playing with fire: guacamole, perfected

The year was 2002, and there was a house that wasn’t a home — only three rooms and a tin box where mailed had been forwarded. The walls were painted a green that made one think of insane asylums, and come nightfall a woman would open her window and sing Chinese arias. Amidst the clang of forks and plates and glasses clinking and short men in starched shirts playing the theme to The Godfather, was that singular voice. It was a cacophony of sounds that raised above the rafters, and in my room I would press my eyes shut and try to focus on the story she was set on telling.

It was a hot summer, much like this one, and I stood in a kitchen, sweating, slicing through a bag of avocados. On the television, Nigella Lawson talked about acids and how they protected the integrity of color. Avocados left unattended would brown and then blacken, and who wanted something that ultimately resembled tar? That summer I became obsessed with guacamole. Truth be told I’ve somewhat an addictive personality; I tend to consume and consume until my love falls to blight, until the thing I’m after makes me sick. A heartbreak, really, because the last taste is never as good as the first.

Morning to evening I would feast on avocados. I did this for a month straight until I fell sick to my stomach. I developed an allergic reaction to avocados, and I haven’t been able to eat guacamole since.

Believe me when I say that this is catastrophic.

Over the years I’d have a teaspoon here, a gulp there, and sometimes I’d become sick. Call it wishful thinking, but today I woke hoping that somehow my body would right itself — that I could come to indulge in one of my favorite dishes. And two tablespoons later, so far, no sick. Here’s hoping.

This recipe is simple. I like my dishes uncomplicated. I loathe tomatoes in guacamole, and I often feel folks get too far gone that they’re forgetting precisely what they’re eating because they’re fixated on the plumage, the food accessories.

2 ripe avocados, flesh scooped out into a bowl
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
juice of half a lemon

With the tines of your fork, smash the avocado until it’s the consistency of small chunks. I don’t like a paste, but I don’t enjoy eating large chunks of whole avocado either. Add in the lemon so the avocado doesn’t oxidize and turn brown. Proceed to add all your ingredients. Mix and season to taste. Serve with carrots or whole wheat crackers. Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “playing with fire: guacamole, perfected

  1. This is my kind of guacamole, but perhaps a little chunkier; I am one of those that likes big chunks of avocado. How are you feeling since?


  2. Ha! Kel, I totally hear you. There are so many guac variations. Last night my friends were shocked that I didn’t use onions. I’m feeling OKAY. I had some today, and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that somehow this allergy will magically disappear. 🙂


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