Friday, January 28, 2011
A Taste of my Childhood
I grew up in Arizona in a home that my parents built. They built the home in a cul-de-sac with two of their friends, and then a third family friend moved in years later. This was a wonderful place to grow up. We were surrounded by good neighbors and friends and had a lot of fun and good times in that cul-de-sac. When my parents built the house they planted many citrus fruit trees. We had lemon, orange, and grapefruit trees so many of my childhood memories are associated with the heavenly scents of these fruits.
A few days ago a man and his wife came to the door selling fruit, I was about to kindly smile and say, "no thank-you" until I tasted his oranges. After tasting that orange I still smiled, but quickly said, "yes please." We ordered a half a bushel of oranges, grapefruits and local apples. I don't know how he gets his fruit, or exactly where it comes from, but this is some of the best fruit I have ever tasted and I regret that I didn't buy more.
So my children were excited about the apples and oranges, but claimed to never have eaten grapefruit before. So I excitedly told them about how some of my earliest childhood memories of my Father are associated with grapefruit. I can remember being in our daisy wallpapered yellow kitchen, and watching my Dad who just returned from a morning jog prepare his grapefruit to eat. First he'd cut the grapefruit in half, and then take a paring knife and distinctly cut around each small section of grapefruit, and then once around the entire perimeter to make the fruit easily removable with a spoon for eating. But before he'd eat it he'd take two packets of Equal, shake down the granules, tear off the tops (two packs at a time) and then pour his sugar substitute down all over his two halfs of fruit. Now he was ready to eat. Then after eating the fruit he'd squeeze the juice into his spoon to enjoy as well, squeezing out every last tasty drop.
As soon as I cut the grapefruit for my kids to try, and released that same citrusy sweet smell, I was instantly transported to our home on Port-Au-Prince; and the many mornings that I had completed the same morning ritual of cutting our freshly plucked grapefruit. I was very anxious to give my own children a taste of my childhood.
The verdict: they didn't like it. Neither one of them. My wimpy Utah children couldn't handle the sweet sourness of a good old grapefruit. Oh well, more for me. Come back fruit man, come back please!