My mom made a lot and I mean a lot of pickle mango and sweet pickle onions and kim chee when I was a kid. Not because we ate all of it, we may have had one bottle for every 50 to a 100 that she made, but because it was a business for her. You can click to see the post here of Mom's Pickled Veg recipe.
Selling her foods "Annie's pickle mango" evolved into making pickled onions and kim chee. I remember people would come back week after week to buy from her along the pine grooves of Kalanianaole Hwy in Waimanalo (now the front of a polo field) because she made it fresh and with love. Love for us kids; this home cook sold goods with other roadside vendors. By having her own business she was allowed to make her own schedule and later when my disabled brother needed her she could always be there.
We spent our summers helping her peel mangos as the juices ran down our hands and turned black. We got tired of it but it was something we did and it wasn't all work, we loved visiting and playing with cousins when we'd gather the mangos from relatives. We knew it was part of our job to help mom but I never fully appreciated all she did for us to help care for us. My dad worked full time but was off on most weekends which allowed my mom to make and sell her pickled goodies while we were at school and be with us when we got home. I remember she had to find a commercial kitchen in order to sell to the public but she was still able to keep her original reason for the business, to take care of us kids.
So you see, these aren't just memories of food and recipes, it's about our lives, how mom took something she knew how to do and make it a little business, like many resourceful parents - food is part of our lives in more ways then one it can sustain you and provide for you and bring others to gather together. Enjoy! Share your stories of food and family in the comments below. - ml
Check out my recipes at: Orlando Cooking Examiner