Grandma Galasso loved Christmas and Easter, because all her sons and daughters and their families came to our house to see her and to eat. Her birthday, on January 10th, was another special event.
It started with Grandma's annual appearance as a contestant on a radio show called "The Breakfast Club". She would have to choose a category; her favorite topic was food and she always managed to win a prize. The grandchildren sat on the floor of the parlor at home, listening to the radio, cheering Grandma on. Then in the evening, we always took her out to a fancy restaurant.
When she returned home from her whirlwind day, there was a huge torta di whisky and fresh fruit salad. The fruit salad was my grandmother's favorite dessert. Whenever I make it, I use whatever fruits are in season. This dessert is a common item on Italian menus. Some fruit salads are served simply; others have ice cream or whipped cream as an accompaniment.
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled
2 large grapefruit, halved, fruit removed in sections, shells reserved
1 Cortland apple, cored and diced
1 pear, cored and diced
1 banana, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup kirsch
Fresh mint leaves
Combine all the fruit in a serving bowl. Add the lemon juice and toss gently. Add the confectioner's sugar and kirsch and toss gently again. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
Remove any pulp or membrane from the grapefruit shells and place a half shell on each of 4 individual plates. Divide the fruit salad evenly among the shells. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.
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