Thursday, January 09, 2020

Fruit Salad and Funerals

This past week I've been with family in the Denver area laying my oldest brother to rest. He's the second sibling to go, but since he is the oldest I'm now closer to the 'top' of the sibling group. It gives one pause. How many more years do I have on this earth? What will I leave behind?

Jim was very involved in a group called SHARE and he has been an organizer and presenter over the years. They have large conferences twice a year and I learned at Jim's wake that one of his legacies is that he created the system that they use for organizing everything about the conferences and that they will likely use that system for many years to come. I had no idea. It's meaningful to know that something he cared about will continue on.

Of course his most wonderful legacy, in my opinion, is his family. His wife is a treasure and his three sons are good and kind men and a credit to their parents. He was very proud of them and of his grandchildren who are grown, three independent, smart and beautiful women. The youngest grandchild still has some growing to do before we can see how he will turn out, but he is a delightful little boy. It was good to spend time with Jim's family.

It was also really good to spend quality time with all my living siblings and with many of their children. We shared stories about the past and learned more about the lives at present of these people who are dear to my heart. Along with the grieving there was laughter and adult beverages...a typical Irish wake.

Jim was my guest blogger, called NoHandle, and you can see his posts here for curry, and here for Banofee Pie, and here for corned beef, and here for chocolate chip cookie comparisons. One of my favorite is here for Pfeffernuesse cookies. Then there is the post for a lazy baker's pizza here. The one that his SHARE compatriots mentioned at the wake is for racing cherries here. Apparently there were numerous experiments to see what fruit had the specific gravity to work. Well NoHandle, you have left a nice food legacy, too.

For the lunch after his burial, I took care of getting everything set up, plus I made a veggie tray and a bowl of fruit. Lots of other foods were served, but many were from Costco or otherwise pre-made. I enjoy making fruit salad. This one had watermelon, apples, mandarins, raspberries, and bananas. The watermelon took the most prep time, followed by the mandarins, but it's a pretty fast collection of fruit and a nice thing to have when many of the other offerings are fatty, salty or processed (or all three in the case of Kettle chips!).

Fruit Salad for Jim

1 small seedless watermelon
3-4 apples
6-8 mandarin oranges
1 pint fresh raspberries
3-4 bananas

Slice the watermelon into rings about two inches thick. Remove the rind and cut the flesh into bite sized chunks. Put into a large bowl.
Cut the apple off the core, leaving the stem and blossom end with the core. Cut into bite sized pieces. Toss in a mixture of citrus juice and water to keep them from browning (I used the juice from a couple pieces of mandarin and some water, mixed). Drain and add to the watermelon.
Peel the mandarin oranges and separate into segments. Add to the watermelon and other fruit.
Rinse and dry the raspberries and add to the watermelon and other fruit.
Peel the bananas and slice. Toss in a mixture of citrus juice and water to keep them from browning (I used the juice from a couple pieces of mandarin and some water, mixed). Drain and add to the watermelon mixture.
Gently toss the fruit together to distribute fairly evenly, then chill until ready to eat.

You can, of course, add other fruits like grapes, blueberries, pineapple, etc.

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