Sunday, August 22, 2004

The Avocado

Avocados are cheap. Very cheap. You can buy three here for P40. When I was a kid, I remember my parents eating avocados often. They would buy them, split them in half, pop out the seed and then pour salad dressing in the little bowl the seed left. Then they’d proceed to eat the whole thing just to the skin. My mom and I would try to grow avocado plants periodically and sometimes succeeded in getting at least some growth.

I’m sure at some point in time I tried one. I probably didn’t like it and that’s why my only memory is of my parents eating them. I know I don’t like guacamole, but then I’m not a huge fan of foods that have loads of little random bits in them. But a few weeks ago I bought some avocados, just because. I prepared it just as my parents did, poured some Italian dressing in the middle and took a scoop.
You can tell a ripe avocado by its texture. When you pick one, it doesn’t matter how green it is. If it’s all brown though it’s past its prime, so look for fruits that are solid, just starting to brown and the best indicator, a little squishable. When you press on it, the skin should give a bit. If it’s hard as a rock, you can still buy them and they’ll ripen on your kitchen counter after a couple days. But once they start to soften you have a day or two to eat them.
Anyway, I took a scoop and found much to my surprise that I liked it. Avocados are almost tasteless, but not quite. And the texture might turn people off as it’s just this side of creamy. But I ate the whole thing and since then I’ve bought more. The kids aren’t keen on them. They’ll have a taste but none has taken to them. That’s OK, I figure I did the same thing as a kid and if they try it again when they’re older, they just might like it.
About food and kids, one thing I do with mine is have them take a taste of everything. If they don’t care for it that’s fine, but I don’t accept “That’s yucky” and I don’t let them spit it out. Even Jonathon has reached the point of choking a bite down and saying “I don’t like it, but it’s yummy for you”. Not everyone has the same tastes and that’s OK. But there’s no need to be rude about it. I think it’s done wonders for Rebecca. She’s so wary of trying new stuff, but she’s had enough good experiences that she’s much more willing now than a year ago to take the plunge rather than going on looks alone. Afterall, we’re in Asia and it’s not often that new foods here look wonderfully appetizing to our American eyes.
One thing I haven’t attempted yet with the avocado is a mixture our housekeeper suggested. Mash up the avocado meat, crush some SkyFlakes crackers and mix it in. Then pour in milk. Mix it all together and freeze. She swears it’s “just like ice cream”. Color me doubtful.
Some of the concoctions here are just plain wrong.

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