Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


april 7, 2001 - Issue 33






In the year 1519 , Hernando Cortez, Spanish soldier of fortune, set foot in Mexico City, first white man to do so. Among the many significant events of that historic day was the discovery of the most versatile fruit of the New World, the avocado. In 1526, Oviedo, historian to the conquistadores, wrote the following description of the avocado and gave the first directions for eating it...

'In the center of the fruit is a seed like a peeled chestnut. And between this and the rind is the part which is eaten, which is abundant, and is a paste similar to butter and of very good taste.' Oviedo speaks of the avocado of northern South America, but the fruit seems to have originated in the lands to the Central America and Mexico. Here the Aztecs named the fruit ahuacatl, and the avocado tree that flowers today in the United States was yesterday growing wild in the ruins of the Aztec and Mayan temples. From Mexico the avocado spread into Peru, where in the pre-Incan city of Chanchan archaeologists have unearthed a double water jar in the shape of an avocado, dated around 900 A. D.

Avocado Pizza Pie


1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
2 lb.small fresh whole tomatoes
6 tsp.tomato paste
12 oz.low-fat mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. parmesan, grated
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 10 oz. packages of frozen pizza dough to make 6 pizzas

Follow pizza dough directions.
Top pizzas using all ingredients, except avocado.
Bake in preheated 325 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
Let child add avocados, tomatoes and mushrooms to make a clown face.
Or, just add avocados to your favorite (already cooked) frozen pizza.

Spicy Nachos Supreme


1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 green onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 bag (10 oz) tortilla chips
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 avocado
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
Jalapeno pepper slices, optional

Combine tomato sauce, chiles, green pepper, green onion and hot pepper sauce in bowl; let stand 15 minutes.
Place tortilla chips in shallow 8 x 10 inch baking dish.
Pour sauce over chips; sprinkle grated cheese over all.
Broil nachos 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
Just before serving, seed, peel and mash avocado. Stir in lemon juice.
Spoon avocado mixture and sour cream on hot nachos and top with jalapeno slices.
Serve immediately.

Classic Guacamole

4 avocados, seeded and peeled
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce
Tortilla chips

Using a fork, coarsely mash avocado with lemon juice and garlic.
Stir in remaining ingredients to blend.
Garnish as desired and serve with tortilla chips

Avocado Mandarin Salad


1 9-10oz. pkg. mixed salad greens
1 15oz. can mandarin oranges, well-drained
1 6oz. pkg. cooked and sliced chicken breast
2 thin slices red onion, cut in half and sliced into crescents
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup prepared bottled light Italian or balsamic vinaigrette dressing
2 ripe avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into chunks

In large salad bowl, combine salad greens, mandarin oranges, chicken, onions and pecans.
In small bowl, combine dressing and 1/2 cup avocado cubes.
Mash and blend into dressing.
Add remaining avocado cubes and dressing to salad.
Toss and serve.

How To Grow An Avocado House Plant

  • Wash an avocado seed. Suspend it (broad end down) over a water-filled glass using three toothpicks. The water should cover about an inch of the seed.
  • Place the glass in a warm location, out of direct sunlight. A mature seed will crack as roots and stem sprout in about two to six weeks.
  • When a stem grows to six or seven inches, cut it back to about three inches.
  • When the roots are thick and the stem has leafed out again, plant it in a rich humus soil, leaving the seed half exposed. Use a terra cotta pot with a 10-1/2" diameter.
  • Water your avocado house plant generously, but let it dry out somewhat between waterings.

Proper Care And Feeding Of Your Avocado House Plant

  • Be sure your avocado house plant is planted in rich humus soil with half the seed exposed.
  • Give it frequent, light waterings with occasional deep soakings. Generally, soil should be moist but not saturated.
  • The more sunlight your house plant gets, the better.
  • If the leaves turn yellow, this is an indication of over watering. Let your house plant dry out for a day or two.
  • If the leaves become brown and fry at the tips, too much salt has accumulated in the soil and leaching is required. Let water run freely into the pot and drain out for several minutes.
  • When the stem grows to 12 inches high, cut it back to 6 inches. This will encourage growth of new shoots.
  • Don't expect your house plant to bear fruit! Although this does occur occasionally, commercially grown avocados require grafting.



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