A Tribute to the Man Who Made Mango Salsa

I remember it like it was yesterday…

It was one of the few family reunions on my Mom’s side  where we all met at my grandparent’s house on the lake – my Mom, her Mom, her brother Tom  and his family.

It was always fun when Uncle Tom came to the lake. He, without fail, brought fun stuff – jet skis or dirt bikes and a great big trash bag of the best beef jerky you can imagine tasting. He was famous for his line-hung, Texas sun-dried jerky – in a trash bag.

He was also quite the chef. One Thanksgiving, Uncle Tom brought a deep fryer for the turkey…well, it ended up being 3 turkeys – and that’s not counting the one we roasted in the oven. I think we ate one whole turkey as an appetizer.

Uncle Tom and Aunt Kim always brought something unusual and amazingly good to the table. They were the ones who introduced me to mango salsa. I remember thinking how very odd it was to put mango in salsa, but that was before my culinary horizons were broadened by the many amazing cooks I find peppered throughout my life.

Uncle Tom passed away on the 7th of September after a battle with cancer. He’ll never know how much his cooking influenced me. I wish he could. I wish I had spent more time with him in the kitchen and learned some of his tricks.

Growing up, time with my uncle was limited, but I always felt his love for me along with the rest of his nieces and nephews. I’ll always remember his smile and his dry sense of humor. I’ll remember him as strong, tan, and healthy. I’ll remember his beef jerky and mango salsa.

I’ll remember, Uncle Tom.

Mango Salsa


purple onion



lime juice

sea salt


Slice the mango on either side of the seed.

Cut the flesh – without cutting into the skin – diagonally left to right, then right to left to create a diamond pattern.

Invert mango and slide a knife under each piece to remove from skin.

Mince purple onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Sprinkle with sea salt and cumin. Squeeze on some lime juice.

Toss and serve.

This is fabulous with fish or chicken tacos, over grilled meat, or just with chips.

Who were the people in your life that influenced you the most in the kitchen?

14 thoughts on “A Tribute to the Man Who Made Mango Salsa

  1. Love this, Sarah! What a wonderful tribute!
    I guess I didn’t get that cooking gene like you and Tom did…can’t really think of anyone…oh, maybe Sally who taught me how to make tabouli. For me it’s the simpler the better. EASY…very easy… with very little time or clean up.

    • Thanks, Mom. I don’t know what we’d do without tabouli so I’m thankful for Sally. :P I can see why you handed that job over to Dad, and then me, though – it’s messy and time consuming to make, that’s for sure!

  2. Im sorry to hear about your Uncle. I have prayed for him since Shane told me that he was battling cancer. Lovely tribute. <3

    I will have to make some of this salsa!

  3. It always amazes me how genetics works. I would say anyone who has eaten your cooking has been glad you got the “cooking” gene from Uncle Tom!!! Lovely post Sarah!

    • Thank you, Grandma!
      You are one of those amazing cooks I was talking about. You definitely didn’t get me hooked on mango ;), but your cooking influences mine all the time.
      Thanks so much for commenting!!! :D

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