Sunday, May 20, 2012


My brother came down for a visit this weekend.  He came even though I warned him that he would have to spend all his time with me, since my husband is working on a 20-page paper and doing a billion other things besides.  He came even though I'm a wee bit jealous of his fancy camera and make him take all sorts of food pictures for my blog.  I figure it makes up for all the guacamole he devours when he comes to visit.

Anyway, while my husband slaved away, my brother and I took a trip to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in downtown Fort Wayne.  He took some cool pictures of the Butterflies of Malaysia exhibit that's there right now:

And some others of the various growing things around the conservatory:

I also dragged him along with me to Meijer, where we found an entire cart of clearance avocados.  Tomatoes were on sale, too.  Coincidence?  I think not.  In payment for his photography efforts (or maybe just to keep him from devouring all my food), I made two huge bowls of guacamole over the weekend.  And then made him take some pictures of it.

This is my own guacamole recipe.  (That's right--for once I'm not stealing it from someone else!)  It makes a pretty small batch, but it can easily be multiplied based on the number of avocados.  I usually increase the other ingredients by a smaller amount; for example, a triple recipe would use three avocados but only two tomatoes, two tablespoons lime juice, etc.  I try not to spend more than $.75 per avocado.  Aldi frequently has them on sale for $.49, and you can sometimes find them on clearance at Meijer (I paid $2 for three).  Cilantro is usually $.89/bunch at Meijer and $.50 at Kroger.  Fresh jalapenos cost next to nothing if you buy just one or two in bulk.  The other ingredients are usually available at the co-op.  My favorite tortilla chips are the multigrain ones at Aldi; they're just $1.69 (other Aldi varieties are cheaper still).

Yield:  1 cup
Time:  30 minutes

1 large avocado
1 T. fresh lime juice
1 roma tomato, finely diced
1 T. onion, finely minced (OR 1 T. green onion, thinly sliced)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small fresh jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped (don't forget the gloves)
1 heaping T. minced cilantro
2 tsp. Frank's Red Hot sauce (or your favorite red pepper sauce)

Cut and peel the avocado (for tips go here).  Scoop out the flesh with a spoon; place it in a bowl and gently mash with a fork.  Add lime juice; combine well.  Add remaining ingredients; serve with tortilla chips.

~ For smoother guacamole, puree the finished mixture in a food processor.
~ For chunkier guacamole, peel the halved and seeded avocado (the skin should peel right off unless it is underripe), then dice the flesh (overripe avocados will not work as well).
~ The lime juice helps prevent the guacamole from turning brown.  When making a large batch of guacamole, add the juice to the bowl first, then toss it with each avocado that you add.
~ Reserve one of the avocado seeds and add it to the finished guacamole; this will help prevent browning as well.  Guacamole should be eaten immediately, if possible, but covering it with plastic wrap (right on the surface of the mixture) can help prevent discoloration (do this with leftovers too).

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