Okay, here's the mango ice cream recipe that Karen had asked for. My children love this recipe, and as you'll see, it's amazingly easy.
Karen mentioned that she owns a mango farm, so I'm going to give you two versions of this recipe.
Take a half gallon of your favorite vanilla ice cream and leave it out on the kitchen counter until it softens.
Take six ripe mangoes, peel, seed, chop, and blend. When the mangoes are pureed, fold them into the ice cream. Pour into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid (such as a Tupperware container) and freeze. It takes about 3 hours to freeze again.
Or, if you are in a city with an Indian grocery, buy a large can of mango pulp. Fold the pulp into the softened ice cream, and freeze as described above. (This is what I do, except in mango season).
You can serve this with a topping of chopped mangoes.
Did you know, there's supposed to be about a thousand varieties of mangoes that grow in India?
Mangoes remind me of my grandfather's home in our ancestral village, where he had a small grove of trees behind the house. In mango season, we were allowed to climb the trees and pick our own mangoes. Unfortunately, as a city-child who only visited on holidays, I was very bad at climbing trees and was forced to depend on my cousins' capricious goodwill for my mangoes. (Incidentally, they almost drowned me in the pond behind our house once, but that's another story.)
My mother claims she saw a ghost in the mango orchard one time, a woman who was picking mangoes after a storm, and who disappeared when my mother approached her. After I heard the story, I wished and wished I would see a ghost, too, but none appeared to me. I had to be satisfied with putting one into my novel, Sister of My Heart.
When I first came to this country, I was very homesick for India, for the tastes and smells of home. I was living in the Midwest then, in a smallish town. Indian foods were rare. One day I remember walking into a grocery, and there was a pile of mangoes. They cost $3 each, which at that time, for a poor hourly-wage student like I was, was exorbitant. I bought one anyway. I was so looking forward to eating it. But it turned out to be really sour.
One more mango story. Early in our marriage, my husband Murthy and I went to Hawaii on vacation. On our last day, we came across a mango tree on a public road. It was full of mangoes, and many ripe ones had fallen to the ground. I picked up six of them to bring home. But at the airport I was told I couldn't carry any fruit back to the mainland. Murthy was ready to throw them away, but I refused. I sat there by the customs checkpoint and ate all six mangoes while the customs officers stared and Murthy pretended he didn't know who I was.
I hope you'll share some of your food memories with me.