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Comfort Food

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Lynn, my mother, is tortilla chips. Not the wimpy grocery store brand chips that fall apart and crack into pieces when you try to dip them into some type of salsa. No; my mother is the restaurant quality kind of tortilla chips that come in a paper bag at the store. Salty. Versatile. Defined. A jolt in every crunchy indulgence. The type that can withstand the challenge that even the heartiest sauces can provide. When I was a little girl, my mother tried to give me avocado, one of her favorite foods, as a snack. Avocados are rich. Whimsical. Buttery smooth on your tongue. A story buried in every bumpy node of their green outer flesh. But I did not like them one bit. They didn’t have enough essence for my liking. Something was missing, some sort of essential zing. But they were always in my house. There was a constant dwelling of avocados in the fruit bowl on our kitchen counter. Somewhere along the way, I decided to take those avocados that my mother had presented me with and run. I ran to add my own spice of life to it.

As I grew up, my experiences handed me the spices to enhance the avocado’s seemingly bland taste; the foundation that my mother had given me. Book after devoured book, and song lyric after poured over song lyric provided the salt: a spice that, when used perfectly, does not overpower a substance’s natural flavor, but only showcases the original symphony. Each new, incredible, important person that I encountered added their own dash of garlic powder to my bowl of mushy, green, bumpy skinned fruit. They added the itchy zest and the personal zing. Each mistake that I made contributed the chili powder; a spicy reminder to keep persevering. I found a way to express myself and it opened me up. Once I was able to tap into the words that wove my cell walls and release my well written blood in indented paragraphs upon a page, I had found my passion. That unearthed passion nestled itself into every aspect of my life and it became the cumin, a homey, indispensable type of spice. If you leave the cumin out of a recipe, you’ll miss it’s presence upon even the smallest taste. Mama Earth and all her mysteries handed me a sprig of fresh cilantro and a squirt of lemon juice, aspects that would connect my spiced up foundation to the natural world around me.

With all of these ingredients dashed and dabbed into my bowl of avocado, I had spiced it up. I added the flavor I needed to make my mother’s groundwork my own. I had made myself some guacamole, a food that provided the utmost nourishment and comfort. The vast majority of people seem to think that the ultimate companion of tortilla chips is a hearty salsa. But alas, they are very mistaken. Tortilla chips do not hold salsa like they were made for it. But guacamole sticks to tortilla chips like they are Jack and the chips are Rose. The two of them can withstand anything. They complement each other in unimaginable ways. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of biting into the perfect guacamole smothered tortilla chip, then you understand. Guacamole and chips remind me of where my roots lie. Nothing else makes me feel at ease like a night spent sitting at the kitchen table, laughing myself into oblivion with my mother, dipping her tortilla chips into my guacamole.



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