Monday, September 10, 2012


I've been in a fierce race. It's that time of year when I have to utilize those gorgeous Keitt mangoes as fast as they ripen. This week's score is 23 mangoes from my tree vs 2 dozen jars of Bonni's Mango Butter.

Honestly, I think this tastes better than Apple Butter because it's a very pure taste, without added spices. Once the chopped mangoes cook down for about six hours, naturally concentrating their flavor, I add a little sugar and some fresh citrus juice. A couple of hours later the flavor is wonderful...not overly sweet but with a subtle tart balance. Mango Butter is something new for me and my taste-testers have all enjoyed it, especially mixed with Greek yogurt.

But there was still more mango left, so I made Mango Raisin Bread. It is a "quick bread", similar to Banana Bread.

But it wasn't very quick considering how much time it takes me to carefully separate the mango fresh from its skin. I'm seriously allergic to mangoes, something I discovered the hard way. I had picked mangoes from my organic tree for 10 years without issue, until that fateful day. It was hot and I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts. I carried several in my arms then splashed water on my face (without washing my hands). A week later I had a painful rash running from my side all the way up to the hairline on my face, plus swelling & itching. I thought I had Shingles, but it turned out to be an allergy to the clear sap that drips onto the skin of the mango when it's separated from the tree. That chemical compound is related to Poison Ivy. It's safest to leave a little of the colored flesh attached to the skin when you slice the fruit and always wash your hands with hot soapy water.

But the taste of Keitt mango was too good to give up, so now I carefully dress in my bio-hazard suit of hat, scarf, glasses, long sleeves, gloves, apron, pants and shoes. The unique flavor of the Mango Bread was worth it. Crunchy outside, moist inside with large chunks of golden mango, plump raisins and gentle spices in the background. It's delicious sliced as is, or divine toasted with a dollop of cream cheese or one of my yummy jams. Available as small loaves.

My plan is to send out a blog each Monday, detailing what I'll be baking later in the week. The Menu For The Week is posted along side this entry. If you see something that you'd like, you can order it by email or phone for pick-up later that week on Friday or Saturday. Once the Geraldson Farm Sunday Market reopens on Oct 7th, you'll be able to pick things up there as well. All jams & chutney are Vegan. If something is Gluten-Free I'll indicate that too.

As my schedule gets more organized I hope to offer bread and more of those special Jewish bakery items that I miss from my Brooklyn childhood.

You can reach me by calling (941) 746.6647 or emailing

Hugs from my kitchen in The Village of the Arts,

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