Saturday, August 31, 2013

Teach Your Parents Well: Guacamole

It's a pretty worn-out cliche that we learn from our children, blah blah blah, but of course it's true, we do. For example my children have unintentionally taught me how to feel deeply inadequate and desperately guilty.

I assume this is universal and unavoidable, so I'm not too concerned, nor am I constantly plagued by these feelings, but they are there and seem to intensify around life's milestones, like dropping a kid off at a dorm, or dropping another off for his first day of high school. At times like these I tend to mull over my mistakes; the stupidly missed windows of opportunity, the wrongheaded strong-arming, the unnecessary misunderstandings. That kind of thing.

It can get a bit overwhelming, so to cheer myself up I've been digging around for redemption, looking for the things I've done right as a parent.

Here's one: My sons both make great guacamole. So how bad a mom can I be, right?

As a matter of fact, I learned something else from my kids this summer besides inadequacy and guilt. I learned how to make better guacamole. Jonah had a summer job at Whole Foods, and part of his responsibilities included making dips. We recently had friends over for dinner, and Jonah made a huge bowl of guacamole. It was a big hit, and I had to admit, it was superior to mine. I asked him for his recipe, but of course he didn't have one, he just chops, mashes, and tastes until it's right. But he showed me how, and it was one of my better moments of the summer, getting a cooking lesson from my oldest son.

It goes something like this:

Mash 1 avocado per 2 people
Add lemon juice and salt to taste (lime juice is also good)
Chop tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and jalapeño, and add to avocado until it tastes really good.