Saturday, September 24, 2011

Imaginary Grapefruit Mold

Millie Motts
A puzzling question for today: just how many ways are there to serve canned grapefruit? You can serve it in many different containers: right out of the can (for those casual meals), in a dish, in a jelly glass, on a plate (mind the juice though). But if we really mean how many different recipes we can base on a can of grapefruit, the answer is less clear.

But these happy citrus-bedazzled folks on the right, whose hair all share a similar waviness (must be the grapefruit juice they rinse with), must have their grapefruit in every way.

So I held my Sherlock Holmesian monocle to one beady eye and went hunting for answers on the Interwebs. And that is not easy to do while holding a monocle to your eye, I can tell you. My first thought was to look to Yoko Ono's little book of instructional poems which I've read and I actually really like them. Only I don't have a copy floating around here because I took it out of the library back in my Boston days (anything to avoid working on that thesis, I tell you!).

So here's what I learned. You can put canned grapefruit in a fruit salad. Only I knew this already because we used to have fruit cup with canned grapefruit for holiday meals when I was a kid. You could not start Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without this fruit cup.

The only other thing I can find to put canned grapefruit in is - gelatin salad! Well, here at the Kitchen Retro Not-Testing-That, Ersatz Test Kitchen we all love a good (or not so good) retro gelatin salad. So here is Miami Pecan Salad from my beloved Favorite Recipes of Jay-Cee Wives: Salads (circa 1968):

Miami Pecan Salad

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold canned grapefruit juice
1 1/4 cup hot canned grapefruit juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 Tb [sic] salt
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups diced grapefruit sections

Soften gelatin in grapefruit juice. Add hot juice that is combined with sugar and salt; stir until dissolved. Chill mixture until consistency of unbeaten egg whites; add celery, pecans, grapefruit sections and stir. Pour into molds for individual serving and chill. Serve on salad greens with French dressing.

You see, this is too complicated for me. All the hot juice and cold juice and chopping pecans and things. And I suspect that it is too complex for the wavy-headed folks in the ad. So let's cut to the chase and rewrite this as an instructional poem: 

Salad Mold to Be Constructed in Your Head

Open a can of grapefruit sections. Imagine it surrounded by gelatin clouds. The stars are chopped pecans. The celery is terrible. Leave it out. Think about individual molds shaped like the planets. Eat Saturn with an imaginary spoon.

Much, much better.


Marcheline said...

Cute ads aside, I am never eating caned grapefruit. I only eat red grapefruit fresh, drizzled with honey from my mom's beehives.

Yellow grapefruit? Never. Yellow grapefruit makes my tongue do what a picture of Yoko Ono makes my eyes do. (Scream and run.)

Lidian said...

Pink grapefruit is the best - red is nice, too! And that honey sounds delicious (I am going to have to try that, only with organic stuff in a squeezy bottle)

Kath Lockett said...

I can't even imagine eating canned grapefruit (then again I don't like the fresh version either). However, here it's known as Pamplemousse which in my opinion would have to be the cutest name for fruit ever.

And yes, I'd rather use your second recipe!

Unknown said...

Here's the sad thing - I've MADE molds like that before for retro parties! I should dig out some pics...they are harder than you think and taste about like you'd imagine. The worst thing I ever foisted off onto my guests was an aspic mold. My crowning achievement, however, will always be the 12 layer mold. That gave me the crown of Queen of the Jello mold and I retired : ) I am considering coming out of retirement long enough to use my new jello brain mold for Halloween.

Gregorian said...

I like that there's an asterisk on the "every".

Hopefully that leads to a small bit of legal text that says "canned grapefruit is only to be taken orally".