It is cold and grey and somewhat rainy today, nothing like the beautiful hot summer weather we enjoyed on the island of Elba. We walked to sandy beaches in our flip flops, smothered ourselves in sunblock and ran squealing into cold water. My daughter spent so much time in it her lips were blue and her teeth were chattering. She struck up conversations in knee-deep water with anybody who would listen and even with those who didn't, while my son suspiciously eyed the cold waves the first day only to fall head over heel in love with the turquoise, crystal clear sea on the following one. The sand and water were such endless sources of entertainment for our children that we were momentarily forgotten. Dare I say that for the first time in five years, my husband and I actually lay on the beach chatting, watching them and almost relaxing? Is this the shape of things to come? Will the word vacation actually regain its original meaning?
|Yes, that is lemon. I was out of lime|
Anyhow it was so nice to just hang out and bask in the sun and be spoiled by the company of my inlaws and their great food and wine that the 18+ hours of bumper to bumper traffic and missed ferry boats to get there and back easily melted away. Thankfully we have never experienced the horror stories of children screaming and crying the whole trip or getting sick in the car, we are extremely lucky that way so the two full days of travelling were totally worth the other two days spent in a summer idyll.
I will post some pictures as soon as I get my act together but in the meantime here is the most classic of summer snacks. Most of you have your special recipe for guacamole or salsa, I am sure, so what I am really aiming to post about are these tortilla chips. I got so excited when I red Andrea's tip on how to make your own at home, greatly reducing your fat and salt intake. And you can't post about tortilla chips and not mention the Mexican triumvirate, or holy trinity if I may, can you?
1 package corn tortillas
Preheat your oven to 400°C and cut the tortillas into eighths (or sixths depending on their diameter). If you have any, spray very lightly with oil (Pam) and spread out on a couple of baking trays. Check them closely when they are in the oven, shaking them a bit and moving the bottom tray up and the top one down after about 5 minutes. After another five minutes they should start turning golden brown. Turn off the oven and leave them inside. Mine got a little dark, so keep an eye on them! Once they have cooled off they will be nice and crispy.
1 or 2 ripe avocados
a few small vine tomatoes
I will start by saying I am not trying to teach you the one and only authentic guacamole recipe. I am sure there are people out there who are very particular about their guacamole and how they like it made. I also did not give amounts because I believe you should play around with quantities and decide how you like it best. I am aware that red onions are more appropriate but we like spring onions because their flavor is not as strong. I also know I should have used lime, like I normally always do, but I was out of it on the day I made this. I am sure there is a specific chile you should use for heat, but with kids in the house these days we add a few drops of Tabasco on our individual helpings so they can enjoy it too. What I am pretty sure of is that if you use a ripe avocado, some kind of onion, the acidity of citrus juice, chopped coriander and tomatoes, you will get sublime guacamole. So mash up your avocado, add in the chopped ingredients, the lime juice and some salt and adjust according to taste.
chiles or tabasco
If you are a salsa nazi, read above. To make this salsa I blended all the ingredients together until they turned into a chunky fresh sauce. Blend longer if you like yours smooth.
Pico de gallo