September 5, 2007

Fruit Basket of Fun

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Summer is over. (Jesus, that looks so harsh in print.) But before we say goodbye to Mr. Sun forever, let’s talk about fruit. A delicious, healthy, single serving snack, fresh fruit satisfies like no other. I’m the type of guy who takes the “5 a day challenge” seriously, even if it means drinking two huge containers of V8 splash right before bed. To avoid that blended mush of fruit juice, I eat fruit all the time, and this is how I do it:
• Just before writing this column, I tore into half a grapefruit. Now everyone knows that grapefruits squirt, but my appetite is so voracious (didn’t even have to use the thesaurus) that I require a sea-world-esque “splash zone” around me and my fruit of choice. The best part of grapefruit (besides sprinkling sugar everywhere) is licking every part of your body involved in the scooping for up to 4 hours later. I literally just licked the side of my hand like a cat.
• Grapes, like revenge, are best served cold. Regular fresh grapes are my favorite fruit, but pop those bad boys in the freezer and they are a delight. Frozen green grapes make a sweet replacement to olives in an apple-martini (because olives don’t mix well with Pukerz brand apple flavor.) (Also as a card carrying “guy” one must distance himself from apple martinis and so I will go on the record and say that I only drink moonshine made by lumberjacks.)
• I’ve mentioned before the joy of peeling a tangerine so that the peel remains in one piece, but I’ve never mentioned that in my house we have a limit on the amount of tangerines you are allowed to eat in one sitting (8.)
• One time I watched a friend put a whole plum in his mouth and 45 seconds later remove only the pit. Impressed, but not blown away I claimed I could do the same. I proceeded to fit the entire thing into my mouth, but soon found I was way out of my league. For several moments it felt like I might die choking on a half-chewed wad of summer fruit. For several moments after that I was certain I would die with most of a plum lodged in the wrong pipe. I was so resilient, so determined to finish the task that I vowed to myself, “I will not to spit out this killer plum.” Needless to say, I was victorious.
• Except I swallowed the pit too.
• I can’t bear to throw away fruit that has gone bad. If there is a plate of fresh fruit out, and I pick up a soft apple, or a moldy peach (“I love that band!”) instead of throwing it away, I’ll put it back on the plate. Deep down I know the fruit is never going to get any fresher, but I tend to think “maybe someone else will eat it.” This “catch and release” method of selecting fruit tends to leave my fruit basket looking like a compost heap covered in raisins.
• I’m a firm believer in what I’ve dubbed “The Banana Life Cycle.” (The cycle runs from bright green to poop brown.) I buy bananas when they are FOB from South America and green as can be. I buy bananas that no other shopper would buy for another week. These bananas are great because you can dip them into a jar of peanut butter and they won’t break off, or leave too much evidence behind.
• When Bananas are regular classic yellow, they make excellent milkshakes and smoothies. A few days after in the “getting squishy” period, I’ll dump ‘em in cereal and yogurt. And when they get really brown, I’ll pester my mom and dad to make me banana bread.
• Don’t you hate biting into a peach and having part of the pit break off with the bite? The rest of the peach is like a mine field, and you have to avoid getting shards of spiky pit embedded in your mouth. I mean I want to tell the peach, “Dude, you have no chance of reproducing, I’m going to put your seed in the garbage, please stop trying to kill me.”
• My house has an ever-expanding blackberry bush, that each summer produces an exponentially-increasing amount of berries. The problem is, we love the berries so much, that nobody wants to contain this plant. This beloved plant will one day most likely take over our entire back yard. I’m actually looking forward to the summer that the bush reaches and engulfs the hammock, so that I don’t have to get up to eat. (Side note: blackberry upside-down cake is f-ing delicious.)
• I don’t like apples that much. There. I said it. I like apple pie, and I like granny smith apples only if they are so genetically modified that each apple weighs two or three pounds, is covered in so many pesticides that nearby children get sick, and is so coated in wax that if I put on socks, I could slip and slide all over it. Other than that I just don’t care for them.
That’s all for now snackers. Don’t forget your veggies and I’ll see you in two weeks.