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(post, Katie Elberson)
The apartment I lived in during my senior year of college was pretty much just a glorified dorm room. I know fraternity brothers who made their apartments more grown-up than ours. There was a pong table in the front room and a dilapadated old futon (possibly the least comfortable piece of furniture I have ever sat – or, shudder, slept – on) that we inherited after it lived in three, count them three, different fraternity apartments (it still had one of the boy’s names written in sharpie on it’s bent, groaning metal frame), and the walls of our back room were covered (wallpaper-style) in hot pink Disney Princess Ballroom tablecloths (guess who got to climb on top of the shitty futon and the mini fridge to hang thaton the wall). It was like living in a 6-year-old’s birthday party for 9 months. And while we had 4 refrigerators (What? We needed somewhere to put all the Beast), we didn’t have a lot of other appliance-like equipment. What we did have, however, was the Magic Bullet. And the Magic Bullet brought much joy to our lives because, as anyone who has ever seen the infomercial can tell you, this tiny machine does everything. It makes slushy drinks like daiquiris (That somehow alwayswind up getting stronger and stronger as the night goes on and will invariably stain your white counter bright-ass red – kind of makes you wonder what it does to your insides, no?) and pina coladas. And it…well, um, that’s actually pretty much all we used it for through the entire fall, winter and early spring. But, feeling adventurous, my roommate decided one day to whip out the recipe book that came with the Bullet and make something that she loves: guacamole. Now, I am not a dip/condiment person, and that goes for guac, too. I’m not sure why I never liked it (until I had it fresh last year at a killer Mexican restauranton the Upper East Side where the gaucamole-man made it table-side with a mortar and pestle for heavenssake and my God, how could I not love it!?), but most likely I never really gave it a chance and/or never had good, fresh, awesome guac. I digress. What my roommate made was not the guac that changed me from a hater to a lover. No, no, no. Actually, what my roommate made can barely even be called guacamole. Really, it was mushed up garlic tinted green with avocado. The amount of garlic that the Bullet’s recipe book called for was such that before you even opened my apartment door, you could smell it. It was that offensive. Suffice it to say that the “guac” had to be disposed of outside, in the dumpster, rather than in our kitchen trash, and that for weeks afterwards, we all smelled very faintly of garlic. Perhaps this is why I put zero garlic in my guacamole. What follows is my favorite of the many guacamoles I’ve tried since discovering I actually like the stuff. I’m not a purist who believes it should really just be avocado and salt and a little lemon or lime juice - I like mine stuffed with heat and fresh produce and why did I not make more? Guacamole 2 ripe Haas avocados 1/2 small white (or red) onion, diced 1 jalapeno, diced 1 tbsp lime juice 1 small (plum) tomato 1/2 red bell pepper or poblano, or both 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes Salt and pepper to taste Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit (if you can do it using the whole stab-it-really-hard-with-a-sharp-knife technique, more power to you – I won’t lie to you and tell you that’s how I do it), and scoop all the flesh into a bowl. Mash a little with a fork, leaving it fairly chunky (this is not soup, friends). Add the rest of the ingredients (except the salt and pepper) and mix everything together. Add salt and pepper, tasting as you go. Serve with pita chips.