I’m hanging out in the crowded staff room while my colleagues are engaging in our annual “Guac-Off”: a Guacamole making competition complete with salsa and chips, Corona, freshly mixed drinks (looks like pineapple margaritas) and camaraderie.
The competition has been an annual event for the past four years. Six contestants get 25 minutes to make their own version of the beloved avocado dip. The winner gets bragging rights, a trophy, a vaguely South American-looking vest (which someone pointed out is Bolivian and not Mexican at all, and called last year’s winner culturally insensitive, and then the conversation devolved into trash talk, so you can see how seriously people take this contest) and a pair of avocado themed Happy Socks.
The air is filled with garlic, cilantro and loud opinions. It’s quite an inspired theme because guacamole is a very popular dish and everybody has a preference for how it should taste. At the same time guacamole is crazy versatile and much more can be done with it than you might think (or want). Past entries have included pomegranate seeds, bacon, grapefruit, chipotle hot sauce, and chocolate. An entry from three years ago sparked massive controversy for including Roquefort cheese (a sheep’s milk blue cheese) which people either loved or loathed and haven’t been able to stop talking about since.
I am not great in these situations (the person blogging during a social situation isn’t great at socialising?! Nooooo!) I’m getting better at being more connected at these events – or at least, I kinda understand that it might be important to try. I wasn’t even going to stay for the competition, but a new teacher, my classroom neighbour, had entered the contest and was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be there. So I stayed to cheer her on and taste her food.
I do forget what an amusing event the Guac-off is. It is an interesting little facet of our school culture.