My goodness. I can't believe it's been almost a month since I was last here. I'm telling you people, this past month has, once again, been chaotic. How can so much change be happening in such a concentrated amount of time.
We'll get to the guacamole in a minute, but quickly, to give you a practical low-down... Since last we met, my life has transitioned again. While my family's house still hasn't sold, I've moved up north to the town of my youth to start working. I'd been coming up sporadically, looking for jobs and staying with my best friend in the world. Got an interview. Got a job. Moved my portable, nomadic life to the gracious and generous home of my second family, as we call them. AKA my best friend and her delightful kin. Slowly I have made the change, again, to a new place. But this time not so new.
All of this has been so joyful, yet so hard. I'm doing life here, reacquainting myself with the sights and roads that the young me knew so well from the familiar back seat of the parent-driven car. This bump in the road. That restaurant. That school. This stop light. It all comes flooding back via the lens of earlier years. Everything seemed a bit bigger then, a bit more homey. But it's been several years since I've lived here, years full of change and growth, and I now carry a different perspective.
Just a few days ago I had a wonderful conversation with a dear high school friend. We are similar, though sometimes I forget how very similar. We talked about crazy connections of our thoughts and mindsets, and how we constantly think that one day, we will find the ideal. We'll find the perfect city. The perfect man. The perfect friendships. That it will all just come, at that one point in your life that you are always convinced will come. But in reality, it probably won't. Rather, it's our position to adapt, to stop criticizing, to find the beauty in the imperfection. Maybe we all move to the same town together, to preserve some beauty that we are currently familiar with. Whatever it is, we know that we are going to grow and we're going to learn with our hearts to be content and overjoyed with both the present and the hope. Seemingly undoable. But doable.
So I realize that it wasn't necessarily this town that made my youth so cherished. It wasn't even Graul's chicken tenders with fantastically delicious honey mustard. No, more the people. And today, that is what remains to be the greatest treasure. Annapolis has changed. My eyes have changed. But people I love are still here. And I'm meeting new people I love. And though other people I love are scattered elsewhere too, that is worth it. I'm learning to find new beauty in the wake of memory, and I think I'll be learning this my whole life.
Thus, a new beauty: I work in a bakery. Daily, I get to roll out pate brisee for quiches while listening to French-themed music. I get to hear the squeals of overjoyed customers receiving cakes for their baby showers. I get to have flour all over me and I get to learn new things, like glazing petit fours and filling macarons. Some days it hits me all over again, and I'm filled with joy and thankfulness. So blessed to be doing what I love. More on that later.
Friends, I'm not entirely sure how guacamole fits into all this. Maybe because it's just something I've perfected over the years and can easily make in whatever setting, so it's a comfort. Maybe it's the fact that it so often accompanies summertime food, so it brings a sense of joy and freedom. Maybe it's the fact that whenever I get home from work, all I want is garlicky, salty, savory food to cleanse my palate. Maybe it's just that I love guac, and so does everyone else.
Easy instructions. Adaptable ingredients. But I have a few rules. Always use either lime or cilantro, or both, but never without. Always use tomato or red pepper, but preferably tomato, and never without. Never onion, it's too overpowering. And when you taste test and think to yourself, "It still needs something..." The answer? Garlic. More garlic. Always.
But those are just my rules. Go skip in your kitchen with playful music and make your own.
- 4 avocados
- 12 cloves of garlic, mashed and chopped (Yes, you read correctly. I probably average 3 or 4 cloves of garlic per avocado.)
- 1 large tomato, diced small
- Juice of one lime
- 2 to 4 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by halving and pitting your avocados, then scooping them out into a large bowl. Smash with a fork, leaving some clumps behind. Add your garlic, tomato, lime, cilantro, and salt & pepper. Mix and mash to desired consistency. Taste with and without a chip, then add whatever you think is necessary. Serve with bubbly beer and salty chips.