Sooooo how the heck are ya? Did you have a good week? I did! And I did all sorts of things since I last blogged at you. One of which was, I learned how to make Guacamole!
Isn't it the strangest thing that of all the cooking and baking that I do, one of the things I had never ever made was one of the things I most adore? I'm not sure why that is, but it's true. Both parts; the loving guacamole part and the never having made it before part.
I love guacamole so much that whenever we go to a Mexican restaurant, we always request chips and guac right away (as opposed to the salsa and/or queso that most offer before the meal). And that is all I want. I don't order anything else off the menu. Just chips and guac. And honestly, the chips are merely a vehicle. If they offered me guac and a spoon, that would probably work just fine too.
Sometimes I crave guac so hard that I will make BBQ chicken nachos at home for dinner, which I actually do eat some of, but I always buy some ready made guac to serve with it. Guac with nachos you say with a funny look on your face? Guac with BBQ chicken nacho's especially? Actually you probably already made a face when I said BBQ chicken nacho's. heh. I can only assure you that BBQ chicken nacho's are amazing and wonderful. Having guac available as a topping only elevates it.
The guac I usually buy is a store brand, made in house, from my local Publix. It's made of very fresh ingredients and is chunky and yummy and magically does not automatically turn brown the instant your back is turned. BUT it's not the best guacamole I've ever had. Nope. Nor is it the guac that is made right at the table in front of me at our favourite local Mexican restaurant (although that is pretty darned good)
Nope. The best guac I've ever tasted is made by one of my daughters in law, Jessie, who is my own personal guacamole guru. Her guacamole is so good, that, every time I've had the good fortune to eat it, I rhapsodize about it for days afterwards. Oh me, oh my! I had no idea what she did that was different than anyone else, but holy cats, I just never quite got over it. It became the guacamole against which I compared all other guacmole. Which is why, when Tim suggested making chicken taco/fajitas over the weekend and therefor we decided that guac and chips would be perfect with that, I immediately texted Jessie to request her recipe.
She wrote it up right away and emailed the recipe to me and off Tim and I went to our local farm market to buy ingredients. Fresh counts! She was very specific about ingredients which is important. I like that! For instance most recipes just say onion. She very specifically wrote, red onion, not just tomatoes but "plum tomatoes. Things like that can make a huge difference.
Her recipe was awesome for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that one of the steps in the recipe involves doing the 'guacamole dance'. Seriously, she wrote that right in the recipe. HAHAH! I love that! Also wonderful tips like, don't over-mash the guacamole because, "chunky guacamole makes tasty guacamole". She isn't wrong about that either!
Once home, I gathered ingredients and the necessary implements and commenced finely chopping stuff, consulting her recipe carefully the entire time. While Tim was grilling the chicken, I concocted. Ultimately I presented:
hhI sent her the above photo and she approved. The consistency looked right. But of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, right? Tim made is taco/fajitas (not quite one or the other but a combination of both) and I, kindly, shared the guac and chips. Sort of. I definitely ate the majority of it.
It was good. Better than the store bought, better than the restaurant, but not as good as Jessie's and I am not certain why. Obviously I did something differently. Perhaps I didn't do the correct guacamole dance?
It happens all of the time and I have no idea why following a recipe exactly and precisely often does not have the exact and precise desired outcome. My friend Marsha, who loves my potato salad so much that she requested my recipe, told me not long ago that she made my potato salad. I asked her how it turned out and she said, "well it's good, but not quite as good as yours". I was so perplexed that I went back and re-read the recipe I sent to her. It was correct. That's how I make it. Why would it not taste the same? I had the same experience when I made Marsha's AMAZING caramel corn. It was good, but not as good as hers.
It happens with all of the recipes I've inherited from people I know when I've had the good fortune to have tasted the real deal. I follow their recipe carefully every single time. And every single time, while it's good, it's never exactly the same.
And despite that, I will keep making Jessie's guacamole. It will never be as good as hers but it was still pretty darned tasty. Perhaps I will get the knack of it after a lot more practice. What a shame, having to keep making all of that (awesome) guacamole. I will just have to keep trying (and tasting) until I get it right.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.