A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


A Pomelo & Queso Tipo Roquefort
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rosemary loves grapefruit so she starts buying them about now when they can be had for $0.50. She bought two without telling me and just a few days I bought two but told her. Rosemary loves grapefruit and so do I. So I pondered what to write about for Sunday’s blog after visiting my neighbours Robert and Patricia where we have been watching the Inspector Montalbano series (an Italian series that Patricia ordered as DVDs from their winter condo in Phoenix). I got home at 10:30 making the decision to finally get caught up and write my day’s blog on that day.

I saw four big grapefruits in the kitchen so I picked up one and scliced it in half. In Argentina we call a grapfruit a pomelo but in Mexico they call a it a toronja. After just about finishing one half of the ruby-red grapefruit (to which I had sprinkled some white sugar) I had an odd feeling. First I thought it had to do with my using a special grapefruit spoon. This is a “recent” invention as I never ever bothered to use them. It was Rosemary who bought the spoons.

The odd feeling became a fond memory as soon as picked up the grapefruit half and squeezed in carefully on the spoon to get every little drop of juice.

It was my mother who did this often and particularly in the morning. In Buenos Aires in the early 50s grapefruits were never pink or red. She would have them after having her coffee and toast which was liberally spread with Argentine queso tipo Roquefort. She invariably had a big smile on her face. Her smile was biggest when she squeezed the grapefruit half as I did just a few minutes ago.

In Mexico is was no different except she complained that Mexicans did not know how to make good cheese. She skipped the expensive imported Roquefort and settled on the Mexican strawberry jam which has to be one of the best anywhere. And then she would feast on her grapefruit, without sugar, and smile as I did today when I squeezed it and remembered my mother.

What my mother did not know is that the hollowed out grapefruit halves have some sort of scent that attracts snails and slugs. I start putting them upside down in my hosta beds just about now. When I check under them every few days I will find many slugs which I will cut (as my mother used to) with scissors.

My mother used scissors to kill slugs in our Buenos Aires garden. It would seem we had no flashlight so she used a candle to see. Slugs are quite nocturnal. One day she got her candle much too close to one of our palm trees. The palm immediately caught fire and the fire raced up in seconds. She called the bomberos. By the time they came the fire was out. And would you believe that the palm tree survived just fine?

I am sure my mother must have been worried for a while but as soon as she saw new growth on that palm she might have had an extra slice of toast with queso tipo Roquefort and then her usual grapefruit halves; all with a big smile on her face as she squeezed the halves to get every drop of juice.


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Pornography But No More Oldsmobiles

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