Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Looking Back

When I was a kid, I developed a skin condition called Psoriasis. Though it’s not a horrible disease by any means, for a kid it really, really sucked. It causes patches of extremely dry skin that can’t be fixed simply by applying a normal lotion. Though there are medications for Psoriasis, they are pretty rough on your body and must be taken for the rest of your life—not an appealing thought to me and my parents. Instead of starting me on medications, my parents spent a lot of time and energy researching the condition and finding alternative methods to get rid of it. We tried everything! Lotions, shampoos, bath salts, you name it. Finally, they found a book that described in great detail, the causes of the condition and a diet that could help it. This diet was intense! No processed, fried or hydrogenated foods; nothing from the nightshade family (which includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant); no red meat; certain foods I could have only on and empty stomach; certain foods I could only have with other food in my stomach; no dairy; a huge plethora of foods to be avoided…the list goes on! It was definitely not a fun diet to follow, but within a week of starting the diet, my psoriasis started disappearing! I was on that diet for 8 years, until my body was able to remain relatively psoriasis-free without it. That whole 8 years, my mom was super-mom. She made all of my food from scratch; read all of the ingredients on any foods that she bought; made food for me to take along to friends' houses because they most likely wouldn’t have anything that I could eat…she was amazing. I think that a lot of my love for cooking comes from that stage in my life because I learned a lot about food and how to prepare everything from only the best of ingredients. Though I no longer need to be on the diet, a lot of my eating habits stem from this diet. One recipe that my mom modified for my diet was just simple guacamole. Still to this day, I much prefer guacamole the way that my mom made it when I was little (no tomatoes or peppers).

My Mom’s Guacamole

1 avocado
1/2 a cucumber, peeled and diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
salt to taste

Mash up the avocado and mix in the other ingredients.

This is such a simple guacamole recipe—no bells or whistles—but it is so much better than any other guacamole I’ve ever tasted. The cucumbers add such a great crunch to the dish. Maybe it’s just for nostalgic reasons, but I do really think that this guacamole is fresher and tastier than any guacamole I’ve had with tomatoes, peppers and all the works! Thanks mom.


  1. The first time your mom made this for me - in my kitchen :) - I was like, "Cucumbers? Brilliant." I LOVE cucumbers and I love the crunch it adds to guac. I don't put tomatoes in my guacamole, but I do usually mince some hot peppers. Add a splash of lime juice - deeelish. I just ate cubed avocado on my curry. YUM.

  2. I love the background story here--your mom is clearly an amazing woman, going above and beyond. And clearly, she has raised you to be an amazing woman as well.

  3. So delicious! I remember having that for the first time when we went to Morro this summer.

  4. I love you beyond belief and am sooo very proud of you! Thanks for being the very best daughter anybody could ever hope for and thanks for all the lessons you have taught me along the way. May you always love the art of cooking. :)