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photos by gluttonforlife

1.7.13 Bitter/Sweet

I was glad to see the back of 2012. I know I was not the only one. It was a year in which I saw friends struggle with unemployment, with drug problems, with depression. My darling husband, locked in battle with chronic, acute stomach pain, finally saw a glimmer of hope at the prospect of undergoing an experimental fecal transfer (yes, just what it sounds like), only to find out that the FDA has just banned them until stool—newly defined as a drug—has been properly tested. WTF.

I keep reminding myself that we are not defined by what happens to us but by how we respond to what happens to us. I am focusing on humility, grace, gratitude and joy. I am remembering that slow and steady wins the race. I am confident that this, too, shall pass. Meanwhile, I am taking the bitter with the sweet. Including in my cocktails.
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Tagged — grapefruit
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photos by gluttonforlife

2.15.12 Salad Days

Those were the days. Sometimes I yearn for the suppleness of youth, its insouciance and capacity for indulgence. But it's a fleeting moment of fantasy because I belong irrevocably to this moment. I inhabit this skin with a sense of purpose and without regret. There are times for looking back and times for looking ahead, but there's no time like the present. As Joni Mitchell sings, in her seminal song "Down To You," Everything comes and goes, marked by lovers and styles of clothes. Things that you held high and told yourself were true, lost or changing as the days come down to you.The salad days that matter now are on your plate. Channel your creativity and your quest for health into this ageless combination of the raw and the cooked. Interrupt the dreary weeks of winter with refreshing concoctions crisp with cabbage, celery, apple and bitter greens, and punctuated with sweet bursts of citrus and pomegranate. By all means toss in some protein—a grated hard-cooked egg; some oily tuna or smoked mackerel; a crumbly goat cheese or sharp pecorino. You're looking to create that perfect balance of flavors and textures: crunchy and creamy, sweet and tart, salty and spicy. As in all things, experience enhances your ability and wisdom makes a superb seasoning.
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Tagged — grapefruit
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photos by gluttonforlife

12.2.11 Forbidden Fruit

The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados, a subtropical citrus tree known for its pleasingly sour fruit. It was originally named the "forbidden fruit," though until the 19th century it was called "shaddock." (Huh?)  Its current name alludes to the cluster formations of the fruit on the tree, which look like grapes. My in-laws sent us a baker's dozen from Florida last week, and they are ruby red inside and bursting with juice. My first thought? Sorbet.
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Tagged — grapefruit
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photos by gluttonforlife

3.23.11 Lady Marmalade

OK, I'm going to say it: I'm OVER winter. Jeez. More snow? Is this really what we need? And still no working sink or shower in our bathroom. So where's the motherfucking silver lining? (Wow. In real life I have a mouth like a truck driver, but on the blog I rarely stoop so low.) But wait. Yesterday I made marmalade, and today there are five gorgeous jars of the stuff glowing on the kitchen counter. Canning doesn't have to be such a big deal, you know. It's not imperative that you slave over a hot stove for hours and hours, putting up jar after jar of whatever it is. You can simply look in your fridge and see that you have an enormous bowl of malingering kishu mandarins left over from the 10 pounds you ordered on a lark in January—plus the odd Meyer lemon and pink grapefruit—and decide that you're going to make a discreet quantity of marmalade, just for yourself and the occasional very lucky friend.
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Tagged — grapefruit
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photo by gluttonforlife

1.26.11 C is for Citrus

Winter citrus: it may not be exactly local, but it's American and it's in season now. Just when you couldn't possibly feel more desiccated, chapped, pasty or vitamin-C deprived, there is a burst of juicy refreshment in the form of tart-sweet oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and kumquats. Peel some grapefruit segments and toss them into a salad with thinly sliced radicchio, toasted walnuts and pecorino. Grate some orange rind into your morning oatmeal. Or make grapefruit brulée by dotting a half with brown sugar and chopped fresh mint and sticking it under the broiler for a few minutes. Add some zip to your fizzy water with lemon-rosemary syrup. Or make lemon curd and spread it on store-bought shortbread or a piece of sourdough toast or your finger. Toss sliced kumquats with arugula and toasted almonds. Squeeze fresh orange juice and mix it with good tequila and a little pomegranate molasses. Make some clementine granità. If you're really lucky, you might come across some wild (kaffir) limes, like the ones I brought back from LA (see above). I've been doling them out to make them last longer—their tropical perfume is so fantastic. Squeeze just a quarter of one into a glass of water and it becomes an exotic elixir. I just used the last one in a pineapple sorbet. Snow? What snow?
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Tagged — grapefruit
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photo by george billard

2.23.10 Ice, Ice, Baby

I know I posted about citrus sorbet within the last month, but this is really the time for it. How better to bring an infusion of sunshine into this season of overheated rooms and grey skies? (For those of us on the East coast, I mean.) I have been working so hard, writing so much, that my forearms are sore. Today I ventured out to the screened-in porch to jump rope for half an hour. It was therapeutic but so cold I could barely break a sweat. Can't wait for the local yoga teacher to return from vacation. I need to get back into my practice. With our trip to Turks and Caicos looming on the horizon, I shudder at the thought of pouring my lumpy white carcass into one of my many overpriced Eres bathing suits. But let me dispel that image with thoughts of icy refreshment, a blast of tart grapefruit tingling with ginger and spiked with mint.
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Tagged — grapefruit
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11.18.09 Addictive Salad

I invented this salad a few years ago on a freezing January in Boston when I was desperately trying to think of something vibrant and fresh to serve at a friend's baby shower. Something to offset the usual selection of doughy, starchy finger sandwiches and cookies. I remember feeling rather discouraged by the limited selection of mid-winter produce. Finally I picked up some firm, deeply magenta heads of radicchio, a few shiny ruby grapefruits and, on a whim, a chunk of pecorino pepato and a bag of walnuts. I wasn’t really sure where I was going with all this but it just felt right. (You're probably saying “grapefruit with cheese?!” but I swear, it’s delicious.)
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Tagged — grapefruit
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