Friday, February 1, 2008



So I joined a new gym recently. The first gym I joined out here was a dirty, run-down dump, and after seven months of dreading my workouts, I decided it was time for a change. The new place is much more my style -- bright, clean, and full of functional equipment. My first trip there, however, was an eye-opening experience. As I was standing in the locker room, I realized that I had no idea how to work the digital locks on the lockers. Not wanting to accidentally lock up my things with no way to retrieve them, I thought the most prudent course of action would be to simply ask one of the other women in the room for instructions. Good idea, right? Mmm...maybe, but my thought process was apparently flawed. I turned to my left to ask the woman nearest me, only to realize that she was completely naked -- not even holding a towel or in the process of dressing. I could only imagine the awkwardness that would ensue if I asked a naked person a question, so I rounded the corner to look for someone else. Apparently naked woman #1 had friends because no one on that side of the room was clothed either. Perhaps it's a Midwest thing, or maybe it's just peculiar to my own experience, but locker room nudity was a rare occurrence at all of the gyms I went to back home. I don't have a problem with it, but it will sure take some getting used to.... [If you're looking for an end to this story, eventually someone -- fully dressed, thankfully -- walked into the room and was kind enough to help me.]

This guacamole has nothing to do with naked women at the gym, so I hope you weren't waiting for some clever segue. It is, however, ridiculously good. Simple, fresh food is by far my favorite thing to make, and this guacamole falls squarely into that category. If you pull up the original Williams-Sonoma recipe, you'll notice that it calls for serrano chilies. I intended to use a tomatillo in addition to the chilies, but because I was chatting on the phone with The Athlete at the time, I forgot to add them altogether. Not to worry, though, because the guacamole is spectacular without them. And it couldn't be any easier to make -- if you have a fork, a knife, and a bowl, you're all set. (Though I did just pick up this terrific gadget from Williams-Sonoma and would highly recommend it if you, at any point during the remainder of your life, feel you might have reason to juice a lemon or a lime.) Excellent, and worth a try especially if you, like me, don't care for the gunky, over-processed guacamole available at most restaurants and grocery stores.

Adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe
Yields about 2 cups

1 ripe tomato, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely minced white onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tomatillo, pureed or very finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
2 large avocados, preferably Haas

Put the tomato, onion, garlic, tomatillo, lime juice, and the 3/4 teaspoon salt in a molcajete or small bowl and smash with a pestle or fork to a coarse paste. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop the flesh into the tomato mixture. Mash together, leaving some lumps. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.

To keep at room temperature for up to 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface. To keep for up to 3 hours, press plastic wrap to the surface, cover, and store in the refrigerator.


  1. Dana,

    I was born and raised on a ranch in Jalisco Mexico. My parents moved our family of four to California when I was 12 years old. For real, authentic mexican guacamole omit the garlic and tomatillo and add cilantro. By the way, you will never see a tomatillo used raw in a mexican kitchen.


  2. Thanks very much for the tips. I didn't set out to make an authentic version (I don't care for cilantro), but I'm glad to know in case I want to make one in the future.