The first time I ever had really great guacamole, I was about 15 years old. My family was visiting my uncle Bill in California at his almond ranch. California was far different than I expected-the hot dry weather of Chico, lizards, and the abundance of fruit blew me away. One day for a snack, Uncle Bob whipped up a batch of guacamole with the sweetest, most delicious avocados I'd ever eaten. I still remember that day-sun kissed from the morning in the pool, I sat wrapped in a towel by the breeze of the air conditioner, watching him in the kitchen.
"There, now THAT is guacamole," he set a bowl in front of me and pushed a bag of chips my way. I think I likely ate half the bowl.
Since then, I've been to California multiple times, and I always sigh with happiness when we roll over the pass by Mount Shasta and into Redding. Of all the states we have visited, California is one of my favorites-the people, the scenery, and of course the food, never fail to make an impression. Last summer while I traveled with the girls to Blogher in San Diego, we picked up guacamole kits in Trader Joes and there I'd be, late at night, whipping up guacamole in our hotel room. We ate every last bite. It wasn't quite my Uncle Bill's, but it was still delicious.
This afternoon, looking for something to nosh on, I wanted a bit of summer and reached for the avocados. Kevin came bounding into the kitchen, took one look at what I was doing, and threw his arms around me in wild abandon.
"I LOVE you. I LOVE guacamole."
On rainy cool days when I'm dreaming of hot sunny places and California, I feel that way too.
2 large avocados
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup seeded and diced tomato
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Mash up the avocados with a fork. I like to have it a little chunky, so I do this roughly and don't worry too much about getting it smooth. Stir in the other ingredients, before zesting 1 of the limes into the bowl, then cutting the limes in 1/2 and squeezing the juice over top. Mix everything together well.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups