I was fortunate enough to land my first job the day I graduated from college. Immediately, I began working for a big, sparkly publishing company as an assistant to the editor. Green in every sense of the word, the first few months were filled with small victories and huge doubts, as I second-guessed my way through my to-do list.
I was desperately trying to fake it to make it.
Across the hall—the shiny, tiled hall, reverberating with the clackety-clack of designer heels—was another assistant in the same rocky boat as I. Neely, a friendly face with a Tennessean drawl and a can-do attitude, became a fast friend and partner-in-crime. Ever opportunists, we would try to grab lunch at the same time, try to simultaneously run errands for our bosses, dial the other’s extension during a crisis, and occasionally take a car service home, stopping to pick up late-night dinner along the way. During my third month there, our relationship status was official: We became roommates.
A recent graduate working as an assistant is code for “I’m barely breaking even". So when Neely proposed that I join her and her other roommate, Dori, as the third Musketeer for a crazy-low price, I jumped at the opportunity. Never mind that my room was a glorified closet, or that I slept on a cot for a year with no closet to house my wardrobe (strewn across the floor). This was bliss.
We three hit it off right away. As is expected in a 600-square foot apartment, we got to know each other quickly—our quirks and favorite TV shows and hobbies were understood almost immediately. My favorite pastime then, a luxury I refused to shirk because my money should be better spent, was getting a good manicure. Or pedicure. Or massage. I didn’t go out for expensive dinners—heck, Tasti D’Lite was my go-to for any meal on the run—and we didn’t party (too often). The nails must be polished. Neely took to lovingly chiding me when I would come home after my most recent spa excursion. “Excuuuse me, the little pampered pipsqueak has arrived!” she would say, laughing. At twenty-one, fresh out of school, with all of the opportunities in the world ready to be seized, I was a pipsqueak. And the name, which shortened to pippa, pippy, pip, never left.
Once in a while, Neely, Dori and I would cook dinner together. I remember one such night I was excited to try out a simple guacamole recipe I'd come across. This might be the easiest thing to make on the fly, a quick dish to throw together to happily feed a small party. Perhaps I was drawn to the recipe for reasons that went unnoticed.
Green as could be, bright with personality and a little too spicy, the guac and I were more alike than I realized.
This is as easy as it sounds.
4 Haas Avocados, seeded and chopped
3 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1) Mix together until ingredients are evenly blended and guacamole takes on a creamy consistency.
2) Stir in lime juice, salt and pepper, to taste.
Note: If you're making this in advance, slice an extra lime and place slices over the guacamole to avoid oxidation. Cover and refrigerate.