My day starts less than momentously, when I wake up to my father dressed in workout clothes, chuckling and shaking my shoulder saying,”wake up! Your mum told me to go wake the lazy girl up!”.
I snort and roll , arms waving frantically, trapped under the tangle of blankets and reach for my phone.
I can’t see the numbers on the screen.
I close my eyes and drift back into sleep.
I wake up to the barking of my dogs. I grab my phone again, and this time, it reads 10:30.
I head downstairs, my feet cold on the wooden stairs and into the kitchen. There’s something in the oven
I grab some of the bread we baked last night and smear it with almond butter. 10:45.
I eat in a trance and think about the things I have planned for the day, when suddenly, the oven tings. I put on a cherry red glove and open the oven door, carefully pulling out a plain vanilla sponge cake from The Dalia Bakery Cookbook (my favourite).
My mum then bursts into the room, excitedly telling my about how the local butcher still had some pork chops left( a rarity, for at this hour, these no meat left, particularly not pork chops) and would I please go and get some for the party tonight?
I look down at my pyjamas and old t-shirt, and run my fingers through the birds nest on my head, pushing my granny glasses back on my nose.
I don’t get a chance to say anything as she shoves a couple of notes in my hand and says,”put on a pair of jeans and you’re good to go.”
So I do.
I get into the car and the AC is doing nothing to tone the sweltering heat down. Still clutching the money in my palm, I run to the butcher.
I ask for half a kg of pork chops. The woman next to me asks for a whole kg. After he hands me my half kg, I realise that it’s only 5 pieces and that it’s nearly not enough to feed the party of 10 that we would have over for dinner. I ask him for more, but he hands the last 10 pieces to the woman next to me, who smirking, walks away with the prize.
I am left standing there with a broken heart and 5 pork chops.
Anywho, once I get home, i decide to call for lamb chops from another shop to make up for the lack of pork.
Then, I get started on the minced lamb that is waiting for me near the kitchen sink, pouring in a glug of balsamic vinegar and sprinkling some salt on top.
We have lamb burgers for lunch.
For dinner, however, the plan’s very very different.
My parents decide to have friends over and as usual, I volunteer to cook.
Pork + Lamp chops in a Chinese inspired BBQ sauce
BBQ-ed prawns (same sauce)
Mango-Jalepeno salsa to go with the meat (and the tortilla chips heh)
Chicken fried rice
Pan Fried rice noodles
Chicken in sweet tomato ketchup sauce ( Chinese flavours and I know, it sounds disgusting. But don’t knock it till you try it!)
They all turned out really well but my favourite dish wasn’t really a dish but by far, the most delicious.
The mango salsa.
I’ll be the first to say it. I don’t particularly like mangoes.
Mango juice? No thanks, id rather eat my shoe.
However! This salsa really changed things for me. It’s sweet from the mangoes and spicy from the jalapeños with a little tangy kick from the lime juice. It’s super easy to throw together and makes for a great snack with tortilla chips.
Give it a try!
4 mangoes ( ripe but firm) cut into tiny cubes
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
4 tbsp finely chopped jalapeños (add more if desired. We liked it hot and added 2 tbsp more!)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Refrigerate but be sure to bring it to room temperate before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or meat, like pork chops