anxiety, motherhood, postpartum depression, Recovery

Chopping Mangoes

Is there an easy way to cut a mango?

I tried the avocado method.  Cut in half, drive knife blade into pit, rotate blade quarter turn, and pull.  Not so much.  That pit was not having it.  Didn’t budge.

I tried digging it out.  That just hacked up the fruit flesh around it.

I did not have such warm feelings toward my mango.

I did not have such warm feelings toward my mango.

I finally sliced the fruit away from the core, apple style.

Except my hands were completely covered in goo from the pulp most of the fruit had become.

Goo + santoku = not the optimal chopping situation

As three small children pulling at your pant-leg while wielding said santoku is not.

Giada’s fish tacos with mango salsa be damned.  I was ready to fling that mango out the window or smash it against the wall.  I’d have squeezed it in my fist if only it weren’t so damn slippery.

No, you can’t have fishies right now.

Mama’s trying to concentrate.

No, fish tacos aren’t disgusting.

Yes, I’m putting that green stuff in them.

How the hell do you cut a *&^%*(# mango!?

Potatoes, mangoes – whatever I’m chopping, preparing dinner is always a trigger for me.

It used to be because I hadn’t planned a meal.  Countless trashed produce and late nights cured me of that.  Now I plan an entire week of meals before food shopping.  So that’s not the problem (well, that’s a PIA in and of itself, but that’s another topic for another day).  I’m toast by the time dinner prep rolls around.  I’m getting hungry myself.  I’m tired.  The sun is going down.  Daddy isn’t home yet.  That pot of anxiety boils up pretty quickly.

Revisiting the feelings elicited from chopping potatoes, things have changed.  Potatoes are dense; mangoes are much softer, pliable.  Potatoes are born of dirt; mangoes have a hard core with a soft surrounding (oh, there are so many metaphors for a post-baby body with that one).  Potatoes are a cold-weather crop; mangoes thrive in a tropical clime.

I am a warmer, softer person than I was post-partum.  I may not have tight abs, but I do have an inner reserve of power from which to draw.  Like slicing through the pulpy flesh, a lot of things are easier, but not all (removing the pit).

I still get pissed off at the distraction and whining as I’m wielding a large, sharp knife, but I no longer want to cut off my fingers to earn an escape to the emergency room.

I’d call that progress.

And I’d call mango salsa on fish tacos freakin’ delicious if it weren’t so hard to chop.


* Against my better judgment, I’ve included the recipe for Giada’s fish tacos.  Proceed with caution – and use sour cream instead of wasabi and crème freche, unless you like adding more stress to your life.

** I’ve also included a link to the proper way to cut a mango (There is a – who knew?  Video is worth it for the entertainment value alone).  I think I’d still proceed with caution.


8 thoughts on “Chopping Mangoes

  1. Sheri says:

    You are brave–to prepare and serve–fish tacos and mango chutney. I can hear my children’s complaints just thinking about it. I hope that I too will make progress–controlling my temper and a healthier family menu. 🙂


    • Jennifer Butler Basile says:

      They are delicious – all inconvenience aside. The kids had fun crunching the corn tortillas and eating the fish “without all that other stuff on it”. Oh, and Angela just liked licking the “cheese” (aka sour cream) off her plate.

      As far as controlling temper and anxiety – there is no easy recipe for that, now, is there? Practice makes perfect? Or start fresh each day?


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