Living with Enthusiasm

Years back, as I was driving to Massachusetts to see Karina, who was then visiting the Guastavinos, I stopped to pay my toll on the Mass Pike. I had directions, but I wanted to double check, so I asked the guy in the booth if such-and-such a road would take me to Leominster, or something like that. The toll booth guy, a corpulent black man, looked at me quizzically and said, “Español por favor.” Unfazed (in fact, not even quite realizing that this might be out of the ordinary), I shifted gears and repeated my question, “Si me puede decir si esta carretera…”

He cracked up.

“Man,” he said, “Nobody ever did that to me before. I’m just jokin’!”

Then he told me that, yes, I was on the right track.

That guy, as Dad would say, was making the best of his potentially boring job. He was having fun where others might be lamenting their lot. Good for him. I think of him often, and he continues to inspire me.

So, another guy who inspires me is the top hit result in Google for guacamole recipe. His name is Andy Blau. I love how he is giving his guacamole recipe to the void, but he’s genuinely funny about it. I mean, his medium, the recipe, is a drab genre. It is primarily concerned with accurate transmittal of information so that the results can be reproduced, but here’s this guy cracking me up with his writing style.

Go. Please read his recipe, and even if you don’t make the guacamole, be glad with me that this guy is out there. OK? (Note: he starts out a bit stupid with the “guac monkey” comment, but it gets way better.) Oh, also, his site is called “” That’s cool. Reminds me (and predates) Dan & AJ’s “”

For the lazy or unconvinced, some highlights:

in parts of Toronto, I’m world-renowned for this recipe

I like to have decent size chunks of onion and tomato, just for texture. But I know there are people out there who are going to puree it like baby food anyway. Don’t. For me, okay?

Give it a little more mashing and stirring, then cover the bowl (did I mention to do this in a bowl? If not, scrape everything off the counter into a bowl)

PatrickInspirations05/01/06 1 comments


Dan • 05/01/06 3:20 AM:

I’ve seen that guy’s site before. I cannot remember why. Pat, have you linked to it before? Maybe AJ came across it when we were working on kindagood. Who knows.

Anyway, the guacamole recipe AJ and I use is slightly different than that. We don’t use garlic, though I might try that next time. Not sure. We usually use 4 avocados, 3 small tomatoes, 1/2 or 3/4 of a medium-sized sweet onion, some handfuls of cilantro, a whole lime’s worth’a juice, salt, and pepper. Mash the avocados with a fork (not too too much), chop the cilantro, onion, and 2 tomatoes in a blender thingie, then mix with the avocados. Then chop the 3rd tomato by hand in chunks and mix. Squeeze the lime (or lemon, but a lime is noticeably better), then season to taste with salt and pepper.

We eat it with chips, sourdough bread, and especially on grassfed-beef hamburgers. Ooh-la-lah!

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