Imagine my surprise last week, when a medium sized flat rate shipping box arrived from my sister bearing at least 30 home-grown avocados. I had a little laugh thinking of the work that went into this effort -- sending a package is anything but simple, at least the way I do it.
And then I was touched. This is just SO my family. My dad would load you up on any visit with his garden-ripe tomatoes, or his fresh peaches, or his uber-handcrafted looking green peppers -- even if you were just in town on a layover. I had a lot of stained travel clothes, back in the day. It might not look pretty, but home-grown anything is simply irresistable. There's this moment of, "oh, right, this is what tomatoes taste like."
My brother-in-law has cultivated quite the little garden of eden, there in southern California. You only have to look around to see why people settled there. His roses are as big as dinner plates. He makes fresh orange juice every day during their long, long season, and visitors there can tomatoes that are still warm from the sun.
But his biggest crop has always been his avocados, harvested from a group of rather stumpy looking grove of trees. You can hardly believe they can be so productive.
And I guess this year has been better than ever -- which is why, according to my sister, they boxed up 9 shipments of avocadoes and sent them to people all over the country. It's their own little Fruit of the Month club!
My first reaction was, "what am I going to do with these?" And I have given them away to anyone who wanted them. But I do happen to have the absolute best recipe for guacamole that I've ever tasted, and -- big surprise -- it's as simple as it gets.
I don't know where this recipe came from, but it's one of those "more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts" concoctions. People always ask what's in it, an they always think I'm withholding information when I recite the ingredients from memory.
Best Guac Ever - (pronounced "whock" in authentic Spanglish)
3 ripe avocados: cut in half, remove pit, slice and dice the fruit, or simply mash in the shell and extract
3 chopped scallions (green onions), diced
1 tomato, chopped very small (or none, if you're one of those people)
Moosh all this together. Then, cover with
Juice of 1-2 lemons (I've used limes before, too)
Salt and pepper to taste
That's it! No garlic, no cilantro, no fancy wines, no additional condiments.
Actually I'll tell you the real secret of a fabulous guacamole experience: good chips. And in my world that means salty, salty, salty.
My current favorite Xochitl Totopos de Maiz White Corn -- pronounced "so-cheel"— made in Dallas using the traditional Aztec method of stone-grinding kernels, then mixing them with water, which creates a light flaky chip. I'm also not against a little grease on my chips = )
Hope these are available nation-wide. If not, well, so sad -- that's just why we (heart) Texas.
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