Sunday, June 20, 2010
The photo above is of a very large (larger than it appears in the photo) bowl of mango salsa. We had a BBQ yesterday - one last little get-together before heading off on R&R this week. The mangoes have been so amazing I figured mango salsa was a must. I was able to get 6 perfect mangoes from the frutero on the corner. Funny thing is, you don't actually have to buy mangoes here if you don't want to. There are a couple of 20+ foot mango trees on the grounds of my office - I pick up at least one every day.
I was doing a bit of calculating - my total cost for a giant bowl of mango salsa was about $150 pesos - that's around $4. The same salsa would have cost me around $12 at home. And yet, if I were to buy a pack of, let's say, veggie burgers here it would set me back around $10. I long ago gave up on creating a veggie burger that was worth the time and effort. I mean, the whole point of veggie burgers, in my opinion, is ease of preparation.
Making these calculations is such a big part of the FS life. What do I need now? What can I do without? Is it worth the money? I have written about this before. What I am finding interesting now is that the longer we are here, the less and less I make these calculations. With time we are just starting to live completely present with the food that we have here. This isn't a consumables post, but at this moment it's difficult for me to imagine preparing for a consumables post by stocking up on endless "necessities" at Costco. Who knows where our next post will be - maybe I will feel differently, but I do wonder where exactly one begins in the grand consumables shopping spree. I mean toilet paper and pasta might be on my list some day, but would peanut butter and cereal really make it? How does one decide to buy a two-year supply of cereal? Why does one decide to buy a two-year supply of cereal?
Presently, I have decided that as long as I have rice, vegetables and some form of protein I will do just fine, but this has taken time and patience. And at the end of the day, we can actually get almost anything here. As a result, I don't really have to live with that looming sense of "what will we eat?" Everything in degrees I guess. I have a friend who traveled in Mongolia for a few weeks. All they had was mutton. Now that would definitely send me straight for Costco...
But, back to mango salsa. If you want to make some, here's how:
Six ripe mangoes diced
One red onion finely diced
One red bell pepper finely diced
Two Serrano peppers, minced (leave the seeds in if you want it extra spicy. If not, scrape out the seeds)
A handful of cilantro or culantro
Juice of two limes
Salt to taste
Mix it all up and, if possible, refrigerate for about two hours before serving