1.22.2012

The Grapefruit-eating Gherkin

I'm hoping to cure this cold by eating a series of grapefruits and drinking their juices. I almost never use the still-shiny grapefruit spoons I bought a couple of years ago, shortly after moving to Prince Street. Grapefruit spoons always remind me of my late grandmother, Grandma Gert, aka Gerk. She was never one to double dip in the sugar bowl with a wet utensil. She scooped out individual servings of cereal and placed them in bowls before sunrise each morning when she was visiting. I don't remember a day when she didn't eat 1/2 of a grapefruit and place the other half in front of someone else. She ran a sharp knife around each fruity segment, even though we were eating with serrated spoons. When only the skin and bitter pith remained, she squeezed the sugary juices from each palm-sized citrus, showing the little ones how to drink from the side of a bowl, filtering seeds with our front teeth, natures strainer. After every meal she went to town with a broom, sweeping up our stray crumbs. Since eating grapefruit grandma's way, I've tried grapefruit raw and unsugared, grilled, served with mint leaves and honey, and in compote over thick icelandic yogurt. I wonder if those newfangled dishes would have appealed to the Gerkhin.

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