Wednesday, February 13, 2013

grapefruits & greyhounds

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The first time I rode an airplane, I was barely a month old. We went to Florida to see my Grandma Bette and Granddaddy, and my brothers Chris and Wes. I spent what feels like half my childhood in Florida, and we still travel there frequently, because even though Grandma now lives in Indiana, Chris & Wes are still there. Grandma and Granddaddy had orange and grapefruit trees in their backyards, and I loved the oranges, but I could never get on board with the grapefruits. They were bitter and lingering and I couldn't figure out why anyone would eat them. Back in Indiana, my Grandpa Edsel showed up frequently without announcement to deliver produce to our front door, usually from his own garden. But sometimes, after a trip to Florida, he'd switch around his routine and instead offer some seashells he'd gathered for me on the beach (along with wire on which to string them) and some Florida-fresh grapefruits. I remember once sitting on our back deck with one of the grapefruits he'd brought and being surprised by how sweet it was.

Still, I never really made grapefruits a part of my life until this year. It all started New Year's Eve, when Lynn suggested greyhounds, one of her favorite drinks. We got some yummy, organic grapefruit juice from Bloomingfoods and mixed it with vodka, and the result was delightful. Somehow, the bitter of the grapefruit and the bitter of the vodka made each other tastier. Plus, the color was just so pretty.

Back in NYC, I was on the phone with Lynn while searching for grapefruit juice in Fairway, and Lynn suggested I just get a couple of grapefruits. I did, and I'm  converted. Love them. I've discovered that part of the trick is to peel away the very thin skin between the sections of the fruit. That's where the really bitter flavor is. They're my go-to evening snack.

And next time I'm wanting to mix a cocktail, I'll definitely be going for a greyhound. They'd be perfect poolside, and even when it's not summer, they kind of make me feel like it is.

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