These days I’m dating myself.
Oh, sure, there’s that guy from North Carolina who makes occasional appearances. He’s mighty fine, and I like him a lot, but he sweeps into town, spoils me, and then sweeps out of town. A girl has to be able to take care of herself regardless!
There are many advantages to dating yourself. For example, you don’t have to pretend to be interested in things you secretly loathe. You don’t have to stroke anyone’s ego but your own. You can cook all the things you love and none of the things you don’t—no leaving out onions or tomatoes because he doesn’t like them! And if you make a really fantastic avocado corn salad, and it only makes two servings, you get to eat both of them. That’s right: a whole avocado to yourself in all its slippery, sensual glory. An avocado is like sex in a bumpy green wrapper. The only partner required is the avocado.
There’s a bit of seduction involved with avocadoes. The timing has to be right: not too hard and not too ripe. You have to be ready for the moment when that avocado is perfectly ripe and ready for eating. One must plan ahead to be ready for that moment. Go ahead and buy an avocado before it’s ripe. If you press it, the flesh will be hard and unyielding. Take him home and let him hang out. Check him every day. As he ripens, the flesh will start to yield a little bit. Once your avocado starts to yield to your touch, he’s ready for eating. At this point, if you need a little more time, you can store him in the refrigerator, but I think it’s best if he can be eaten right away. After all, why postpone pleasure?
Avocado Corn Salad
Adapted from “Avocado Corn Salad” in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
The single person faces a very important avocado issue: how to keep it fresh and tasty once cut? This salad provides an excellent solution to this dilemma: douse it in lemon juice and tuck it in the fridge. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this salad keeps well for at least a day. Make it one night for dinner and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s worth sharing, but don’t feel obliged, especially if you are dating yourself.
The smoked cheddar is optional, but I like it a lot because the smoky flavor of the cheese brings out the smoky flavor of the cumin. Note that without the cheese, this recipe is vegan.
1 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. ground cumin
Sprinkle of red crushed chili peppers
1 ripe avocado
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ medium red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp. minced red onion
Salt to taste
Handful of grated smoked cheddar, optional but highly recommended!
1) In a skillet, combine the corn, oil, water, cumin, and red crushed chili peppers. Cook over medium heat uncovered for several minutes until the corn is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
2) While the corn is cooking, slice the avocado in half lengthwise. Twist gently to separate the two halves and remove the pit. Make lengthwise and widthwise cuts about every ½ inch—you are essentially dicing the avocado while it’s still attached to the peel. Gently scrape the avocado pieces into a bowl (a big cereal bowl works well here). Stir the lemon juice into the avocado.
3) Stir the bell pepper and onion into the avocado. Add the corn, stir, and season to taste with salt.
4) Immediately before eating, top with the smoked cheddar if you like.
5) Store any leftovers in the fridge and eat them chilled later, with or without cheese.