Stone Soup was one of our very favorite books when we were growing up (several states apart). It’s a story with a lot going on, but one of the ideas is that sometimes things just come together.
In real life, sometimes they don’t. Mango salsa, for instance, is one of those foods that sounds absolutely wonderful, and that I have never gotten around to making. (I still haven’t, but this is the story of how I almost did.)
Part of the problem: I love spicy food, but not the taste of chopped jalapeño peppers, which are called for in almost every recipe for mango salsa.
Of course, do I like to follow recipes?
I decided to damn the torpedoes, and, based on a lovely mango we saw in the grocery store, to make a very simple mango salsa — just mango, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice — to be served over fish.
But then, as I was looking through the pantry, I spied a can of black beans. Why not? I thought to myself. Into the bowl they went.
As I stopped by the fridge to put the leftover onion away, the grapefruit caught my eye . . . and five minutes later it was partying with the mango, black beans, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Salt, pepper, and little olive oil later, and I had a full-blown salad on my hands. Sometimes things just come together.