Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Avocado Omens

I'm in denial. Like an obese person who indulges in a week-long, junk-food blitz and then refuses to step on the scale.

My avocado seed was doing so well. With "was" being the operative word. Matt went to a student's home, and the mom taught him how to grow an avocado seed. Take the seed from a delectable avocado. Let it dry out. When it's completely dry, peel away most of the dark brown exterior. Poke with toothpicks and immerse half-way in water (heavy-side up).

I've taken to making guacamole. For birthday parties, community picnics, dinner at home. Really, it's just an opportunity to grow avocado trees. The more guacamole I make, the more seeds I get to grow, er, attempt to grow.

Unfortunately, not a single seed has sprouted. They crack. They split. But they do not grow. [see photo, which looks promising, but it never progresses beyond that point]

My inability to get a single seed to sprout (okay, okay, it's actually more like 54 seeds; 6 guacamoles x 9 different parties) does not bode well for an entire garden. At least I've perfected my guacamole recipe:


  1. 6 ripe avocados of the perfect consistency* (*not too firm and not too soft; if they are too firm, you will not be able to mash them easily with a fork; too soft = icky brown mush)

  2. 1 red, red tomato* (*go for the ones that are still on the vine and pick the reddest one you can find)

  3. 1 jalapeno pepper* (*when I looked up the spelling on google, I read that jalapenos should be "firm, smooth-skinned and have solid green coloring." I concur.)

  4. 1 medium purple onion (aren't they called "red" onions? For the life of me, I can't figure out why.)

  5. Fresh cilantro (yes, it must be fresh)

  6. 2 lemons

  7. Kosher sea salt (okay, it can be any kind of salt, but this is my favorite)

  1. Slice off the end of the avocados. Then do what the Whole Foods sandwich makers do: Start at the sliced-off end and slice around the avocado. It's fun to see if you can get your cut to match up once you've gone all the way back to your starting point.
  2. Then whack the knife into the side of the seed and twist. Voila! The seed should pop out (if you've managed to procure avocados that are ripe enough). Oh. Maybe this is why my seeds aren't growing? They're suffering from a blow to their bodies? Oi vey.
  3. Scrape the inside of the avocados into a bowl. It's better to overestimate bowl size rather than underestimate. You don't want to have to do unnecessary dishes.

  4. Mash the avocados with a fork. Don't mash them to your preferred ultimate consistency. There's still more stirring and mashing to come! I would say get them to about 75% of your preferred consistency.
  5. Chop the jalapeno into tiny bits. And wash your hands afterwards! The juice is unforgiving. And your eyes will never forgive you if you touch them during this process.

  6. Pull off a fistful of the cilantro and chop it into small pieces. This part is a pain, but you probably don't want massive chunks of cilantro.
  7. Add the cilantro and jalapeno to the guacamole. Stir.

  8. Look at your guacamole and think about what it will be like to eat it. Will most bites have a tad bit of cilantro but not too many tad bits? If you need more, add it now.
  9. Chop the tomato into small bits and add to guacamole. Do not stir again.
  10. Squeeze half a lemon into the guacamole. Be careful not to let any seeds slide in. As Julia Roberts used to say, they are "slippery little suckers."
  11. Now stir everything together. Really well.
  12. Taste. Then add salt. If it needs a little more taste, add salt.
  13. If it needs a little more kick, add more lemon juice. But not too much at a time. There is no ctrl-Z in real life, friends.

  14. Serve! (with chips that aren't too flimsy)

  15. Store in tupperware (if there's any left). It will be gross and brown tomorrow. Just stir. It's a miracle.
This process is actually much easier than 15 steps will make it seem. I promise. If only growing seeds were this easy...

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1 comment:

Sarah said...

Not sure if you read comments related to old posts but I have to clarify a few things for you on sprouting an avocado seed. First, don't dry it out! Plants need water to grow so why would you start with a parched pit? Second, put the fat end in the water so the sprout comes out of the pointy end. Then give it 3 to 6 weeks. :)

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