When I think of Christmas—I think of Texas pink grapefruit.
In mid-December of every year, like clockwork, a fragrant-smelling package would arrive at our house in Michigan. Being a childhood connoisseur of all things Texas pink, I would gleefully run to the door and take the package into the kitchen, where I placed it on the table and quickly tore in to it. My expectations were high, and I was never disappointed. Inside were the largest grapefruit I’d ever seen—yellow and plump.
My Grandpa Ware, who was a Kentucky boy, would order them every year right from Texas, where he sometimes vacationed in his earlier years. I always looked forward to Christmas time just so I could have some pink grapefruit. We generally did not buy grapefruit during the year, except for the occasional yellow one bought by my mother, who loved grapefruit of any kind. One morning, I asked her if I could try the yellow, and she gave me a section of hers.
So bitter and tasteless, it was. I begged for some sugar to help it go down, and never touched yellow grapefruit again to this day. I resigned myself to Christmas grapefruit time, and saw it as my treat for the holidays. I loved to cut it in two, sprinkle just a little sugar on it, and carefully cut away the sections from the inner skins with a grapefruit knife. Then I’d happily enjoy my Christmas treat.
That was 40 years ago. Even to this day, when I think of my Grandpa Ware as I often do, I think of Texas grapefruit. Although advances have since allowed us to buy pink grapefruit year-round, I can no longer eat it due to medication interference. But I still have my memories of ripe, smelly Texas pink grapefruit at Christmas, thanks to Grandpa Ware.