Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'll Take My Fruit In A Bowl Of Smoking Bishop

Another Holiday Season has come and gone. New Year's Day I had a severe case of the fuzzies and woozies brought about by the previous night's revelry where — as Bob Cratchit would say — "I was making rather merry". However, the mind-altering liquids that I was quaffing had a little more smoke than the smoking bishop enjoyed by Cratchit and Scrooge.

Fruit is well represented in a bowl of smoking bishop — oranges, grapefruit, and fermented grapes.

Winter pretty well marks the end of the fruit eating season for me. Not that I eat much fruit anyway. I've always felt that they — along with vegetables — are the most overrated of your basic food groups. Let's face it; they're either too ripe, not ripe enough, have too many seeds and pits, are too sour, are too sweet, are too bland, or they're just plain yucky (like papaya).

I'd like to eat more fruits and vegetables and cut down on my intake of meat, I really would. I once even made a miserable attempt at becoming a vegan. I subsisted mainly on bread and water. But after a week or so, I felt that I was getting a little fuzzier and woozier every day. My wife (upon realizing that this was not the result of a New Year's Eve-like aftermath) insisted that I return to the world of carnivores.

I am aware that fruits and vegetable are essential to good health, so I do try to incorporate them into my digestive routine. A couple of times a week I'll partake in a glass of vegetable cocktail and maybe a dill pickle to go along with a grilled cheese sandwich. The cocktail takes care of several veggies. Could the dill that's used to flavor the pickle be considered a vegetable? How about the vinegar? I'm sure it's made from some fruit or vegetable (or by-product thereof) that's been fermented.

Apple cider is one way that I get all my monthly fruit requirements. I'll savor a glass now and then while it's in season. But, like apples, good cider becomes harder to find as winter progresses. Don't get me wrong; I'm no great fan of apples either.

I remember a day trip a few years back when my wife and I happened upon an apple orchard that had a roadside store. They had an impressive variety of apples and apple products. My intention was to buy some apple butter and be done with my pomaceous fruit needs for the year. The proprietor of the place had an enthusiasm for apples that would have made Johnny Appleseed proud. He could discern the subtle differences in each variety like a wine connoisseur. However, unlike the verbose wine aficionados, this guy used the same adjectives to describe each variety and just scrambled his descriptive order.

McIntosh:  Sweet, yet crunchy and tart.
Empire:  Tart, yet sweet and crunchy.
Idared:  Crunchy, yet tart and sweet.
Spartan:  Scrunchy, yet art and tweet.

Personally, I would never describe an apple as art, nor would I think it anything worth tweeting about. I think our apple expert was a little put off when we hightailed it out of there with our only purchase — the apple butter.

Another reason I dislike fruit is the fact that some of them have a very, very, very short shelf life. Bananas are the most blatant representative of this fact. I swear that I have on occasion bought five extremely green bananas, and by the next day they were lying there looking like an old brown baseball glove.

In order to really enjoy bananas, they must be eaten at a very precise moment. You must stare at them from the moment they are bought. Sometime overnight you will notice that they have become ready for consumption. You'd better like bananas however, because if you don't eat the whole bunch, the rest become ingredients for banana bread. I'm sick of banana bread.

I do admit that I like cherries and watermelon, but these are only enjoyed in the spring and summer. Until then, I have a container of prunes in the fridge. That's enough fruit to last me for me for the next four or five months.

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