Finding ripe avocados isn’t always easy. So when you’re stuck with the hard-as-rock variety—and you don’t have any time to let them soften—try this trick from California avocado grower Carol Steed: Place 2 peeled, pitted avocados in a blender with 1 cup peas (fresh, or frozen and thawed), and then pulse until smooth. The peas will help soften the consistency of the unripe avocados but won’t affect the flavor.
Have a day until the party? Then skip the trick above, and put the avocados in a brown paper bag with a banana, then leave the bag on a sunny windowsill for 18 to 24 hours. (Together, the banana and the avocados release a large amount of ethylene gas, which can hasten ripening.) Then make our delicious and easy guacamole recipe!