Ethan’s grandmother is just about to turn 99 this year. She lives in South Florida, so we only get to visit her a few times a year, usually on the holidays. It’s hard to make it all the way down there and back with the farm chores to do, and three children that are not used to being cramped up in a car for hours.
It had been awhile since we had seen Maw Maw, and at her age, you are never sure when the last visit will be. Ethan had been wanting to see her again, and at last he arranged to drive his mom and all three children down for a visit recently. I graciously stayed behind and did all the farm chores so they could make an early start.
My god, the silence! The peacefulness! The amazing calm and lack of whining (except from the cat, who felt she must fill the void), and absence of hideous messes (except from the dog, who missed the children and misbehaved out of boredom). The kitchen stayed clean while I was doing the milking, and I think I washed only one dish the whole time. I had no idea that despite doing Ethan’s share of farm chores, I would feel so energized, calm, and cheerful at the end of the day.
Not only that, but they returned (Ethan in a state of stress and exhaustion, despite sitting down all day) with bags of ripe mangoes! Mango trees are popular landscaping plants in South Florida, but for some reason no one can be bothered to pick them. These mangoes were growing in yards around Maw Maw’s house, and the neighbors were perfectly happy to let them pick as much as they want. We are making plans for mango-scrumping expeditions in the future.
Mango BBQ Sauce
3-4 ripe mangoes
2 Tablespoons whole cumin seeds
1 Tablespoon ground fenugreek seeds
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger root
1 fresh hot pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
12 cloves of garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, olive oil, lard, or ghee
- Peel mangoes and chop into smallish chunks.
- In a bowl, mix together the spices, vinegar, salt, onion, pepper, and garlic.
- In a frying pan with tall sides, heat the oil until it is very hot. Add all other ingredients except the mango, and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring.
- Add the mango chunks, and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes until the mangoes cook down and are pulpy.
- Take the sauce off the heat and let it cool. Blend the sauce in a blender or food processor.
This sauce is great on beef, pork, fish, or chicken. You can drizzle it on just before roasting or about 5 minutes before pulling off the grill, if you are grilling.