When Susan Shelby Magoffin set out to journey the Santa Fe Trail with her Santa Fe trader husband Samuel in 1846 she was 18, newly wed, and grateful for the great adventure that marriage to Samuel had set before her. “This is a life I would not exchange for a good deal!” she wrote in the diary she kept during that long and rugged overland voyage from Independence, Missouri to Santa Fe. “There is such independence, so much free, uncontaminated air, which impregnates the mind, the feelings, nay every thought, with purity. I breathe free without that oppression and uneasiness felt in the gossiping circles of a settled home.”
Mrs. Magoffin was a woman of spirit with a talent for setting pen to paper. Her diary is great reading and an ebook copy complete with original illustrations, is available for check out here at openlibrary.org,
Heartily in love and evidently feeling ready for whatever her new life had to offer (which is a mark of true love) , Mrs. Magoffin begins her diary with an entry about…the couple’s first dinner together at home: “After a supper at my own table and in my own home,–and I can say what few women in civilized life ever could, that the first house of his own to which my husband took me to after our marriage was a tent; and the first table of my own at which I ever sat was a cedar one, made with only one leg and that was a tent pole. But as I said after the first supper at my own table consisting of fried ham and eggs, biscuit and a cup of shrub…I enjoyed a fine night’s rest; it was sweet indeed.”
Where there is love, the simplest of food and the plainest table upon which it is spread become fine.
Postscript: Pico de Gallo Powder is a traditional Mexican spice blend often sprinkled on fruit or a fruit salad. Fruit and Pico de Gallo is an hors d’oeuvre suited to a dinner at home…under a roof or under the stars.
Note: To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.
- 3 Tablespoons of Sweet Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne
- 1 Tablespoon of fine ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of Salt
- 2 Tablespoons of ground Red Chile: New Mexican Red Chile Powder is used in the photographed version of Pico de Gallo Powder
- 2 medium-sized Mangoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
- a lidded Glass Jar
- Toothpicks, a Platter and a small Serving Bowl
1. Make the Pico de Gallo Powder: Place the paprika, cayenne, black pepper, salt and ground red chile in the glass jar. Screw on the lid and shake well.
2. Just before serving, arrange the cubes of mango, toothpicks and a small dish of the powder on a serving dish or platter. Guests spear cubes of mango and dip them in the powder…or enjoy the mango sans Pico de Gallo Powder if they prefer.
A Note: Fresh Mango Cubes and Pico de Gallo Powder is an hors d’oeuvre in the dinner: A July 4th Dinner under the Desert Sky. It is also a very nice to take along on a picnic.
An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.
© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2013