mango salsa and summer stories

Mango SalsaThis is summer in a bowl.

Sweet, salty, tangy and fresh, with a slight crisp from jicima, it’s a tropical vacation for your tongue.

I live in an old neighborhood. And, with old neighborhoods, come established trees. An established home with a yard that feeds you is a perk and a blessing.

A friend once commented to me, “Mangoes are such generous trees.” And, she is right. This time of year,( this summer in particular), locals have more than they can handle.

It’s the zucchini of the south.

I’m quite picky about my mangoes, though. There are “two main varieties” that you can find here- stringy and smooth. The stringy ones are – and they are tangy, tart and sweet. The other variety, is smooth, creamy and with a mellow buttery vanilla sweetness.

In total, there are 400 varieties of mangoes. So, my definition of “two”-stringy and smooth is as loose as an untied rope.

mango salsa

Currently, I am the only mango fan in my home, however, my daughter loves to gather them. Like a pirate finding lost treasure she boasts as she gathers mangoes in a makeshift basket with her clothing…


It’s hard to turn down a generous kid.


Now, it’s summer and our summer bucket list has morphed itself into a strategically organized binder, complete with sections for outings, both free and costly, listing of the free movies at the local theater, and of course, foods and crafts.  There are days when I love that binder, days when my head is clouded with stresses of life, and I’m dumbfounded on “what to do”. Then, there are days when I loathe the binder, days when I look at it and see time flying by, and the knowledge that my daughter wont want to “do” summer with me anymore.


When that happens… then, that will be the summer I finish that big quilting project.

Until then, I am going to embrace every kids movie, every miniature golf, every waterside and every playground while I can. Having a young child finally gives you permission to go down slides, swing on monkey bars and eat  donuts loaded with sprinkles. It’s a license for immaturity, and fun.

Moments of immaturity with your kid are priceless memories they will carry with them forever.

So, embrace summer.

If you’re lucky to have a child or children under 12… embrace the summer of their life.

Have fun.

Go play.

I have several people in my life (my sister is one of them) that are self proclaimed scrooges of summer. I completely understand their reasoning…. it’s expensive, camps and activities are budget suckers, and, let’s face it: kids get bored easily. Then, they complain, which is irritating, then it triggers a bad mood, and… add in the Africa heat outside, and you are a  heated time bomb ready for a pumpkin spice latte and school to take your kid for the day.

I understand.

I have days like that too, I just try to remember the fleetingness of the season.

I have a stack of books I’d love to read, but: I have a kid that wants me to read to her.

I have a slew of recipes to test, but a classic batch of easy bake oven cookies are calling.


I have emails to delete and reply to, but I have someone that needs me here in front of me.

I have a garden filled with weeds and overgrown rosemary, but I have a ocean that needs it’s shells to be collected from the shore.


I have no money for a theme park, but we do have mangoes to sell and lemonade, too.

It’s all about taking those lemons and making lemonade.

And taking those mangoes and making salsa:

mango salsa and summer stories

Author Michelle Keith/ The Village Cook


  • 1 mango diced
  • 1 to mato diced
  • 1 jicama diced (cucumber may be substituted)
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno diced fine
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt/pepper/chilli powder


  • Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
  • Serve with chips or over grilled fish or chicken.









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