Can we talk about my favorite holiday — a foodie celebration that comes but once a year, a national occasion that makes my heart swell with unmistakably American pride?
Obviously, I don’t mean Thanksgiving. I’m talking about National Half-Price Avocado Day, a.k.a. the Monday after the Super Bowl. It’s not recognized on a nation-wide scale yet — the name, I admit, could use work — but there’s real potential there.
Here’s what happens: Each Super Bowl Sunday, Americans eat ungodly amounts of guacamole. (The most recent estimate I found is from 2013, when we apparently put away 79 million pounds of avocados. Which is incredible, until you compare it to the number of chicken wings that’ll apparently be consumed this year. Hint: The amount comes in billions. With a b.)
To prepare for the onslaught, grocers stock avocados in droves — leaving them with an enormous surplus once the big game ends. I lived near a Whole Foods for five years; every single February, I waltzed in on Post-Super-Bowl-Monday and came away with scores of alligator pears, which I’d spend the next week feasting upon like a goddamn California princess.
So yeah: Let this post pump you up for tomorrow, the best time of the year to make yourself a nice, big batch of guacamole — even if February avocados tend to be sub-optimal compared to what you’ll get the rest of the year. (And even if our collective Super Bowl guac obsession was carefully engineered by Big Avocado, which of course it was, because this is America, darnit.)
Nonnie’s proudly inauthentic take on the classic dip isn’t exactly breaking any new ground; it is, however, a good basic take on something you almost certainly already know how to make, with only one incongruous ’70s touch. (And it isn’t vinegar this time, thank God.) You don’t really need a recipe to make guacamole — but if you’re going to use one as a guideline, it might as well be this.
Guacamole; main text Nonnie’s, italicized asides my own
2-4 avocados, peeled and mashed [Figure you’ll want about half an avocado per person eating guac]
1 tomato, peeled and chopped [As always: Peeling is a time-consuming extra step that I’d advise skipping, if I weren’t trying to follow each recipe to the letter]
3 tablespoons lemon juice [Yep, Nonnie didn’t use limes. No, I don’t know why]
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons minced onion [If raw onion isn’t really your jam, it in some cold water for a few minutes, then drain; it’ll have less of a sharp bite]
1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce [a.k.a. the unofficial sponsor of And Such Small Portions]
Mash avocado with lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
The verdict: Like I said — a good, basic starter guac (pictured here with onions on the side, to appease an onion-averse guest). It’s well-balanced as is, but could easily be livened up with some spice (I’d go with serranos next time), cilantro, and a bit of cumin. Oh, and lime juice instead of lemon, because not using lime in guac just doesn’t seem right.
You know what else doesn’t seem right? Missing out on our greatest unsung national celebration because you didn’t know it was a thing until now.
So please, by all means, eat as much guacamole as your little heart desires on Game Day. But if you’re smart, you’ll take my word for it — keep this tab open, head to the store Monday, get two avocados for the price of one (or four for the price of two! Or a hundred for the price of 50!!!), keep them in a paper bag until they’re ripe, then devour them with abandon. Can’t you just hear the breeze blowing over those amber waves of grain?
USA! USA! USA!