I've been away on retreat for 3 days, but came home for a couple hours Friday for Wyatt's kindergarten graduation. When we got home from the sweet chaos, we were all starving. Remind me next year that June is Costco Cake Month, and remind me to pack a snack when I leave the house (I know, reader Momosis--bear with me on this). So Phyllis, Yancey and I came home with the kids, and I scrounged up a mango, cucumber, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and red onion. I haven't gone grocery shopping in a week (an eternity around here), so I was happy to find some bits that had affinity with one another. With a squeeze of lime and a bit of salt and sugar, it made a beautiful bowl of salsa. We sat around it, reminiscing about Wyatt's graduation and how fast childhood goes, and how it was okay for me to go back to my retreat and leave my children (thank you, Phyllis).
I love dips--salsa, yes, but especially white, high-fat kinds of dips. Whenever we go on vacation, I bring a tub of that horrible deli spinach dip or parmesan artichoke dip--the kind with soybean oil in it and a list of ingredients as long as my forearm. Another thing I love about dips is the propensity of people to gather around the bowl and linger there. I am (I'm told) a very divulgent person, and anything that encourages or normalizes divulgence is good in my book. You have to stay close to the Calorie Fest if you want your fair share, so you have to be together, and sometimes people divulge juicy bits about themselves that might not emerge otherwise. Now that I love even more than Top Foods spinach dip.
True to my divulging self, I want to share two things with you as I re-enter the world--a dip I've been dreaming about since I made it for my catering gig last week, and this little story.
During my massage at the retreat, the therapist nudged me and said, "Sarah, I want you to see something." I raised my head to see a baby deer suckling from its mother outside our window. They stood there for about 3 minutes before the doe licked the wobbly fawn and they wandered back into the woods. It was the sweetest, most tender moment, just by itself with no meaning-making attached. But you know me. Here comes the meaning-making--this season of my life, nurturing small children, having them and all their crises in tow--is short and precious. It's not always sweet, but I don't want to miss it. I've been fighting this for awhile, and the deer family gave me permission to relax into my life and the people who need me now. There is time enough for travel, work, activism, all the things on my bucket list. My life now is the real thing, and I want to pay attention. And these moments have everything to do with all the things I want to do later.
Okay. Enough philosophizing. This dip is my favorite new recipe in a year. I'm not kidding. Fusion food (combining elements from different cuisines) can sometimes go really wrong so I was a bit suspect of guacamole with sake, soy, and ginger. And I really didn't know if my clients would like it. They agreed to it, but I was nervous they'd take a big old chipful and be disappointed. They weren't, and I wasn't. I came home that night exhausted, but had to stay up and work. I comforted myself with a bowl of this and things didn't seem so bad anymore.
Soy Sake Guacamole
Serves 4 as an appetizer or 1 if you are me. From Sunset magazine, my favorite magazine. Yancey and I fight over it when it comes. I served this with sweet potato tortilla chips and jicama sticks. It would be fine with regular tortilla chips, but the sweet potato combo was really complimentary. And I happened to be using PERFECT buttery avocados, which is always a boon if you can find them (or wait long enough for them to ripen). I also really loved the shiso in here, which I got at Uwajimaya. If you are not lucky enough to have access to an Asian supermarket or don't grow it yourself, just leave it out.
2 ripe medium avocados, pitted
1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice (or more to taste)
11/2 Tb. soy sauce
11/2 Tb. finely grated ginger
1 Tb. sake
1 Tb. finely chopped green onion
2 Tb. minced shiso leaves (optional)
1 Tb. toasted sesame seeds (you can toast yourself or buy them toasted, which I do)
Scoop avocado flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork (leave slightly chunky). Stir in all other ingredients except sesame seeds. Sprinkle with the seeds.