I forget every year how long this takes -- 90 minutes or more from walk into the kitchen to complete cleanup. I carefully seed and pare down and chop eight tomatoes (although I do not follow the Martha Stewart recipe insistence that you peel the tomatoes as well). I seed and pare down and chop six chili peppers very fine. I chop up about half a cup of cilantro, very very fine. I chop three small onions, and six garlic cloves (very very fine). There are people who can do this a lot faster than I can, with much less mess, I grant you, but basically this is a lot of chopping and an awful lot of bowls and an absurd amount of stuff that gets on the floor and needs to be cleaned up regularly (it only took me one time watching my landlord Stephen cook to cure me forever of not cleaning as you go). Plus the juicing of four limes. And, of course, the scooping and mashing of 14 avocados. I also add one can of chopped tomato and chili, which I find adds something to the fresh tomato (since it's not tomato season).
It takes a long time, and a lot of care, and I love it (as long as I've cleared my evening so that I'm not feeling time pressure). It's for my boys. It's a labor of love. I do not want to use a food processor because of the (admittedly slight) difference in texture that would yield -- but also because with every chop I think about my team and about dancing and about the regular ritual aspect of this activity. While I was making the guacamole I was thinking that if I were unable to dance or I had to leave the team, I'd probably still make the guacamole.
Not that pretty much every single member of the team isn't capable of making good guacamole, with much less fuss and effort. But part of the tradition is that this is what I make.
And Denise brings cheese. And I bring cheese. And Bob provides beer when the meeting is at his house (as it was this year). And Deb brings bagsful of whatever seems needed -- this year she brought still-warm cookies and pita bread and mideast spreads.
And to think: Some folks were foolish enough to eat dinner beforehand.