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Guest Post from And Baby Cakes Three – Grandmother’s Broiled Grapefruit

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While The Experimental Gourmand is off in her old stomping grounds of Bologna, Italy trying to learn the secrets behind making really delicious pasta by hand, Nicole of And Baby Cakes Three, a delicious blog about food with beautiful photos and recipes, is guest posting about food and memories. 

Food plays a great role in our lives and also our childhoods. Through food we discover flavor, texture, temperature, aroma, and taste. Through food we are nourished and sustained. Some people have bad memories of overcooked vegetables or being forced to sit at the table staring at a plate of liver and onions, being told there would be no leaving the table until it was all gone. Thankfully, I was not subjected to that kind of torture. I always asked for seconds (and thirds) as I was a particularly hungry, growing girl.

My first food memory is one that I’ve played over many times throughout the years. In the image, I am 5 or 6 years old sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen with my sister in Amityville, NY. I remember the deep red of the faux-brick linoleum floor and the hand-crank wooden coffee grinder. My grandmother placed a bowl in front of me containing a nice round grapefruit half. She gave me a funny spoon with teeth at the edge that felt strange against my tongue.

This was no ordinary grapefruit. My grandmother had lovingly segmented and broiled it with a bit of brown sugar to warm it through and take off that sour edge. It was a little touch that made breakfast cozy — as if breakfast in a grandmother’s kitchen could be any cozier. When my sister and I announced we were done, she took our spoons and helped us scrape out the rest of the pulp. Good to the last spoonful.

My grandmother passed away when I was in third grade, so I’ve clung to the few moments we shared in life. That’s why over childhood birthday parties with pizza and cupcakes it’s the memory of a grapefruit that I keep replaying. Proof that somebody loved me deeply, was happy to have me in their home that morning, and took extra care to show me that.

Broiled grapefruit

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving size: 2 portions

Ingredients:

1 Grapefruit

4 tsp. Brown Sugar

pinch of ground Cinnamon or ground Ginger (optional)

Assembly:

Preheat broiler setting on oven.  Cut grapefruit in half and cut away the sections from the membrane.  Sprinkle each half with 2 tsp. of the brown sugar (and cinnamon and/or ginger, if using).

Place each half underneath the broiler for 5 minutes until the sugar has melted and the top has begun to turn brown.  Check halfway through so as not to burn the grapefruit.  Let cool for a few seconds before eating it.

Buon appetito!

6 Comments

  1. Robert V Gallant
    Robert V Gallant09-15-2011

    Such a poignant memory Nicole and so well rendered. Love that you have that ‘funny spoon with teeth’ and white bowl in your possession to have her with you!

  2. Moomser
    Moomser09-15-2011

    What a beautiful way to remember your grandmother, you even managed to make me crave grapefruit… not an easy feat!

  3. tasteofbeirut
    tasteofbeirut09-16-2011

    Well-written piece about this family tender moment and relationship/ Grandmothers are so important.

  4. amelia from z tasty life
    amelia from z tasty life09-16-2011

    I adore Nicole’s writing. This is a very touching memory: one that could be associated with many grandmothers (I have similar memories of my 2)

  5. The Experimental Gourmand
    The Experimental Gourmand09-18-2011

    Nicole – thanks so much for sharing this memory with my readers! I didn’t grow up with mine, so it is lovely to read such a beautiful story about you and yours.

  6. Denise | Chez Danisse
    Denise | Chez Danisse09-26-2011

    Such a sweet memory, yet so sad to know a special woman like Nicole’s grandmother had to leave this world too soon. From what I’ve read of Nicole’s writing she seems to have inherited her grandmother’s caring traits.