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Lessons from a mango




So begins the journey of culinary delights, joyous family gatherings, trying out new family recipes on eager children and a re-kindling of romance over a lovingly prepared meal for two on date night.

No dogs (especially that annoying one who kept getting under my feet in the kitchen) were harmed in the making of this happy family production. There were no tired whiny children who declared a venomous hatred for onion. The washing up fairy sprung into action and took care of all dishes. She (obviously a 'she'....) even generously cleaned the kitchen and de-gunked the sink. I skipped around the kitchen (like a slightly fat Mary Poppins), and we all rejoiced in the glowing blissful family scene like something from the Waltons.

Hmmmm.....ok, so it didn't quite work out like that. Fear not though - the marriage is safe, the dog lives to see another day and the kids did not suffer any adverse effects from my attempt to "poison" them with onion.
Firstly - the family meal. This did not live up to its name and was in fact not a 'family meal' but instead became the children's meal. 'Date night' meal was planned for Saturday and' family meal' on Sunday. All went a bit wrong after I worked all day Saturday. Frankly by the time I got home at 6.30pm having been on the go for 12 hours - both cooking and romance could kiss my wobbly a**. So, Saturday became take away night and Sunday then became 'children's meal night' and also 'pretend date night'...called pretend because date night on a Sunday is just plain wrong.

I chose a quick and safe bet for the kids' meal. They love pasta and they love chorizo so I did a very quick meal that would be fab for a week night. It took 25 mins in total to make - it could be less if you omit the onion (which I highly advise to save you the aggro...). I worked out that it only cost roughly around £4 max to make too and it would have been plenty enough for the 5 of us (or 3 kids and a mummy who had to 'test' it - a lot). I love chuck it all in one pan recipes and this fitted the bill nicely and apart from the evil onion, the kids loved it. Bit too creamy for my liking but one I'd definitely cook again. Next time I'm going to whizz the onion up in the blender before frying....they'll never know (evil laugh).

Next - date night meal. More than just a meal. A sound lesson in life was born during this meal. It was an opportunity for personal growth and more importantly a chance to prove I was right - woohhahahah (another evil laugh). I chose a recipe I thought sounded awesome and something a bit different. I LOVE curry, I would (and have) eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's my favourite and my best as Lola (of Charlie and Lola fame) would say. LUSH LUSH LUSH! So curry is something I make a lot of but I wanted to have a bash at something different from our regulars. I chose a lamb and mango curry. "Sounds minging, you know I hate mango" was Mr H's response. "Well tough, it's what we're having" I replied knowing the important lesson of give and take in a marriage. I give you the mango, you take the mango. End of.

Like me Mr H isn't a fussy eater at all but he does have some peculiarities. One is not liking butter in a sandwich (a real pain when trying to buy him something at a service station) and another, a real dislike for mango. I know what you're thinking, why would you cook a meal with mango in it then? Let me explain - it was partly because I knew it would be really tasty (selfish) and partly because I wanted to be right (selfish and childish). You see the thing is, I don't understand the butter and mango hatred. I understand that someone may not like certain foods (for me it's mushroom soup and meringue...bleurgh). I do get it that we all have preferences, likes and dislikes but how...HOW, can you say you don't like butter but love it melted on a baked potato and how can you say you don't like mango if you always pile loads of mango chutney on your plate every time we have curry?! HOW?! Just ARGHHH....and breathe......

So undeterred by such ridiculousness I set about making lamb and mango curry. It was really easy and only took about 10/15 minutes to prepare before you just put in in the oven and hey presto minging curry is served. It's not a quicky - it took 2.5 hours in the oven but was nice and simple. The hubster was patient, although I could tell by his pained expression that he simply couldn't wait for his mango meal. I gave him wine to aid his tolerance. I prescribe wine quite regularly, he puts up with a lot in fairness....

I didn't push it and add fresh mango to his curry at the end as the recipe suggests. I thought that was probably a step too far. BUT, do you know what he asked? I hope you'll feel my pain here..... "Did you buy mango chutney?" Arghhhh.... what, mango? Mango chutney, the evil mango fruit that has caused a temporary rift in our marriage through your (supposed) passionate dislike of mango, the "disgusting mango" which you have mentioned about 20 times tonight.....that f**king mango?! I said none of this though but just commented "I thought mango was minging?" SILENCE. OMG, this sort of thing could kill a marriage I'm sure.

Anyway, curry was served (on laps in front of X factor as was NOT the plan!) and it was delicious....highly recommend! The lamb was melt in the mouth tender and I personally thought the mango was simply divine, glorious succulent mango - worked beautifully with the lamb and probably the best mango I have ever tasted (told you....childish). Having noted Mr H had not thrown up or thrown his curry away in disgust I boldly asked about his curry. "Are you doing this to be deliberately obstinate" he questioned. "No dear" (oh yes dear!).... "Can't even taste the mango anyway so it's fine" he said (relented?!). Ha ha.....hilarious (BIG smirk!) I'll take that as a victory!

Lesson from the mango - sometimes it pays to do what you think is right even if you don't always have support, sometimes it pays to try something new, sometimes (and usually) wives are right. ALWAYS mango is delicious.

Best not to push these things too far though, I'll let Mr H choose our date night meal next week. Whose betting it will be mushroom soup and eton (meringue grossness) mess?!