Tag Archives: grapefruit

Two reasons I love my garden right now…

Fresh flowers on my table…

…and fresh grapefruit in my sangria.

The Best Corn Muffins Ever

Bland and gritty are the first adjectives that come to mind when thinking of corn muffins.  I used to only bake them for Cooper because he loves smothering them with honey.  Over time, the honey sucked me in too.  But with the addition of one simple ingredient that is literally growing on trees in my backyard, the honey jar manages to stay shut, and I now love corn muffins.  Citrus is the key ingredient.

I use the generic term citrus because it started with lemon, but of course, ended with grapefruit.  Orange and lime are good options too.  The original recipe is for Lemon Cornmeal Madeleines courtesy of Food & Wine.  But if all you have on hand is a Jiffy mix, just squeeze some lemon juice in it.  Citrus adds extra sweetness and moisture to the muffins.  Still, the addition of grapefruit zest is to date my favorite.  No honey required.  The muffins tasted even sweeter than the lemon zest version without tasting sour like grapefruit.

Grapefruit Corn Muffins

  1. Combine 1 cup cornmeal mix, 1/2 cup sugar, grated zest of one large grapefruit, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of baking soda.
  2. In another bowl, whisk 1 egg, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Mix with dry ingredients just until blended.
  3. Bake in greased muffin tins at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Natural Room Fresheners

I may have finally found the bright side of the grapefruit massacre…the citrus blossoms.  In the three years we’ve lived in this house, the blossoms have never been so thick on our grapefruit tree.  Every time I yank a grapefruit, a shower of petals rains down on me.  This morning, I got a whole branch.  Since the incident, I can’t reach anything–fruit, blossoms or branches–without the long arm of my citrus picker.  Since it didn’t hit me, the branch falling was a real treat.  I got to bring the good stuff inside.  Although the sweetness drifts in the windows here and there with the breeze, bringing in even a few blossoms makes a huge difference.  This small bouquet is scenting our kitchen and dining room.  Next up…soap! 

And Mom, your grapefruit are on their way!

Celebrating Springtime with Some Me-time

Last week was extremely busy.  Between work, a sick dog and a visiting sister-in-law, there was no time for blogging or gardening.  But today was my day.  Lukey is starting to feel better and the absolutely gorgeous weather lasted into a new week.  It looks like winter is past us here in Florida.  I felt giddy wielding my clippers!  The mums, butterfly garden, roses and succulents all got clipped, snipped and plucked.

While cleaning up the Mother-of-Millions garden, formally known as the rock garden, I uncovered one tiny orange Kalanchoe blossfeldiana survivor peeking through the millions.      

After putting the clippers down, I planted sweet basil and climbing nasturtiums, prepped most of our meals for the week, and spruced up a couple of containers.  Oh, the things we could accomplish each week with just one extra day…     

In an effort to combine beauty with duty, I planted these two 95-cent Verbena plants from Walmart with a couple of Jalapeno seeds.  My other pretty and edible combo is Gazania and carrot seeds.  

Here’s my super-easy menu for the week if you’re looking for ideas.  The dishes are easy because every one can be prepared in advance when you actually have the time and energy.  And they taste good because most of the oven cooking is done day-of.  The meals, even if prepared three days in advance, are served steamy and fresh. 

Have a good week, and get ready to garden next weekend!  I’ll be posting an entry on butterfly gardening tomorrow…another thing I had time to work on today.  One thing I couldn’t do today was to say Happy Birthday to my mom.  I tried to call, but she’s busy swooshing down the slopes this week.  So when you read this, Mom, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  I LOVE YOU!  And you can expect a big box of grapefruit Florida love when you get back.

Another Thanks to the Grapefruit Tree

One of my favorite books as a kid was Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.  The boy never appreciated his tree, but I always knew I would appreciate mine, and I do…very much.  Beyond expressing my overall adoration for my grapefruit tree, I’ve blogged about its fruit, juice, spiders, and haircuts

Today I’m loving my grapefruit tree because it’s keeping me young, or at least smelling that way.  “‘It acts as an olfactory Botox,’ said Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, a neurologist, psychiatrist and founder of the Smell & Taste foundation. “Pink grapefruit has a positive effect on mood, and, in our society, positive is associated with youth.”

Instead of drinking it, maybe I’ll start bathing in grapefruit juice.  At the very least, I’ll have to incorporate it into my latest obsession - making soap.  Speaking of, I may owe my friends and family an apology for their Lavender-Chamomile soaps, “Rose reminded them of grandma, and lavender evoked equally gray-haired imagery.”  Oops, nothing but pink grapefruit next year!

The First Harvest

A grapefruit tree

+ Vodka

= Happy Hour

Not all the grapefruit are ripe yet, but there’s enough to cover the first round…TGIF!

Grapefruit Got Me Down

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last post.  I’ve been in a terrible depression over my grapefruit tree.  John asked me if it would be okay to cut it back.  We walked outside; he pointed to one stray branch toward the bottom.  “That’s the only one that will come off the bottom; I swear,” he said.  “The top will be trimmed into a giant puff ball,” he said.  ”You’ll love it,” he said.  You know where this is going, right?  His tree trimmers came in and maimed my tree!  I feel bad even looking at it, like it’s naked and it doesn’t want me to look.  

The giant puff ball has been deflated.  Now John’s scrambling and repeating, “It’ll fill in in no time.”  Well, will it fill in before my orchid takes a nose dive out of it’s pot to escape the now unrelenting glare of direct sunlight?   

With so few branches for shade, it’s officially on suicide watch…and the lights, mirrors and random black wire?  They fared far worse than the orchid.  The lights were snipped, the mirrors were cut away as compost, and what did this black wire do???

Really, we have no idea what that black wire did.  Oh well, we’ll deal with that bill some other time.  Here’s my guy in his heyday all dressed up and ready to throw a grapefruit.

And here is the last surviving decoration - one small mirror circa my Garden Spells craze.

My Family Tree

I haven’t seen my sister since last August.  She’s on a Family Hiatus in Ireland for a year.  We seem to keep in touch through our blogs more than anything else.  It’s my favorite distraction to check in and see what small glimpse of their day I get to share in.  Today my nephew, Dylan, was fascinated from a far by a snail.  Wednesday, she wrote about a tree that reminds her of me and my tree.  Although there are a few palms and cherry trees in our yard, there’s only one she could be talking about - Grandfather Grapefruit.

I love this tree!  Beyond its grapefruit and blossoms, it’s home to mockingbirds, spiders and air plants.  My orchid has thrived under its protective branches, and ball moss lives on its bark.

Grandfather Grapefruit makes me smile and so does my sister.  Of course, I knew this before reading this month’s All You magazine, but they backed up my findings with research:

Having a sister makes people happier and more optimistic, according to a 2009 U.K. report by researchers at the University of Ulster and De Montfort University.  The reason?  Female siblings give support and encourage their family members to communicate their emotions-which decreases stress, the study’s authors say.      

Thanks sis!  I’ll be thinking of you under the shade of the grapefruit tree.

Happy Easter!

If I could give you one thing today, it would be the feeling of my backyard.  It’s 70 degrees without a cloud in sight, and Grandfather Grapefruit is wearing his intoxicating cologne of citrus blossoms.  The sweet smell is wafting from fence to fence filling every available nook and cranny in the yard.  With John here next to me, I’m exactly where I want to be today.  I hope you are too.  Happy Easter!

Size really doesn’t matter…

Not when it comes to grapefruit anyway.  Check out my giant grapefruit:

I pulled three like this off the tree; I was excited to cut one open. 

But the lack of flesh was disappointing.  You get the same amount of fruit from a regular-sized grapefruit.  You only end up with more rind and membrane.  Although the membrane on its own is magnificent.  Sort of a strange comment about compost material, I know, but it was literally so soft I wanted to lay my head on it and take a nap. 

It probably would’ve bounced, but trade it for a Chinese grapefruit and you might get a dribble.  Sweeter than a typical grapefruit, some will grow as big as basketballs!  They’re also known as pummelos.