Sunday, March 15, 2009


I turned 27 this weekend.

I thought I would freak out...I really did. In fact, I almost did freak out when an extremely charming 23-year-old man I met in the bar where I was celebrating my birthday told me that in his experience, age 27 was when women started to freak out.

But I managed to keep my cool.

27 does feel markedly different from 26. Every year on the morning of my birthday, I must admit I've looked in the mirror and wondered if I look different than I did the day before when I was technically a year younger...and I swear, this year I actually a good way. And I feel different too. I don't know why exactly, but since Friday, March 13 around 9:45 AM, I've found myself feeling what I can only describe as more grounded, honest, and happy.

I had a few friends over on Saturday night before we went out dancing. We had all the usual party accoutrements: beer, rum, vodka, soda and juice...and guacamole. I have to say, among the things I do really, really well is making guacamole. My friend Danny described its flavor as as "perfectly simple, straightforward, and clean." It had few ingredients--just some really fresh, ripe avocados, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, garlic, onion, a little sour cream, salt and pepper...and that's it. If you mess too much with guacamole you can ruin it.

Now, I know this might be a bit of a stretch, but I'd like to think of my guacamole as akin to how I've been feeling about turning the big 2-7. The changes I'm noticing in myself are that I feel comfortable in my own skin in a way I've never felt before--both physically and emotionally. I'm finding myself speaking more honestly about how I feel and fearing judgment less. Since guacamole is only as good as its ingredients (the avocados ripe, the cilantro fresh, etc) it's important to to use only the best so the flavors really shine. There is little technique involved--just a little practiced balancing of flavors and textures...which I suppose is the essence of how I'm feeling about my age: I like what I'm made of, so I'm focusing less on the technique and more on refining the balance.

So here's my 27th Birthday Guacamole. Remember, good ingredients = effortlessly delicious guacamole.

2 very ripe avocados
1/2 small white onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped finely
1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
1 green jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped finely
Juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Smash the avocados using the back of a fork or a potato masher, leaving them relatively chunky. Stir in the sour cream until fully incorporated. Gently stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve with vegetables and/or tortilla chips.


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