THE FOODS OF INDIAN SUMMER
CUKEAMOLE! A GARLICKY CUCUMBER SALAD- Chop peeled cukes into rounds, drop into a dollop of garlic mayo, toss while adding grated or finely chopped onions, minced coriander greens also called cilantro, chopped fresh garden tomatoes and cubed avocado. Fridge for a while, then serve. If you have toasted sesame seeds, (you do that yourself on an iron skillet,) festoon top.
GARLIC MAYO- Whip an egg yolk, have someone else pour oil (olive, corn but not canola) in a very very small trickle. While you whip. This goes on for two minutes in which you can maybe pour ten tablespoons oil, tops. Everyone will get tired at that point. Crush garlic clove in. Add soy sauce or salt to flavor. Add lemon or lime juice to make slightly tart. Keep in sealed jar.
BARRIO GRAPEFRUIT ADE -In my barrio of Reseda, peopled by all the low income ethnics that cannot afford to live 22 miles to the south across the Hollywood Hills, in L.A., nobody fancies their own grapefruit. It rots on the ground all summer. Ergo, I spot all the grapefruit trees in the area, ask their owners if I can pick up what falls on the ground. (They offer me the fruit on the tree. I refuse for I know this about citrus: ALL the fruit hangs there three years until ripe. You must only eat what falls. What's still on the tree is probably the SECOND year fruit. Not edible. First year there are green balls, 2nd year they get their color but they are not sweet. THIRD year the fruit can be eaten and the sign is, the FRUIT FALLS OFF DEAD RIPE.)
If the trees hang over fences in alleys, it's yours and mine without asking. Tree owners are glad for you to clear the evidence of their fallen, rotting fruit because their soul knows that no bounteous harvest is supposed to just lie there ignored. It's anti-LIFE. Also, the denizens of my valley all come from the third world where NO FOOD LIES AROUND IGNORED! So along comes some frizzy haired old lady interested in relieving them of their anguish. DAMN they think. This poor witch must be starving! Do I suppose she has some emaciated litter of starving grand kids who'd eat that CRAP? GREAT! Hehe. I play into that. I let them think what they will. Some of these tree owners will even bag it up for me and leave it where I can easily find the bag. Others will just welcome you picking up all those embarrassing big yellow beach balls on their lawn. I know what this is. Soul guilt at their not wanting to eat this God given, bountiful harvest. If the tree is inside the fence, get the young teen to bag them and leave them within your reach, just inside the gate. I try not to tell the owners what I'm doing with the fruit they wouldn't eat as it's not quite like the fruit at market. It doesn't NEED TO BE! Not if you make grapefruit ade! This is liquid ambrosia! But I don't want the tree owners to ever realize or know it. So I don't share my recipe with them. I give them flower seeds, but I will not give them this recipe!
FIRST I TAKE a pitcher, add five heaping tablespoons of sugar and a fist full of freshly picked mint. Mint is crucial it gives the brew a pineapple flavor. I STIR that mint into the sugar, crushing it. Then I add a few cups of water. Make my water for free on my Britta. I don't pay for water. Pay for WATER? Heck, gal, I'm from the FIFTIES! Now, your citrus juicer has as its plastic bottom a kind of juice holder. I juice the grapefruits until it's almost full. I throw that into the sugar/mint pitcher. Fridge until desired. My dear, the flavor approaches pineapple juice. Mint and sugar combined do something magical to grapefruit! DO THE SAME TO RIPE LEMONS. Ours are so sweet the mix does not require water, just sugar.
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