Mango and Jalapeno Salsa and my three heroes

by Michelle

So I mentioned at the end of my post yesterday that the cement for my new walkway was to be delivered at 1 pm that day. Promptly at 2:20 pm, this big honkin’ cement truck started to crawl up our long and winding driveway. The weather conditions were not optimal for laying concrete – hot and windy…

We started on the south side of the house where the sun was boiling the cement as it flowed into the forms. Ralph raked the wet concrete. Dad screeded and troweled. They had four cubic metres to finish before it set up. Screeding is the act of leveling the concrete

I tried to help where ever I could, passing tools, rinsing tools, squeezing into spots that were cumbersome for the men and balancing the 2×12 board they were using to screed the concrete. It was quite exciting for the first two hours. Dad’s work is beautiful. He was very pleased at how things were progressing until the delivery man informed us that the remaining cement had to be dumped before it set up in his shoot.

Unfortunately, for us, the sun was now at its highest point of the day. All three sides of the shed, where the walkway was being laid, were in total hot sunlight. The fun, optimistic mood completely disintegrated, conversations stopped, sweat poured and our knees and hands were becoming very raw. Dad had to continue troweling because he was the only one who knew what he was doing. I had to help Ralph screed the cement because as the cement set up the concrete was becoming to heavy for him to push by himself. My job was to simply balance the 2×12 and keep my end in line with Ralph’s as he leveled the cement.

By 4 pm, we were not even half-finished and in real trouble. I could actually stand on the concrete on the north side of the shed. We needed another set of hands. Ralph called my uncle George, who lives next to us. He arrived five minutes later and took over for me. Ralph’s enthusiasm with his stronger helper was a bit of a kick in the pants! However, there was no time for my fragile ego. Uncle George and Ralph continued to screed the concrete while I kept everything wet.

By 6 pm there was nothing more that I could do. All three men were soaked in sweat, covered in cement and totally focused on the job at hand.

I went inside and watched as the three of them worked in complete harmony. As one set of shoulders gave out, the next man would take over. And so they continued for the next two hours. At 8:20 pm the job was done.

My husband, my dad and my great-uncle finished the most beloved walkway ever built. They are my heroes.

I wanted to prepare a yummy supper after such a long hard day. I chopped up some Mango and Jalapeno Salsa for a starter.

Mango and Jalapeno Salsa

3 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice

1 red pepper, 1/4 ” dice

1 red onion, 1/4″ dice

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup canned pineapple juice

2 limes, juiced

4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon curry powder.

Combine everything in a bowl, mix gently and allow flavours to marry for at least one hour.

This salsa will keep in the refrigerator, covered, up to three days.

Serve with taco chips or with grilled fish or grilled chicken.

Thanks for reading.