Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Avocados were on sale at Walmart the other day so I picked up 4 with the intention of making guacamole.  I’ve made it a few times before, using either the seasoning packets you can buy or just using some random ingredients that sounded good.   Then I mash up the avocados with a spoon or something,  mix it all together, and call it good.  To be honest, avocados are pretty good by themselves so usually it comes out ok.  But not this time!  This time I was going to make a seriously good batch.  Here was my recipe:

– 4 ripe avocados (need to be soft/squishy to touch)

– 2 Tablespoons lime juice

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon minced garlic

– 1 diced Roma Tomato

– about 1/4 cup diced onion

– some black pepper, maybe 1/2 teaspoon

– 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely diced

Making it is very simple, just scoop out the avocado, discard the pits, mash it up using a mixer or just by hand (helps if the avocado is very ripe), and then just mix everything else in and stir it up really, really good.

Now normally I’m not a fan of recipes that call for a lot of fresh ingredients, especially in small amounts; but it just happened that we were planning to have tacos last night anyways so we already had an onion, a few tomatoes, etc.  The minced garlic I buy in the jars available at any grocery store, I’m a big fan of those; much more convenient than fresh cloves and much more flavor than dry garlic powder.  The jalapeno pepper came from my dad’s garden.

The end result was just incredible; the onion and tomato helped give it a very fresh flavor and texture and the jalapeno pepper gave it some spiciness.  I actually should have put the whole pepper in as it could have used even more heat, in my opinion.  Although ending up with a mild guacamole turned out to be good because I was able to share it with my kids, both of whom loved it.


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We tend to throw out a lot of potatoes for some reason.  Sometimes we use part of a bag and then don’t end up using the rest for some reason; kind of wasteful, but they are pretty cheap.  So anyways, a while back in the spring we had a bag of Russet potatoes that we didn’t completely use, so I ended up tossing some of them into my compost pile.  A few months later I noticed there were a couple large green plants sprouting up out of a corner of my compost pile… to my surprise, the potatoes had sprouted!  If I took proper care of my compost pile this would probably never have happened but I’m really pretty lazy about it.

Just for fun I then planted both plants in an unused corner of my garden.   A few weeks ago I finally decided to dig them up and see what happened; having never grown potatoes before I had no idea what to expect!  I actually found a large number of small potatoes and a few larger ones, maybe 3-4 lbs total.  They were scattered all over but connected via roots which made sense.  Most were pretty oddly shaped but otherwise they looked pretty good, a very light brown color and a nice smooth texture.

I got them inside, cleaned them off, and made them into a large batch of mashed potatoes (the first time I’ve made mashed potatoes by myself!) and they turned out to be amazingly delicious.  I did remove a little of the skins, but it turned out that the skins were very thin and tender, probably because they were so small; perfect for mashed potatoes.  Seasoned with a little garlic, salt, and butter, the flavor was just excellent.

I have to admit the whole process was a lot of fun, and really no work at all; I did pile soil on them one time while they were growing because I had heard that was a good idea but that was pretty much the sum total of all my effort aside from the original planting.  Otherwise I just let them go.  I think I may have to try it again next year, potatoes aren’t an expensive food at the grocery store but there’s something fun about growing your own of anything and I really liked how tender they turned out to be.  I’m a big fan of Russet potatoes but normally the skins are very tough and thick so this was a nice change.  While I’m hardly some kind of expert gardener, I’m all for celebrating small successes, especially ones that you didn’t expect.

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