I was looking for something simple and quick for the day before my birthday, especially since this day holds much significance for me. When I was younger, this day was the climax of excitement, with presents following and wishes fulfilled (for the most part). As I grew older, the day became a mile marker as the last time I would no longer be able to drive, vote, drink, rent a car by myself… and after each achievement, I would feel closer to being treated as an adult. I was going to conquer the world!
However, I would also be thankful each year that I had not done drugs, or strayed down some wrong (mostly moral) path. It seems silly to even mention, but I was thankful to have stayed true to myself, even when I was not sure who “I” was. This no longer seems to be the foremost thought on my mind when the end of July comes, but I cannot help thinking about what I have accomplished in the previous year. What goals did I finish? Did I make the right choices? Did I grow in all areas of my life and soul? More often than not, I think of everything first in a state of panic (I did not do enough!), then growing calmer and satisfied with where I am in my life. Simplicity is the goal for the next year, I promise no one in particular.
The avocado has limitless opportunities, from eating in shell with some ranch, to spreading on toast, to ice cream. But I love guacamole the most, especially slightly chunky pieces of avocado slathered in lime juice with sea salt. I also happen to be a big fan of salsa fresca, and it can be hard to decide, so I combine them, and find a sense of relief in not having to choose (true to my character). The yellow cherry tomatoes in the garden are quite plump nowadays, so I used a handful to make a guacamole salsa of sorts. Simplicity.
Ingredients (for two very generous servings as an appetizer):
two ripe avocados
one small red onion, or a quarter of a large one, finely diced
a handful of sun gold (yellow) cherry tomatoes
one medium (red) tomato
4-5 sprigs of cilantro, or italian parsley
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, or kosher salt
small pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1) Cut avocados, gently if you want to avoid cutting into the seed (and you can grow the seed later!). Do not be afraid to scoop out of the shell into a mortar and pestle, or into a blender. Cut the lime in half, and squeeze juice into mortar or blender. Use the leftover rinds again, especially by using the zest (zest now and freeze for later use). Add the diced red onion. Grind or blend slowly to achieve desired consistency. Season with pinch of salt, and leave to rest.
2) Dice large tomato, and cut the cherry tomatoes to desired size (think salsa size for chips). Season with olive oil. Chop cilantro and parsley, and combine with tomatoes.
3) Add the tomatoes to the guacamole, and add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like heat.Â