My mom, Gil, and I are all gathered in the living of our doublewide trailer, home away from home, in Virginia. I’m standing at the bar separating the kitchen from the dining room (if it can be called that – it’s really just a table and some chairs with a few feet separating it from the couch in the so-called living room), on the kitchen side, slicing banana into three bowls, already nearly overflowing with fruits. It has probably taken me upwards of twenty minutes just to cut the fruit. What can I say? I have a meticulous eye for equal portions. Plus, it’s just plain relaxing. The rhythm of knife and thumb working in harmony pushes any stressful thoughts into the farthest reaches of my mind. And when you finally put that first spoonful into your mouth and the sour of the kiwi mixes with the cool-fresh-picked taste of blueberries and the sugary sweet strawberries… throw in some peaches and banana, maybe some mango, what the hell, throw in any and every fruit you can dream up. It’s heaven; in it’s simplest sense. It tastes of sun and fresh starts. It tastes of summer breezes and auspiciousness.
Sorry, was I saying something? Oh right! I was just putting the finishing touches on our fruit salads for consumption on a particularly summery March morning. ‘How many fruits are there in it?’ asked Gil. ‘Four.‘ ‘Then it’s not a fruit salad. Gotta have five fruits to be a fruit salad.’ I protest that we can only use what we have and we only have blueberries, bananas, strawberries, and clementines. So, sorry if that’s not five fruits. I know it is a fruitless (sorry!) road to go down, as I’ve been hearing the same story since I was seven years old. Suddenly I have a thought – well, do you not want yours then, Gil? I’ll gladly take one for the team…
As you might have guessed, he sucked it up and ate his [gasp!] four-fruit-salad. I mean, who’s going to turn down a fruit salad? Unless it’s one of those desperate fruit cups sadly resigned to a life in the refrigerator section of the local market or the airport café. I will admit to having succumbed to these specimen in moments of weakness – aka waiting for a flight and not wanting to partake in any of the baked goods that would inevitably mean death by wheat for me. And you know what? They’re not that bad. Still, I’ll take the fresh, real version any day.
Guess what, Gil! Today, not only did I have five fruits for my fruit salad, I had seven. That’s right, seven!! Thank goodness for the coming of summer! Oh, and, perhaps, globalisation for bringing me kiwis from Italy and nectarines from South Africa…
What follows is a recipe for one BIG bowl of fruit – aka a fruit salad. You could share, but trust me you won’t want to. If there are multiple yous that want to partake, just make twice as much and employ that meticulous eye to make sure none of your portion accidentally ends up in someone else’s bowl…
7-Fruit Fruit Salad
A handful of blueberries
4 or 5 small strawberries
1/3 of a mango
1 small pear
¼ cup nonfat Greek yoghurt
Your favourite granola
Slice all fruit into a bowl (It’s okay to day dream a bit, but don’t cut yourself!). Top with yoghurt (I usually use Greek or sheep) and some of your favourite granola. Mine is Kazzie’s, but it’s not available outside of the Shenandoah Valley yet, so some great alternatives are Lizi’s Original and (if you’re in the mood for a particularly sweet treat) Belgian Chocolate granola.