Friday, February 16, 2007

In Denial

Boston has turned itself into a giant ice rink and does not appear to be changing back any time soon. Every surface in the city is evenly covered with 3 inches of ice. Cars are frozen on the streets, the ice half way up the tires. It's not pretty. Even my fancy-pants new snow shoes do nothing to save me from stumbling and slipping with every other step. Oh, and it’s freezing cold. Well, technically, that’s not accurate. Freezing would be comparatively warm right now. It is far past freezing, what I like to refer to as “minus a** degrees.” It’s a fairly accurate (and sensitive) measurement, mind you.

Most people are cocooning themselves in their homes or going out to order beef stew and hot toddies (whatever those actually are. I always forget). Those people make a good deal of sense. I, however, do not. I came home today, all poofy with my giant down jacket, huge scarf, and red hat (complete with pom-pom, naturally), tossed down my bags, had a cup of tea and made… guacamole for dinner. Yes, I make no sense.

Guacamole is the embodiment of summer, fresh produce, and cold beer. It is the very antithesis of the poofy down jacket. So what was I doing with guacamole in the middle of winter? I feel no need to explain myself beyond the fact that I make no sense and was thinking about guacamole all day. I love it and can (and do, on occasion) eat it with a spoon. It is creamy, citrusy, spicy, fresh, and totally addictive. I was going to have guacamole, ice or no ice.

I tried to make up for the obvious deficiencies of the season the best I could. I turned the thermostat up high, checked to make sure that my avocados and tomatoes (courtesy of Boston Organics) were ripe and ready, and the cold beer was (and is) a no-brainer. While I think that eating tomatoes in the middle of winter is completely pointless, I had no choice – they came to me. The tomatoes, not surprisingly, tuned out to be purely decorative. They added nice little flecks of red and a bit of texture but no discernable taste. Asking for flavor from a tomato in February is futile.

I like to make guacamole because it is easy and fast, but most of all, I like making it because I get to use my favorite trick, courtesy of the Jacques Pepin. Once I figure out my fascination with him, I will let you know. I like the taste of garlic in guacamole (and many many other things) but I am not a big fan of biting down on big, smelly garlic pieces. Jacques Pepin to the rescue. He mashes the garlic with salt into a paste which then distributes evenly through the dish, flavoring throughout instead of offering crunchy, painful garlic bites. It’s brilliant!

Denial of winter guacamole
One ripe avocado
Juice of one lime
1 garlic clove, mashed into a paste with a pinch of salt
½ of a tomato, seeded and finely chopped
big handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro (how’s that for a precise measurement…)
pinch of cayenne
salt and black pepper

Mix all, open a beer, and pretend it’s not winter.

**Mush is really not very photogenic, is it...

Boston has been far colder than today and I am sure it will be again soon. I really wouldn’t mind, if only my car was not, in fact, encased in a giant block of ice that I will have to chip away at tomorrow. Ick.


Ben Chen said...

Guac is delicious. Your recipe sounds and looks pretty good. I might say that it looks almost as good as Taco Bell ;-)

JC said...

Ugh, the cold sounds terrible! I think we're about done with it - it's 76 right now!

Guacamole is awesome, whoever invented it was a genius. And you can eat it whenever you want!

atp said...

Aaah, the good old salt mashed garlic trick. It's the saviour of homemade garlic bread!

Anna said...

Ben - almost as good as Taco Bell... I am honored, truly :)

JC - Wow, 76... that's trippy. Well, it's not winter, but it's trippy. I do eat guacamole at the oddest times. I think I finished the leftovers from this batch for breakfast.

AtP - I much prefer savior with a "u". Has more impact that way. I will switch. Putting salt and mashed garlic on bread is brilliant. Those are my three favorite things combined! Brilliant!! Will try soon.

Rachael said...

I'm sorry, did I just read "Cars are frozen on the streets????" That is the oddest thing I have ever heard. Are you kidding? Like, actually, frozen TO the street?

Maybe I need is early...

Anna said...

You read correctly, I am afraid. Cars were indeed frozen TO the street. There were people chipping away at their tires/iceblocks to get the cars out of their ice coccoons. It was awful. Awful. I needed 4 other people to get my car out.