This special recipe is dedicated to Anna.
“Holy guacamole” not only makes us laugh – it jettisons us back
to our fond and flavorful days in Italy. Long live “Tes Mes” Day
and food comas!
~ ♥ ~
Homemade in February 2018 and promptly sent to the freezer, we later released this guacamole from its icy resting place for Oscar Night almost 50 years after the recipe was published.
I can promise you this is the first time I’ve made *then not quickly devoured* a delicious bowl of the green stuff but I was following my Mom “Betty’s” recipe clipped from the San Antonio Express-News as an experiment (see the recipe below). The recipe’s intent was to freeze before eating.
The results? Quite surprising!
Good gravy – freezing guacamole?
I agree – it seems odd at first but if you dial back the timeline to the 1960s/1970s the home economist (our Mothers) thirsted for ways to run an efficient kitchen. So freezing guacamole is a great way to prepare for your party without having to do all the work in the heat of the moment.
Back in the day freezing guacamole was considered “normal stuff,” like prepping your wardrobe or your “to dos” for the great day ahead. Brilliant forethought!
Holier than thou
To Texans guacamole is right up there in the inner circle of sanctity along with queso, big hair, and cowboy boots. These are the things we place high and mighty on our list of things to cherish. To literally “mess with Texas” is to tamper with one of its revered staples so you can image I was nervous about tinkering with the obvious – to divert from the culinary mission to make then eat in “normal” fashion.
To my family guacamole is a treasured treat. While we don’t necessarily enjoy “guac” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like most outside our state might think – guacamole holds its place in our hearts as a “constant craving” food we keep near and dear.
My Mom “Betty” truly loved guacamole. And she loved enjoying it alongside all of the wild and delicious Tex-Mex varieties we could consume while living in the unique pureness of San Antonio (rah, 78209-ers!)
One of our most special restaurants was — and still is — Teka Molino — which has some of the greatest food in the region (sorry, Nation, you do not qualify). Heck, I sometimes drive 97.8 miles from Round Rock to San Antonio just to enjoy Teka’s puffy tacos, bean rolls, and I always get a guacamole cup; a pot of gold served from masa fashioned into a cup which has been delicately deep fried.
I’ve lived north and south in Texas and I can promise you there’s nothing more tastefully authentic!
While I’m probably the only Texan outside “San Antone” proudly sporting a “Bean Cups Rule” T-shirt, I will promptly buy a “Guacamole Cups Rule” T-shirt when Teka Molino creates them. :)
So let’s dive deep into this guacamole and experience one of the greatest culinary gifts — glorious holy guacamole!
❤ Guacamole isn’t just a dip for chips, it’s a great plus-up to queso, enchiladas, tacos, soups, and it brightens a sad and lonely spoon (oh, yes I have!). Guacamole’s best friends include the nacho chip, the Fritos Scoop, and its often found mingling atop a properly dressed grilled hamburger, along with its farm-raised kissin’ cousins Mr. Bacon and Ms. Monterrey Jack Cheese.
❤ Nobody likes tired, ol’ brown guacamole. To extend your guacamole’s zest for life give it a slight squeeze of lime on top prior to serving.
❤ I usually forage for the best ripened avocados from the bottom of my local market’s produce container. If I’m reluctantly forced to choose from pre-ripened avocados I’ll place them in a sunny window for a few days to help ’em along their way.
❤ My brow raised when I saw this recipe calls for parmesan cheese. It isn’t because I don’t love parm, but I’ve never had it alongside guacamole. And, while this recipe calls for lemon, lime is a citrusy suitable sibling. Lemon and lime go together like PB&J, cheese and wine, or a smile birthed from puppy kisses. I prefer my guacamole fork-mashed and chunky but I can respect why a blender was used given the culinary movement of the era.
After digging into the author’s past below I discovered she hailed from South Carolina. Hmm. So while I’m not saying this guacamole isn’t authentically Texas because of lemon and parmesan cheese I’m just noting the special twist Ruby Lou brought to this guac. Guacamole is a wonderfully inclusive dish that pairs well with others!
❤ Can’t get enough avocado? Explore some of the other recipes by clicking “avocado” in the ingredients word cloud list in the righthand menu. Don’t miss my Mom’s most special flavorful twist on potato salad made with avocado, bacon and sour cream instead of the typical mayonnaise. It’s a “Best Of The Best” recipe that has become a family tradition.
To prepare: About 15 minutes.
To thaw: 1 ½ – 3 hours (depends on the depth of your guacamole)
To enjoy: Mere nanoseconds
juice from ½ a lemon
4 | avocados, ripened, peeled, and quartered
1 | tomato, peeled, and quartered
3 | green onions, chive tops removed
2 | hot chilies (in Texas we call these jalapeños)
1 clove | garlic, chopped
to sprinkle | parmesan cheese (optional)
to serve | corn chips (we use “Fritos Scoops” these days #GoBold)
iii. What to do
1. Place your lemon juice in a blender.
2. Peel and quarter the avocados and tomato. Wash and dry the green onions and remove the chive tops. (Whoops — we accidentally included them and it was the more the merrier!) Remove the seeds from the jalapeños (we included them for more texture). Chop the garlic into small pieces. Add the avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeños and garlic to the lemon juice.
3. Cover the blender and run it on high speed until everything is smooth. Turn the guacamole onto a flat serving dish and place it in the freezer long enough to form a frosty crust. You can prepare this several days ahead of time if wrapped for freezing (we used Ziploc freezer bags).
4. To thaw allow 1 ½ – 3 hours depending on the depth of the your guacamole. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with corn chips or your favorite sidekick.
Yields 2 ½ cups and a whole lotta “Yee Haws!”
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Who Was Ruby Lou Potts?
She penned the recipe (above) that caught my Mom’s eye. I found this old newspaper article about her which lends more detail about the era this recipe was likely penned.
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS – July 1, 1969
New Writer For Feature By HELEN MILES Food Editor
Take note of the new byline the “Bexar Cupboard” feature in today’s San Antonio Express.
Since 1952, Nell Read (who later became Nell Read Carraway) has signed these popular weekly articles on food produced by the Home Service Division of City Public Service Board.
When Mrs. Carraway retired at the end of June, Ruby Lou Potts moved into her job as Home Service Supervisor and, with today’s article, becomes the author of “Bexar Cupboard,” an exclusive feature carried Tuesdays in the San Antonio Express.
Mrs. Potts needs no introduction to followers of “Bexar Cupboard.” She has been a home economist with CPSB since 1958 and has frequently been photographed for the column, demonstrating food preparation. Mrs. Potts holds a degree in home economics from Winthrop College in Rock Hill. S.C. She is a former home economics teacher and dietician. She and her husband, William Robert Potts, have two sons. Bob, who lives in Houston, and Charlie, who is serving in the Marine Corps in Vietnam.
Mrs. Carraway has chosen to retire early in order to enjoy her family. When she married Ben Carraway three years ago she acquired four grandchildren, a daughter and a son-in-law. “I have a wonderful family,” she says, adding that she wants to become a full-time homemaker and do for her family the work she has taught so many for so long.
She has been with the City Public Service Board for 41 years and for 37 as Home Service Supervisor, in this capacity she and her staff have helped women of San Antonio with countless problems encountered in running a home. Mrs. Carraway’s work with the annual San Antonio Livestock Show has brought about the organization of the Women’s Division which sponsors competition in cooking, baking and preparation of food and pastries.
Because of her outstanding contribution to the civic life of San Antonio, two years ago the San Antonio Chapter of Theta Sigma Phi named her winner of a Headliner Award. She began writing a weekly feature for the San Antonio Express in 1952 when Hattie Llewellyn was food editor. It was called “In the Spanish Patio.” In 1955, the name was changed to “Bexar Cupboard.” Now, as Mrs. Carraway lays aside her pen, it is with continuing pride that the San Antonio Express publishes “Bexar Cupboard” without interruption. Watch for the column each Tuesday written by Ruby Lou Potts.
Fun fact: Avocados are considered single-seed berries — not vegetables. Who knew? Not me! Read more!
Let’s have a closer look at the greatness of Teka Molino:
Ahhhh… the holiday smells!
There’s no doubt that my Mom “Betty” loved cloves.
She cooked with cloves and even decorated with them. At the holidays Mom would make orange-clove pomander balls and you guessed it – clove gum was a special treat beyond the usual mint flavored gums.
There’s no better time of year to enjoy the aroma of all that is spice and nice than at holidaytime.
This Wonderful Christmas Scent recipe comes to us from my Cousin Julie’s kitchen. Julie has contributed several recipes to this blog and her cooking advice has helped bridge the gaps in my much younger memory since the loss of my Mom back in the 1980s. Losing Cousin Julie in October (mere weeks ago) has left a huge void in my heart that’s only filled with the love and bountiful memories she gifted those who knew her.
This holiday season I dedicate all of it to Julie’s loving memory! And as you’d expect making this Wonderful Christmas Scent recipe could be no finer way to fill my home with a memorable great scent of the holidays.
I hope you enjoy this recipe – it’s so easy to make and enjoy! And you can gift the ingredients to friends and family as an easy way for them to brighten and heighten their holiday season!
3 sticks | cinnamon
¼ cup | whole cloves
3 | bay leaves
½ | orange, halved
½ | lemon, halved
1 quart (4 cups) | water
ii. what to do
It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks!
1. Put everything in a medium-sized pot over low heat.
2. Bring things to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Check the water level periodically to ensure it hasn’t all evaporated. You can tilt a pot lid on top to help release the fragrant mist while helping retain the water.
Enjoy and Happiest Holidays from Betty’s Cook Nook!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
In the tradition of many of my posts here at Betty’s Cook Nook let’s take a stroll into the past and enjoy some vintage images of gum advertising! I focus on clove gum, since it was one of Mom’s favorites and clove is a key ingredient in this Wonderful Christmas Scent recipe.
Click the circles to view the entire ad:
Tea For Two
“Tea is a drink that just tastes better when you’re enjoying it with a friend or two.”
~ ~ ~
I just returned home to Austin from visiting my Cousin Julie in San Antonio and she always has a fresh pitcher of brewed tea on her kitchen counter. I had a glass of Julie’s tea and told her there was something special about it. She said the tea was made how my grandmother “Nanny” liked it, so you know in a flash it became my newest-oldest favorite drink! Shazam!
Julie said Nanny would add a flavorful tea called “Constant Comment” to regular tea as she brewed it. She sent me home with a few bags of the stuff and now I’m brewing my tea the way my Grandmother liked it best. Since I haven’t enjoyed any of my Grandmother’s foods since she was living in the 1990s, this has become a way for me to celebrate my Mom’s Mom’s favorite beverages. Pretty. Darn. Cool.
Cheers to you, Nanny … and Julie!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ While I grew up drinking Lipton instant tea I actually think Luzianne makes a better brew.
♥ For brewing, I use a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker.
1 tea bag | constant comment brand tea
2-3 tea bags | regular tea
per instructions | water and ice
optional | lemon wedge
ii. what to do
1. Brew the tea as you normally would … but include one bag of the magical constant comment tea.
2. Pour brewed tea over ice.
3. If you want to make it extra special, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and a friend or two – share the moments of the day over a great cup of tea.
“Artichoke!” “Artichoke, who?”
“Arti chokes when he eats too fast!”
This was one of my most favorite childhood jokes. While many friends say I have a good sense of humor, my biggest deficit is I can count on one hand the funny jokes I can remember. Go figure!
When I think of Mom, I think of her special white artichoke plates; these made frequent appearances for our great gatherings in the 1970s. I don’t think I’ve had an artichoke since then but was happy to be reunited with their taste as an adult – the artichoke reminds me of the great taste of an avocado – just with a different texture/composition.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ My Grandmother “Nanny” absolutely loved Falfurrias brand butter. If you want to make your taste buds happy, buy it!
♥ I’m a big fan of warm butter. I don’t have any butter warmers but will be looking to get some soon!
1 or more | fresh artichokes
1-2 | cloves (optional)
1 | lemon slice (optional)
1-2 | bay leaves (optional)
¼ cup | falfurias brand butter
1-2 teaspoons | lawry’s brand seasoned salt
ii. what to do
1. Wash the artichoke well and drain. Prepare the artichoke by cutting and discarding about ¾” – 1″ of the artichoke top as well as part of the stem. Some folks like to eat the stem but you can remove all of it if you have no plans on eating it.
2. If you want a “restaurant style” presentation, you can cut and remove the tops of the leaves as shown; this is typically done to remove the thorned tips of the leaves. Rub the top and bottom of the artichoke with lemon to help prevent discoloration.
3. You can boil, microwave or steam your artichoke. Mom always steamed her artichokes so this is how we’ll detail them here in this post. To do so, insert a steaming basket into a pot and fill with water (fill to just underneath the bottom of the basket). You can add a couple of cloves, a slice of lemon and a bay leaf to season the water.
4. Place the artichoke on top of the steaming basket, cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the artichoke for 25-45 minutes – until the leaves are soft and they can be removed.
5. Just before the artichoke is done prepare the sauce by melting the butter and mixing some Lawry’s seasoned salt into it.
6. Remove the artichoke from the pan and place on a serving dish similar to the white one shown – below not the soup bowl I used (sorry, I don’t have the proper plates)! Remove a leaf, dip the bottom/root end into the sauce and place it in your mouth, dip side down, and pull the leaf through your teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.
7. Dip, pull, repeat until all leaves are gone! You can enjoy the artichoke heart by scraping out and discarding the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut it into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.
With roots from Spain, it’s hard to believe that Sangria may have been first tasted here in the U.S. at the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964.
While I didn’t have my first alcoholic beverage until I was 17 years old (and it was a wine cooler popular at the time), this sangria recipe is easy to prepare and omits the brandy commonly found in other recipes.
Either way I think you’ll agree sangria really cools down hot summer days.
foodie tips ~
♥ Best enjoyed fresh.
♥ On the next go of this, I’m trying the brandy. To taste my options. :)
1 tablespoon | sugar
1 bottle | spanish red wine, chilled
to chill | ice cubes
12 ounces | carbonated water
to garnish | spirals of lemon peel
to garnish | orange slices
ii. what to do
1. Put the sugar in a large pitcher.
2. Add wine, ice cubes and carbonated water.
3. Drop in lemon peels and orange wedges; stir.
4. Pour into serving glasses and enjoy!
Yields: 1½ Quarts
Each summer, the Kiker Family of 5 usually found our feet in the warm and sandy beach of the Texas Coast…
…Dad sporting his silver anti-reflective hat, Mom wearing her hand-painted denim shirt and a straw hat wrapped with a brown burlap ribbon. Me? I was reluctantly wearing zinc oxide on my nose and face… and a sunburn on the rest of me.
Here in Port Aransas, you’d find Dad, Tim and Roger fishing in the Gulf. And Mom? You’d find her (and alternating family members and friends) at the South Jetty with nets in hand.
We Were Crabbin’
There on the jetties, I spent many a day darting amongst the giant rocks looking for floating treasure… yet our favorite treasured time was checking the traps to see if we might have caught gold; crabs. Female crabs went back in the water, but males, we would keep. Mom would boil them rosy red later in the day back at our hotel (usually Executive Keys) and transform them into seafood spectacular.
In the meantime, grab a couple of fresh crabs (or canned ones if you’re celebrating the simplicity of the 70s) and give props to the kissin’ cousin of la quiche… Crab Supper Pie!
Even though I don’t love seafood without a disclaimer, there are a few dishes I love (fried shrimp, grilled salmon creamy nutty tuna)… and now creamy, crunchy crab supper pie.
Let’s Go Crabbin’
1 cup | natural Swiss cheese, shredded
9-inch | pastry shell, unbaked
7½ ounce can | crab meat, drained and flaked
2 | green onions, sliced with tops
3 | eggs, beaten
1 cup | light cream*
½ teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon | dry mustard
dash | mace
¼ cup | sliced almonds
ii. what to do
1. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the bottom of the pastry shell.
2. Top with crab meat and sprinkle with green onion.
3. Combine eggs, cream, salt, lemon peel, dry mustard and mace. Pour over crab meat.
4. Top with sliced almonds.
5. Bake in a slow-oven (at 325°F), for about 45 minutes or until set.
6. Remove from oven and let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
Great For Breakfast Or Dinner
♥ Despite the fact I’m not a Sea Foodie at heart, I added more canned crab because it was sold in 6 ounce cans (not 7½ ounce cans). The result? Uber meaty crab pie!
♥ Mace? I had never heard of this as a seasoning but turns out that mace is not something you spray in someone’s eyes… it’s a warm spice that’s a milder cousin to nutmeg. Think pepper + cinnamon. It’s about $9.00/bottle, so get ready for this nutmeg substitute!
Family Fun Fact ~
♥ A “Port A” ritual was for mom to get her chicken gizzard fixin’ and for us… a bean burger on Mustang Isle.
While most folks cringe when hearing me speak of a “bean burger,” relax… it’s a beef burger topped with refried beans, cheddar cheese and fritos… something we enjoyed back home in S.A. at Sills Snack Snack on Austin Highway. Later on at college I found a replica at College Station’s Deluxe Burger bar (now closed).
Put a twinkle in *their eyes* by making a batch of this fall flavor favorite (a “flavorite?”).
2 trays (24 cubes) | cranberry ice cubes, see below
24 | lemon slices
2 ice cube trays (about 1-2 cups) | cranberry juice cocktail
28 ounces | orange flavored carbonated beverage, chilled
28 ounces| carbonated water, chilled
to garnish | fresh mint
ii. what to do
1. To make the special ice cubes, put a lemon slice in each section of an ice-cube tray and fill with cranberry juice cocktail. Freeze overnight.
2. Mix the beverages just before serving and serve over the cranberry ice cubes in a punch bowl or large pitcher.
3. Top with mint sprigs, if desired.
Raise your arms in the air… you’re done!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ 1. Want to put a twinkle in their smile? Toss in some Vodka when nobody’s looking!
♥ 2. Repeat tip #1.
♥ 3. The Sangria recipe below? An extra bonus for you! It’s just between us.