I truthfully can’t remember much about summer as a kid.
I remember a few awkward day camps. I’m not a sociable person in large groups. I’d spend most of the day pretending that I was cool hanging out, by myself, and trying not to just pounce with eagerness on the poor soul who tried to talk to me.
In particular I remember a bus ride home from a water center (with a wave pool and a couple of slides) and keeping my bladder from bursting. It was difficult to walk from the bus to the bathroom. Without peeing. Just the movement threatened to sink my reputation as the girl who hung out alone. Soon I would be “the girl who hung out alone and peed while walking”.
But other than that, summer has had few associations with me.
Since I’ve had kids that has changed.
Now summer is this:
I could hold summer with my bare hands, chew noisily, and let its juice slide down my chin.
I could run through summer and get its mud all over my nice clothes.
I could bathe in summer until my toe skin gets wrinkly like dried apricots.
I love summer.
- 1 to 50 mangos that are about to go rotten from the tree, because you can’t eat enough.
- Hold the mango upright on the cutting board, pointing down, vertically. Keep the long side of the oval (from the top view) to the sides, not facing you. Cut down with a very sharp knife (I recommend an 8” chef’s knife, Victorinox brand is the sharpest, best priced one, ever) about 1/2” to 3/4” from the center. You’ll think that you’d be hitting the pit, but it’s surprisingly deep and skinny, for such a long pit. Turn the mango 180 degrees and repeat. Slice a long, shallow piece from the two remaining sides (the pit sticks out here). Suck the seed’s remaining flesh because if you’re wasting good mango fruit you don’t deserve it. You will get it all over your chin, hands, and the table if you’re doing this right.
- Holding each sliced half in your hand, slice a 3x3 cross section just to the skin, but not through it. Pop the pieces out by inverting the skin, like you’re turning the curve inside out.
- Remove each perfect piece with careful hands, or especially sticky parts with some careful knife work. I prefer the middle piece to go in my mouth before it makes it any further, like, say, in a bowl.
- Lay a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Put the pieces of mango on the cookie sheet, very close but not touching other pieces. Put the whole cookie sheet in the freezer.
- When the mango is frozen, remove from the freezer and eat, or store them in a ziploc in the freezer for later. These make great smoothie additions all winter long and are really yummy for a quick, cold snack during the summer.
Maybe even better than a great popsicle.