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Essentials: Guacamole

Ten years ago, when I turned twenty-one, I had never fallen head over heels in love, and I had never cared for guacamole. Then I met a charming boy who urged me to spend the summer with him in California, where good guacamole was ubiquitous and, it turned out, very much to my taste. (Maybe this is why I’m always surprised to see mountains of avocados at the store in the days leading up to the Super Bowl; for me, guacamole is all about summer.) The boy ended up breaking my heart disastrously, but guacamole has never let me down. As I made a batch last week with my usual puppylike excitement (Guacamole! Guacamole!), I wondered if this past decade of avocado-y pleasure has made up for the year or two of pain and self-doubt incurred by the heartbreak. I think the answer is yes.

Like love, guacamole never looks the same way twice, and we all have our own requirements and preferences. I like it chunky with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and not a lot else. I have yet to discover my ideal recipe, but until I do, Ina Garten’s is my starting point. Sometimes I add cilantro, lime juice, or cumin, and sometimes I skip the Tabasco. I am in the business of collecting guacamole tips, so if there are brilliant insights out there I hope you will share.

About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.

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