Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mangoes, mangoes and more mangoes!

When we moved to our couple of acres last September, we were delighted to have 3 mature mango trees. We spent some time trying to work out how we would get nets over the tops to protect the fruit from the bats and birds when they began to ripen. 

Well, I have to say, we have been most happy to share our harvest with the bats and birds as you may have heard this has been a year for a bumper mango crop!

It has been quite a delight to be sitting on the deck having breakfast and watching the chickens eying off the cockatoos ( they are a big bird!) eating and wondering just how judicious it was to move closer? They obviously had  second thoughts and returned somewhat later! So there were the chickens ( lovely yellow yolks), the cockies, the rosellas, the king parrots and a couple of different  honey eaters all very well fed, as well as the bats at night.

In spite of that, we had mangoes, mangoes and more mangoes! Some were shared with friends and then I got busy. Firstly, Doone and I spent an afternoon bottling using the old Fowlers bottling kit and preserved over a dozen jars of luscious tasting mangoes. We had intended to build a solar drier to dry excess fruit but somehow time slipped by and we resorted to an air dehydrator which worked very well and it is not exorbitant in energy usage. We worked out it cost less than 60 cents for each drying load of 5 trays. Dried mango, yum! I had some young visitors who pronounced it 'delicious'.

Not being chutney or jam eaters, I looked for another avenue and found a recipe for Mango, Lemongrass and Ginger cordial, all of which I had growing. 
For those of you wanting to try it out, here is the recipe:
Mango, Lemongrass and Ginger Cordial
550gm  (about 3)  chopped very ripe mango
375gm                     sugar 
2 stalks lemon grass, bruised
5cm piece of ginger
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped ( I used liquid vanilla essence)
60ml lime juice to taste ( or lemon)

1. Combine all ingredients except lime juice in a large saucepan. Sir over medium heat until sugar dissolved. bring to boil and simmer until mango is pulpy. Strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth. Discard solids. Add lime juice and bottle in a sterile bottle
The recipe says to store in fridge but I have made several batches and keeping them in a dark cupboard so will let you know how they store. 
Enjoy with mineral water or filtered water to taste.

As for the rest, well, our freezer is filling up with lots of frozen pulp which is just fabulous as a smoothie with chia added to keep our energy up through this hot weather!

Hope that helps you with some ideas for your surplus mangoes.

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