Little Brother's biggest contribution to the family feast in Kauai was the fresh mango lassi he blended one morning. We'd bought some big, beautiful reddish-yellow mangoes at the farmer's market, and the vendor explained -- much to my surprise -- that they could and should be eaten hard, unlike most mangoes you buy on the mainland which soften as they ripen. In this refreshing drink, traditionally served in India, the bright orange mango flesh is tempered to a pale peach color by the addition of yogurt and ice and it becomes a healthy, delicious smoothie perfect for starting out your morning or cooling off after a day at the beach. When Mom wondered aloud if it could be improved with a splash of rum, I knew she'd caught the island spirit! Da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-ole!
Little Brother's Mango Lassi
3 ripe mangoes
1 1/2 cups plain non-fat yogurt
3 TBSP brown sugar
a few handfuls of ice
1. Peel and chop the mangoes into chunks. (Note: If, in a momentary lapse of reason possibly resulting from the vast number of mai tais you consumed the night before, you forget that mango peel is tough and, if not inedible, certainly not pleasurable to munch on, and you cut up the mangoes without peeling them, do not despair! Merely remove the chunks from the blender and peel them piece by piece, all the while noting in a tone of voice sufficient to communicate your worldliness and vast knowledge that during your travels throughout southeast Asia, you stumbled upon a rare mango fruit with gorgeous soft skin that is always eaten and never peeled off. If those around you should roll their eyes skeptically, merely cluck your tongue as if to say, "Well you've never been there, now have you, so you wouldn't know!" Then sigh loudly, and continue to "humor" the ignoramuses by peeling the fruit.)
2. Dump all ingredients into blender, blend and drink.