How to make mango chutney – and other simple luxuries

Posted on | Monday, December 14th, 2009 | 11:30 am

By Gary Moore

Outside the Dragon’s Lair Cafe in West Kelowna on Sunday, the weather rages. The owner shovels the cement step to remove the first batch of snow blanketing the Okanagan.

A group of women clench freshly autographed books and head out into whiteness.

Leonne Wilson Jones sits behind a table while one of the cafe’s staff leafs through her newly published book.

“This book is the book that I wrote because I wished that I had had one many, many years ago,” explained Wilson Jones. “My friends would call me and ask me, ‘How do you do this? How do you do that?’ and I thought maybe I should write this down. It took me three years to get it all in here and if you look you’ll see that it’s chock-a-block full.”

Her vision for the book came in the form of mango chutney. She was shocked at the price when shopping for it one day, so she waited for mangoes to come into season and made it herself.

“I made a batch of chutney and then I thought there must be a whole lot of other stuff that’s kind of fun to make for not a lot of money and can be life’s simple luxuries, and it spread from there,” she recalled.

Wilson Jones has for many years been writing lifestyle food columns for Vancouver newspapers.

“It’s all about having good times without spending a lot of money. It’s not about the luxury car, it’s about taking your child or your grandchild out in the snow to make snow angles and going in for hot chocolate. That’s simple luxury,” she added.

“Being organized around the house, food, wine, how to go to a winery and have a wine tasting without looking like a – don’t quote me on this – without looking like a yutz,” she joked.

The Kelowna author speaks highly of the food in the Okanagan.

“I love the food here…. We have so much wonderful, quality food, the fruit, the vegetables, the wine to top it off. What could be better?”

Her favourite Okanagan specialties are peaches and apples, along with the grapes and the wines.

Her book is called, “Define Your Own Simple Luxuries – And Have the Life You’ve Always Wanted.”

Her next book, “Simple Luxuries on Weekends,” is a compilation of all the columns she has written over the years.

The books is available at Save-On-Foods and Coles in Penticton, The Dragons Lair in West Kelowna, Mosaic Books in downtown Kelowna and hopefully in Chapters in the new year.