Once again, my husband and I have endured mango season. This year our mango tree outdid itself by bearing two crops. A spring warm spell brought the tree into bloom, followed by a cold snap. After the last bit of cold, warmer days resumed and the tree blossomed again, thus two mango crops. So, despite the return of a family of voracious mango-hungry squirrels and the usual steal-a-few-bites-and-split blue jays of last year’s fame (see Mango Madness), we reaped a sizable mango crop. By sizable, I mean a freezer so packed with baggies of mango slices that it is impossible to include much of anything else. If I dare to sneak in a package of say… broccoli, angry bags of frozen (read rock hard) mangoes jump out and cascade onto my tender toes.
Who, you might ask, is going to eat all of those mangoes? According to my husband, we are of course! Our skin may turn a shade of delicate orange before we’re through, but at least we will have had our recommended daily servings of fruit, and ambrosial fruit at that.
Did I mention that we have two freezers? We do and the second one became full long before the tree stopped bearing. We gave boxes of mangoes away to family and friends, but we still needed a way to use up the succulent fruit. After searching through a bevy of mango recipes, we decided to make chutney. After all, we reasoned, chutney is a condiment that accents a wide variety of menus.
We’ve made chutney before, and both batches turned out sweet and spicy, but instead of canning it, we froze it. Alas, our freezer held its belly and burped.
My next use-up-the-mangoes strategy, motivated by summer’s Jamaica vacation, was to make two batches of creamy mango ice cream–one to give away and the other to store…in the freezer.
Understand that we eat mangoes on our cereal and love nothing better than a refreshing mango smoothie, but I knew deep in my heart that I wasn’t doing enough. I knew that that I needed to incorporate mangoes into recipes that did not end up back in the freezer, something like…cake. A woman’s breakfast at church soon presented the perfect opportunity. A little recipe tweaking and mango crumb coffeecake came into being (two recipes, one for home and the other for the ladies).
At last, I’m making progress and my bruised toes show signs of healing . However, I welcome all suggestions for unusual and intreaguing means for creating mango munchies. My freezer, my husband, my friends, and I thank you.