lot of fun in my greengrocery-health food store situated in Hastings Street, Noosa Heads, on the Sunshine Coast. Someone had to be the chief tester of the fruit quality, didn’t they? From local growers in the Noosa surrounds I purchased pineapples and pawpaws. They’d arrive at the rear of my shop, with a truckload of goodness. Freshly-made fruit smoothies were very popular with customers. My blender was rarely idle. I learnt so much from that little shop, and met many interesting folk from all walks of life.
My now late father-in-law loved mangoes. I got a kick out of spoiling him with mangoes. Not just one or two…but a full tray at a time to enjoy. As a man goes…he was one of the best…a gentleman through and through. To see his face light up with delight delighted me. My mother-in-law didn’t miss out, either. Preferring nectarines to mangoes, I’d give her a huge pile of nectarines. They were good people who deserved a bit of spoiling.
When employed by Morris Corporation (Aus) Pty. Ltd,, catering contractors, as their manager-chef of the Collinsville coalminers’ mess and single men’s living quarters (which often were a mess), four large Bowen mango trees graced the backyard of the company house in which I lived.
In the front yard of the house I rented in Gympie before moving here to the mountain 20 years ago a kerosene aka Sherie or Cherie mango tree, not only gave shade, but generously shared its bounty. The kerosene mango is not as popular as the Bowen mango, but the fruit even though a little stringy, is quite tasty, and as healthy as its superior cousins. In the backyard two pawpaw trees, a lemon tree, a grapefruit tree, and an orange tree helped fill my fruit bowl. In my element was I! If I could’ve fitted in the bowl, there I would’ve contentedly resided!
Along with my love for raw mixed nuts, I guess I’m nuttier and fruitier than a fruit cake (I decided I’d get that in before you did); and butter does melt in my mouth…and if left out of the fridge.
Barbecued Mango Chicken: Place 1 large, peeled, sliced mango, juice of 1-1/2 limes, 1/4c x-virgin olive oil, 2tbs light soy, 2tsp sriracha sauce, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1tsp turmeric in a food processor; season; process until very smooth. Place half mango mixture in bowl; add 1kg skinless chicken thigh fillets, fat trimmed. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20mins to marinate. Place remaining mango mixture in small bowl; set aside. Heat greased barbecue grill on med-high heat. Cook chicken 4mins on each side or until charred and cooked through. Transfer to large plate. Cover and rest 5mins. Meanwhile, cook 1-1/2 halved limes, cut-sides down, on grill 2mins, or until charred. Top chicken with a few fresh mint leaves; serve with mango mixture and lime.
Mango Salad: Place 2 peeled, sliced mangoes,1/3c mint, 1/3c coriander and1 small red onion thinly-cut into rounds in a bowl. Season, then toss…don’t toss out… to combine. Combine juice of 1 lime and 2tbs x-virgin olive oil in small jug. Divide salad among serving bowls. Drizzle dressing over salad and sprinkle with 1/3rd cup toasted coconut flakes and 1/2tsp chilli flakes.
Mango Pawpaw Smoothie: Place 1c coconut milk, 3/4c small slices pawpaw, 3/4c mango, sliced into small pieces, ½ banana, cut into pieces and 1/2c Greek yoghurt into blender, in that order. Add a pinch of ginger powder, if so inclined. Blend until smooth.
I adore mango. My favourite fruit - first in a very long list. My mother said they could only be eaten in the bath, but I have been proving her wrong for many a year now.ReplyDelete
I've just finished devouring one ... over the kitchen sink, of course! :)Delete
Thanks for coming by, EC.
Oh, the mango is my most favorite fruit!! Not only the taste but the pure color of it! Oh, my! And if I ever have one in the house that does not get eaten over the sink (yep, me too!), I make a lovely salsa for salmon. With just a touch of "heat" and finely chopped fresh tomato and green onions. Hurry, summer!!ReplyDelete
I almost put up a mango salsa recipe, Peace Thyme. :)Delete
'Tis summer here, so I'm making the most of them.
Thanks for coming by.
I do like mango.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed a mango and passion fruit yogurt today :)
All the best Jan
Yum! That sounds like it would be a very tasty yoghurt. I must see if it is available here...if not I'll just add the mango and passionfruit!Delete
Thanks for coming by, Jan. :)
Mangoes! I love them, ripe and sweet. Passion fruit we have never bough that. GB Baking show has all sort of uses with the passion fruit..ReplyDelete
It's a while since I've had passion fruit. I must get some the next time I'm out and about. I love them, too.Delete
Thanks for coming by, Susan. :)
I can honestly say, I've never liked mango...and I have been known to stand at the kitchen sink eating crunchy fried chicken or a juicy tomato, contemplating life...lolReplyDelete
Hi Donna....the kitchen sink can serve as a very handy dinner table at times, and a place for contemplation! :)Delete
Thanks for coming by...take care :)
I don't like mango, but then I've never had a fresh one ripened on the tree, so maybe that would change my mind. The supermarket ones just aren't nice.ReplyDelete
There are still loquats around, there are two trees right here where I live, but the birds get most of the fruit. When I first moved in and the automatic sprinkler system was working the trees produce lovely sweet loquats, now they are stringy and dry from lack of water, so I'm happy to let the birds have them.
Hi River...these days it's only the supermarket mangoes I have, and, to my taste, to me, they are delicious.Delete
I'm glad loquats are still about....at least the birds get to enjoy them. :)
Thanks for coming by...take care.
Amazing how such a tropical fruit brings back such interesting memories.ReplyDelete
That is true, Tabor. Many fun memories from childhood come back...like the watermelon fights my brother and I used to have! :)Delete
Thanks for coming by...take care. :)
Thanks, Lee, for sharing not only your delight of eating mangoes but also all the memories associated with them. I have never enjoyed them right off the tree can imagine they may be better than the supermarket varieties which I buy and also enjoy. When they are very ripe, a mango smoothie with blueberries and yogurt is a favorite homemade treat. My only issue is sometimes peeling them and dealing with the large pit. Any suggestions would be welcomed.ReplyDelete
Hi Beatrice...I never peel them as such. I cut off each of the "fat cheeks", then bend the portion back a little, and cut the flesh into sizeable cubes...not cutting into the the peel. Slide the knife under the cubes to free them from the skin.Delete
To my taste, the bought fruit is just as good as that off the tree, but then it is a long time, now since I've had any direct from the tree.
Thanks for coming by...take care. :)
Hi Lee, "Iconic balls of sunshine" - without a doubt the absolutely perfect description of a mango. I had a Bowen mango orchard in my care when I lived in the Whitsundays towards the end of last century. That makes me sound as old as I feel these days. It's a wonder I didn't make myself sick I devoured so many. Yes, over the kitchen sink. Although I can vouch they are just as good eaten beside a creek as we did as children. Thanks for the memories. PaulineReplyDelete
G'day, Pauline.. Yep! The Bowen mangoes from the area and surrounds bearing their name are certainly delicious! I, too, as you know, lived in that areas towards the end of last century! And yes, I am as old as I sound! lolDelete
Take good care...may each day be better than the previous. Thanks for coming by. :)
So many people living in hotter countries than Britain talk nostalgically about the mango crop, which I have never experienced for myself. But I love mangoes too, they are truly delicious even if I don't pick them myself. Here our supermarkets sell them under ripe, instead of very juicy. I got one the other day and put it in a salad but it was a poor thing compared to mangoes I have eaten abroad. In fact, I love ALL kinds of fruit, I think it's my favourite food of all. Perhaps I was a chimp in another life - well, I guess that applies to us allReplyDelete
Hello, Jenny. It's best for the supermarkets to sell the fruit under-ripe and for the consumer to then ripen the fruit at home, otherwise a lot of the fruit would over-ripen on the shelves, and then not be suitable for sale. Like you, I, too, love all kinds of fruit. I eat a lot of fruit, and, also like you, fruit is my favourite food. Good to meet you, fellow chimp! :)Delete
Take care...thanks for coming by. :)
I hadn't thought of being a chimp before but on considering it I really like the idea. They certainly know how to have fun!Delete
A local chef prepared mango salsa recently at our senior citizens center. That tasted delicious and gave me much more respect for the mango. Your post reminded me of my old childhood years when we had fruit trees galore in our yard--peach, pear, cherry and apple. We ate the apples right off the tree but beware the worms. The joke was the worse thing when eating an apple was not to find a worm, but to find half a worm. They're all gone now. Fruit trees are a rarity these days in my old neighborhood.ReplyDelete
Hi Dave...I was going to put up a recipe for a mango salsa...but didn't as you can see! :)Delete
The loquats used to have worms in them, too..so we had to be diligent!!
Take care...thanks for coming by. :)