Fruit of the Desert

| 1/13/2009 4:22:39 PM

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Winter in Arizona

It's cold, snowy and muddy outside. The fire's been roaring since just before Christmas. Williams, Arizona, got 30 inches of snow in a week. We got a mere half that. It's been melting off too fast to make our snow people. What we have is alot of mud. We are blessed to live on a school bus route, which is regularly maintained. We also have a four wheel drive 3/4 ton pickup to get us out of almost anything we encounter. Several friends are not so lucky. They live on unmaintained roads that turn into mudbaths, and are frequently stuck for several days when we have wet weather. Unless, of course, they can get in or out while the mud is frozen.


During our cold snap over Christmas, we went to visit relatives in Phoenix, land of grapefruit trees. Oranges and lemons as well, but mostly grapefruit trees. Every yard has at least two. Why so many grapefruit trees? They're not like oranges, sweet eating, popular juice. Or lemons, which are great for lemonade hot and cold, lemon meringue pie, lemon curd. I grew up with a grapefruit tree in the back yard and never found much use for them until I moved away from it. I mean, face it, even the sweetest grapefruit have a tremendous amount of acid and a sour/bitter taste to them. One can gladly drink orange juice or lemonade every day, but one can only drink so much grapefruit juice.

So in the spirit of not letting anything go to waste, quite a few years ago I set out to find delectable ways to prepare and preserve grapefruit. One thing I learned from grandma is that grapefruit is full of good stuff that helps you get over whatever ails ya. She would strain the juice and drink it fresh and all the way through fermentation into wine and then vinegar. I tried a sip once, never again. One year I canned the sections in a light syrup, and all year enjoyed the very palateable treat. My big discovery came when I ate some during the midst of a very bad cold and that, along with some home grown turkey stock (not together!) knocked the cold right out. I know, a cold has to run its course, blah, blah, but it really had an amazing effect. I have also let the juice ferment into vinegar, and it makes an excellent cleaner.

Preserving grapefruit

Robyn Dolan
1/16/2009 3:14:54 PM

Cindy, Ya think ya know a person. Wonder what other surprises he's got in store for you, huh? Right up there with hiding money from yourself so you can save it for something you really want (or need). Except you probably won't forget where you put the veggies, LOL!

Cindy Murphy
1/14/2009 12:35:14 PM

Hey, Robyn. Funny you should mention grapefruits; Hubs and I were just discussing them the other day. I never buy them at the grocery, and he apparently loves them, (twenty-three years of marriage and this is news to me). I never buy them because I can't tolerate their mouth-puckering sour taste. I have to laugh also at your sneaking stuff into meatloaf to get picky-eaters to eat their veggies. You wouldn't believe the stuff I've sneaked into meatloaf - I got rid of tons of zucchini that way; green skin peeled off, of course, so they don't realize they're eating zucchini. I've never thought of putting grapefruit in it though. I bet it adds a bit of a "zing". I might even like it that way...although, is sneaking something into meatloaf really sneaking if the cook knows it's in there, and the cook's distaste for the sneaked item the reason it's snuck?

Robyn Dolan
1/14/2009 9:49:44 AM

Amen to that, Lori!

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