Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Grapefruit of Wrath

I didn't eat anything horrific yesterday. But because I am just that devoted to my cause, I couldn't let a day go by without doing something to break down my food barriers. So, I drank more cranberry juice after dinner.... not a Big Gulp sized amount like I tried to get away with the other night, but about 2 ounces worth. And while it was still not treat, I have to admit it didn't almost kill me, the way it did when I tried to drink a vast quantity of it.

This morning, I did my weekly shopping, and I would like to introduce you to the 6 Weird Foods for this week. Here are the undesirables that I now possess:

* Radishes
* Turnips
* 1 Grapefruit
* 1 pouch of Chardonnay (yes, you read that right. A pouch of wine.)
* 1 can of Root Beer
* 2 bottles of beer beer (1 Hefeweizen, 1 Hoegaarden)

The weather has been lovely in Los Angeles for the past week or so. It must have put me in the mood for summer, because I had the overwhelming urge to make a beautiful Panzanella Salad for lunch today. Without a doubt, this is my favorite kind of salad.... who doesn't love a salad that contains as much bread as it contains vegetables? :-) This recipe that I use contains fresh basil, an heirloom tomato, kalmata olives and some English cucumber, tossed in a simple dressing of olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a garlic clove. This recipe also instructs you to put chopped raw red onion in it. I have disobeyed that every time I have made this. A wicked raw onion has the potential to ruin my perfect panzanella! However, I'm no longer allowed to exclude any vegan ingredient that a recipe author thought was important enough to include. so, in went the wicked raw onion!

I know that red onions have the reputation of being rather mild, but I still figured they would take me outside of my onion comfort zone. But, I'll be damned. The panzanella was still perfectly delicious, even with the wicked raw onion in it! The onion taste didn't stand out amongst the overall flavor of the dish.... at least, not while I was actually eating it. After I was done eating, nothing was left behind but the onion taste.... which I decided to get out of my mouth.... by eating a grapefruit.

I ate a grapefruit half once, and only once, about 11 years ago. I was on tour with my musician boss, and we spent the night at his mother's house. She is a kindly octogenarian, and she wanted nothing more than to give me something for breakfast. She has a reputation for making the Best Poached Eggs in Iowa. Obviously, I turned one down. And I turned down cereal with milk. And I turned down at least 3 more egg or dairy options, until I felt like the biggest douchbag on the planet. So when she offered me a nice, vegan grapefruit, I excitedly accepted it, just to make her happy. I managed to choke it down, out of respect, and the desire not to come across as a horribly ungrateful guest.

A few days ago, a chef friend gave me a tip which blew my mind. She suggested a could try a Broiled Grapefruit. It had never entered my mind that one could cook a grapefruit! And considering that it is cooked with a topping of brown sugar, cinnamon and Earth Balance Buttery Spread, well, that would have to make it taste good! And it kind of did! When I took my first bite of the broiled grapefruit, my first words were, "That's kind of delicious!"..... but then, the bitter aftertaste kicked in. :-p Still, I made it through the whole grapefruit, and it wasn't nearly as torturous as the glass of cranberry juice! I wasn't a fan of the bitter aftertaste, but the carmelized sugar topping definitely made it more palatable. I plan to broil a few more grapefruits until I get myself more used to the bitterness.... then I'll move up to trying them raw... and then, if I am ever invited to breakfast with my boss' mother again, I'll be ready!


  1. Maybe consider a pink grapefruit instead? If ripe, they're generally a little less tart. I also think honey helps. But, it certainly tells you something about a fruit or veg if you always have to add sugar to enjoy. :)

    1. I wanted to try pink, but Joe's didn't seem to have any. I'll look for some at my next visit to the Farmer's Market. In the meantime, stay tuned for my experiment with a Salty Dog, which shall occur during my next Musso and Feank visit, next week!