Fresh avocados are one benefit of living in southern California. Now I haven’t had the best history with avocados. When I married my husband, I was thrown into a different culture. I was dutch, he was dutch, but since his father grew up in Mexico as a missionary’s son, there was a lot of Mexican influence. One area largely influenced was the food. Everything was tacos. Everyone is gathering for Easter? Lets have tacos! Christmas? Tacos! And, of course, this is not American tacos. No cheese. Corn tortilla, meat, black beans, and salsa or guacamole. So my adventure making guacamole began. It seemed pretty easy to make, and I followed the recipe my mother-in-law gave me. But it was a disaster. I went to the store to buy avocados. They all look the same, so I bought the needed amount. I made the guacamole, but wondered: are avocados supposed to be hard? No, they are not. But my wonderful husband ate it anyway. Okay, so I need to have soft avocados. So, attempt number two commenced. I went back to the store and checked for soft avocados this time. I opened up the first avocado – it was brown inside. Uh oh. *Sigh* So apparently they have to be only a little soft, not a lot soft. It’s been a couple years and I have improved my skills of choosing avocados.
I generally don’t buy them because they are expensive, but now that my in-laws have roughly 2 acres of avocado trees, I get plenty of practice choosing ripe avocados. Avocados are never ripe off the tree. They need to sit for 1 or 2 weeks until they are ripe.
As you can see from this picture, these avocados aren’t perfect. There is a little browning on the one end which has a slightly different taste. I just don’t use that part, although I don’t think I would even notice it if I did use it. I just have so many at my disposal that it doesn’t guilt me to throw part of it away. Avocados themselves cause guacamole to be a little tricky to make. You see, avocados are much like bananas. After the air hits them for a while, they brown. So to keep this from happening after I have scooped the flesh out, I chop it and I douse it with lime juice. Or lemon juice if I don’t have lime on hand. I use the juice from one lime for every two avocados. But the better coated with lime juice, the better it keeps!
So here is the line-up:
1/2 bunch of cilantro,
1 serrano pepper,
1/2 white onion,
1 small tomato (such as a roma tomato)
Cut up the flesh of the avocado, put lime juice on as soon as possible, sprinkle some salt on. Add the rest of the ingredients chopped as fine as you can. The smaller the chop, the better it tastes in my opinion. With the serrano pepper, I take out the seeds as those are the source of the heat. The pepper itself is still hot because the seeds have touched it, but I prefer not to have those bites in which my mouth feels like it is suddenly burning. And it’s safer for my young kids to eat too. Your fingers will also have that heat after you chop the pepper so don’t make the mistake of itching your eye or nose afterwards, it’ll burn! (Trust me.) After everything is mixed taste it, if it needs something, add either more onion or salt.
And the last tricky part of guacamole is storing it. If I would just put a lid on the container, the next day all the avocados will still have turned brown. I use plastic wrap and push it right on top of the guacamole, getting out as much of the air as possible.
I hope this helps you succeed in making your guacamole a success. It’s taken me a couple of years to get it down!