Friday, June 15, 2012
Mangoes over Miami (or Eat Your Heart Out, America)
It’s that time again. You can tell by my nail polish. No French manicure for me. Only dark colors because I’m too lazy to wear gloves when I handle my beloved mangoes.
I can’t tell a lie, I have been having fun with magnetic polish, the kind that you can turn into stripes with a magnet. It’s not as easy as they say. It belongs in the file labeled “If it were easy, everyone would do it,” but, after about 10 tries, I finally got the hang of it. Today my nails are kind of green with silver stripes. My husband hates them, but, as the little girl with the pacifier said when approached “Does it hurt you?”
I still have a freezer with leftovers from two years ago, still good for chutney and freezes, but this is the year of the ice cream. Back to the mangoes. Marianne, our original tree, the one we bought at Home Depot seven years ago when she was so small that we had to surround her with chairs lest she be run over by a lawnmower, has had a banner year. Last year, not so much, but I guess she needed a rest.
In our family we have the no sugar—no artificial sweetener problem. Artificial sweetener gives me migraines and my husband has had to swear off sugar so it was time to do some experimenting with my old theory about ice milk vs. ice cream. Look at the calorie count of ice milk. It may be lower in fat, but it’s not so low in calories because it contains more sugar. The extra butterfat on your tongue tastes sweet.
So here I was, up to my elbows in mango juice with only skim milk in the house. We don't use anything but skim milk because even 1% doesn’t work for cappuccino. Don’t know why, but it’s true in every cappuccino maker from the high pressure steam one to my current favorite that looks like a French press, but has a stem that reaches the bottom of the container.
Time to enlist my Vita Mix—the $450 blender that's my second favorite machine, after the Cuisinart. No it may sound like it's for making healthy stuff, but I use it for mayonnaise, freezes, and ice cream. I had to add butterfat to the mango ice cream, so I made it with skim milk and a hunk of sweet butter (No, I don’t cook with margarine, only use butter or olive oil or my new favorite, grape seed oil.)
The mango/milk/butter with a pinch of salt made the most amazing ice cream. Too bad I didn’t have my old ice cream maker, so I had to set my timer and take the mixture out of the freezer to stir it every hour until it froze. It would have been less grainy if I had an ice cream maker, but it was fine as long as I let it melt a bit before I served it.
Then came the next trial: what to do with the very large container of very large strawberries that I bought at Costco. No, they’re not from Florida, ours aren’t as good as the ones from California, but we can’t have it all. The strawberry ice cream is more like sherbet, but it’s almost as good as the mango stuff, if you like strawberries.
Where do my pets fit into all this? Mikey loves mangoes. Wesley is still thinking about it, but the parrots start to shriek the minute the fruit comes through the front door. They like to chew on the seeds and remove the last bits of orange flesh from the skin. I know they would all like the ice cream, but milk products are on the “not good for dogs” list, so they’ll have to settle for what comes off the kitchen counter.
Fortunately, the dogs haven’t figured out that they should fight the squirrels for the mangoes on the ground.