But you don’t like the idea of being such a scold. Who are you to so judge? You can feel yourself becoming less pleasant to be around. But you genuinely like people and find pleasure in taking part in cultural celebrations. You like to drink beer and watch the excesses of the television advertising industry at their most expensive and ridiculous.
Solution: try to ignore your reservations. Today is not the day to make a stand. Accept an invitation to watch the Super Bowl at a friend’s place, even if it will be the first football game you’ve watched all year.
Second problem: what to contribute to the food that people will eat at the party. Solution: relax. Tell your host that you will make guacamole. Guacamole is delicious and easy to make and has become an integral part of the American Super Bowl holiday.
Fifteen years ago, Americans ate some 8m avocados while the game was on. This year we will eat more than 10 times that amount.
If your host says, “No, don’t. I’m making my own,” or “No, that’s OK, someone else has already promised to make the guacamole,” tell him or her to shut up and change the plan. Because I happen to know the best way to make guacamole, and I am prepared to share my secret with you. More than prepared: I insist on sharing it.
Guacamole is the one thing that I am better at making than anybody else. The pride I take in my recipe, and how I came to develop it, is frankly a little embarrassing. I call it “the ceviche method”.
Here’s what you need:
1) A bunch of avocados. (How many people will be eating your guacamole? I tend to think of one avocado per grownup. Let’s say 10.)
2) Limes, a lot of them. Four? Five? Six? Ten? It’s OK, they’re inexpensive and extras can be used to display juggling skills or to make more drinks.
4) Chili peppers. Serranos for more heat; jalapeños for more fruit – or, hey, why not both?!
5) Garlic. Four cloves.
6) One large red onion.
7) Cilantro. Two bunches to be safe.
Go shopping the day before you are going to make the guacamole. This way, you can err on the side of purchasing slightly under-ripe avocados, and keep them in a paper bag overnight to soften them up if need be.
Now this is the important part: bring your ingredients to the party. Do not make it at home. Guests will be more than happy to accommodate you, especially if you wash the mess you’ve created afterward.
Put the ingredients where your host tells you to while you have your first drink and stare at the TV mounted on the wall in the living room and try to think about other things than the fact that you are about to engage in something that you find morally reprehensible. How about this: “avocado” is derived from the Aztec word ahuacate, which means “testicle”.
Perhaps relatedly, avocados have long been considered an aphrodisiac. You might want to have another drink. Are there Coronas in the fridge? You’ve brought plenty of limes.
Get a large bowl and cut open two or three of the other limes and squeeze their juice into the bowl. Important: this happens first! Lime juice goes into the bowl first! This is the secret to the “ceviche method” of guacamole production. Next, add the chopped garlic and onion.
The pool of lime juice at the bottom of the bowl will serve as an acid bath, essentially cooking the garlic and onion, softening their bite while absorbing their robust flavors into the base of your guacamole.
Add salt, immediately. You can adjust to taste later, but you want to add some now, as salt helps to denature the garlic and onion too. (“Curing” is the word usually used here.)
Next: the chilies. Yum! Make sure to slice them lengthwise, and take out the seeds before cutting up the flesh.
Give it a stir and then let your ingredients soak for a while. Have another drink. Has the game started? Has anyone been concussed yet? Any brain function debilitated? Any lives shortened for the purpose of the American viewing public’s entertainment? Did you give your gladiators a thumbs up or thumbs down?
Wait! Sorry! Stop! Don’t think about these things! You have avocados to de-pit and quarter!
How chunky do you like your guacamole? I like a pretty smooth mosh, so I slice my avocados into thin pieces – so the soft flesh sits in the shell like cards in a Rolodex that can be easily spooned, or just pushed out with fingers, into the bowl. Mosh to desired consistency with a fork.
Chop cilantro. A lot of it, a great deal! Cilantro is delicious! I feel terribly for those poor people afflicted with the condition that makes this fabulous herb taste like soap on their tongues. They are missing out on one of the great pleasures the world has to offer. Though it leaves more cilantro for the rest of us to enjoy.
Once you have enough, throw that chopped cilantro on the top of your mosh. Mix it up a bit to spread all your flavors throughout your bowl, and that’s pretty much it.
Walk proudly out into the living room, refraining as best you can from making any comments as to the moral turpitude of your host and fellow guests, and present your masterpiece. Prepare to be the most popular person at the party.
Shit! Chips! Where are the chips?! You forgot tortilla chips?! What’s everybody supposed to use to eat this guacamole? Oreos? Jesus Christ you idiot. Talk about moral turpitude.
Don’t forget to bring chips.
Rating for Guacamole by the Ceviche Method: 5 Stars
5 stars: Sleeping well at night
4 stars: Being able to socialize with other human beings
3 stars: America
2 stars: America on Super Bowl Sunday
1 star: Football
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