Mango Salsa

Whatever happened to traditional American cooking?
I know that the entire nation is concerned, if not obsessed, about weight control and cholesterol, and healthy eating. And, I know that there’s just so many ways you can publish stories about meatloaf and mashed potatoes or fried chicken. I know that the food magazines have to provide something new each issue or they loose subscribers.
I don’t mind trying new things. Over the years we’ve had family members introduce us to a cold corn salad, a pesto and goat cheese spread with dried tomatoes, and other recipes that you wouldn’t call old-fashioned cooking. But, it seems to me that you can’t open the page of a cooking magazine without finding the oddest ingredients, now. Have you ever read the food section in a Martha Stewart magazine? That woman never makes due with one ingredient where she can use twenty that you have to order either from her company or from an obscure shop in Manhattan.
Frankly, mango salsa on fish doesn’t do a thing for me. Neither does kiwi chutney.
I don’t need to learn Cordon Bleu cooking techniques. I need to learn techniques for quick, flavorful food that doesn’t require thirty steps, and twelve special pans or utensils to make.
I don’t mind lighter, healthier recipes, but enough with the cutesy stuff!

10 thoughts on “Mango Salsa

  1. I passed “cutesy” a long time ago Buffy. As a matter of fact, I look for the absolute easiest way to throw something together these days….especially since I’ve been on my own. I’ve never been a gourmet chef…just your basic meat and potatoes person. I cook so seldom these days, I think I’ve forgotten how. I always wished I loved cooking more; but with four kids, it was something that had to be done like so many other chores around the house. I much preferred to do other things. I’ve always felt a little guilty about that.

  2. Oh, Joy, it’s SO much harder to make interesting meals for one. You really have to care about what you’re eating to do that. I’d rather spend that attention on my quilting, or at the computer. I’f I grow old and wear purple, Dear Husband better be able to survive on soup, salad and sandwiches, because I’m getting to the end of the days when every pot in the kitchen gets used on the same night.
    I understand about the obligations of feeding four kids. I have three people here, one from each generation, who look to me to tell them what they will be eating for the week, and also look to me to shop for the ingredients, store them, prepare them, and clean up afterward. It’s gotten old.
    So, missy….go out and have dessert for dinner occasionally. Go ahead and eat simple, but try to remember to get fruit and veggies in there somewhere!

  3. Buffy, I couldn’t agree with you more. I tire of the many condiments dumped into the mix that cover food groups that have never even been yet classified. Visited ED (eldest daughter) this week. I told her I would start supper. She brought out stewing meat, and cooking sherry, and tomatoes in three forms, soya, 3 separate forms of garlic, etc. etc. “No, no, no,” I said. I want an old-fashioned country stew. I want a simple stew. And so I browned the meat, simmered it slowly with bay leaf and onion, 2 hours later added the veggies and salt and pepper. Simple, plain fair.
    It was good the first meal. But ED phoned me two days later when she finished up the last of it to ask what secret ingredients I put in the stew that made it so exceptionally good (stew is always better the next day, that is just the nature of the beast). “I hate to give away cooking secrets, ED,” I said, “but the secret ingredient was SIMPLICITY.”

  4. I have to agree. I don’t have a sophisticate pallet (for example I abhor wine), so simplicity is good. I also like to be able to cook enough that some can be frozen for later dinners or lunches, and am unsure if that would be possible with some of the ingredients recipes call for. I guess that is why I usually end up looking at recipes and combining a couple of them while disregarding the ingredients I don’t have (chutneys, mango salsa etc).

  5. Roberta, isn’t it funny how very simple, old-fashioned food can taste so wonderful? I think that the more ingredients you add, the more difficult it is for your tongue to decide what’s going on.
    I would have made beef stew the same way.
    Lasagna qualifies for another meal that gets better the second day.

  6. Bogie, I’ve done some of that recipe re-combining. We had a fabulous Italian-style meal one day when I had to blend recipies together to suit what I had in the garden. I still kept it simple.
    I wish my mother ate leftovers. I’d be very happy to cook once and serve twice. Dear Husband will eat almost anything I put on the table, but Elegante Mother is fussier. What she’d really like is steak and lobster every night! *G*

  7. Buffy,
    Your first sentence made me stop dead because I’m far from sure that there is traditional British cooking any more and I assume that is the same for traditional American cooking. Let’s face it meals that taste well, nutricious and meet the needs and desires of a family usually (well in the past anyway) travelled with the children as they grew up, married and moved away. So that meal becomes known and a favourite to new people and possibly in a new country.
    When I was working I was responsible for the restaurants and canteens used by the staff of my employer. I mean that I employed the companies that provided the catering service. Well, one day there was a complaint by one customer that the caterers weren’t providing “good English food” like roast beef, Shepherd’s Pie and Chille con Carne.
    Having said that we tend to eat simply which we prefer.

  8. Joy, Roberta, and Bogie are singing my song. Buffy would be singing my song were it not for the fact that, although she always starts from scratch and makes wonderfully fresh food, she does tend toward ingredients that are new/exotic to me. Not only do too many recipes have far too many and/or unknown ingredients, but the names of familiar ingredients have changed over time. When my grandma told me to put a walnut-sized hunk of butter into the pot of stewed tomatoes, I knew what she meant. Now, they tell me specifically “this” or “that” kind of butter!
    Goodness knows that I do little cooking. What cooking I do is expected to make at least two or three meals, if not more. No spices go into my stews or into my soups. The vegetables give them wonderful flavor. Hunky Husband and I only eat dinner, together. He relies on cereal and breakfast bars (both, at once) to be the mainstay of his breakfasts and will eat whatever fruit or eggs (cooked in the shell) that I may have left on the breakfast table under one of his glass domes. For lunch, I leave Corelle Ware “Grabits” on “his tray” in the frig–filled with a meal to be nuked–with, perhaps, a small container of fruit or dessert sitting atop it. He is happy to have (most) dinner meal leftovers and he is always perfectly happy to be left spaghetti, with meat and sauce, or frankfurters cut up in pork and beans–those are my fall-backs.
    BTW: The other day, I took out my container of recipe clippings–many years worth–and pitched all but those that were in a relative’s handwriting. I’ve relieved myself of the responsibility of ever trying any of those now-destroyed recipes. How freeing!

  9. I so agree. How about some nice healthy recipes with some great American Food.
    I have flipped through countless food magazines, as I am sure you have, and sometimes cannot even find one recipe I would (or could 😉 ) actually make.

  10. Buffy, I had to return to this post to tell you how struck I was by your comment that “…the more ingredients you add, the more difficult it is for your tongue to decide what’s going on.”
    I have eaten meals with so many entrees that the confusion in my palate spoiled it all. Sometimes my favorite dish can get lost in the shuffle of too many disassociated tastes, until my tongue is so confused everything tastes the same. And yet I feel it is discourteous not to sample all that was so carefully labored over.

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