Summer in a Jar

Mango, www.cowlickcottagefarm.com

Organic Mangoes and Peppers

I was so lucky this week to receive some absolutely magnificent organic mangoes from our local organic farmer, Miss Louise of Turkey Hill Farm. Please see my post on Jamming to read about the Mango Man, and don’t miss the comments.  I ran into Mango Man’s wife at the grape-crushing, wine-making event in Tally last Fall, which caused her to look up my blog, where she read about her husband. We live big here, but it’s a small town. Be careful.

Anyway, the mangoes are amazing, weighing over 2 pounds each, and are the sweetest, most gorgeous mangoes I have ever seen. I’m a little obsessed with them. This weekend, I made a batch of Mango Jalapeno Jam, which is a favorite of my girls. A steal it out of the cupboard and sneak it home favorite. Because I was feeling a little frisky from the cooler weather, I snuck in a spoonful of ginger vodka. I think it adds a nice little zing. Then I made a batch of Inner Beauty Hot Sauce. How could I not? If you had a choice, would you watch a football game, or make Inner Beauty Hot Sauce? I’m just wondering. I picked the sauce. After the jam, and the Inner Beauty Hot Sauce, I still had plenty of mangoes left, and I really did not want to waste them. Wasting is sinful. Thus, tonight I made a lovely batch of Mango-Lime Salsa. It was so easy to do, and it is really delicious. Sweet, hot, and a little tangy…like a sunset on a Southern beach.  You start with fresh mangoes, of course, and fresh peppers from the garden…then you add a little magic.

Sugar, Cilantro, Key Lime Juice

The key to excellent preserving of any kind is to use the absolute most fresh, perfect produce you can grow or buy. All the ingredients should be at their peak of ripeness. It just makes sense. Preserving is about saving the absolute best from the garden for later. This salsa will be a most welcome delight in January or February, when fresh, local fruits are not yet in season. Organic sugar, a few seasonings, and a little heat…magic. This is not the salsa you buy at the grocery store.

Mango-Lime Salsa

If you’ve never tried preserving, I strongly encourage you to give it an afternoon’s attention in the kitchen. There is something incredibly satisfying about preserving nature’s finest, and in knowing exactly what is in your food. There’s really no big mystery to it, but it is a fascinating process. The freshest ingredients, prepared with care and attention, in your own kitchen…what could be better?

From Williams Sonoma’s The Art of Preserving

Please send me a comment if you’re interested in the recipe!

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