Friends & Family Friday: Dinny’s Vintage Broiled Grapefruit
- Cut pink grapefruit in half
- Use a sharp knife to cut along membrane to loosen edges
- Sprinkle each half with a teaspoon of sugar
- Set broiler rack 3 inches below and turn on high
- Broil 5 minutes with door ajar until tops are nicely golden brown
- Can prep a whole tray of these in advance and pop under broiler at last minute for a cute vintage appetizer or light dessert.
You may remember my dear friend Dinny Knuepfer who passed away several years ago. What you may not know is that Dinny continues to influence me and others long after she has gone from the earth. She did this with a grapefruit? That and more!
Years ago Dinny and I met at our church in a small women’s group meeting, and all I can say is that it was love at first sight. We just stood up after the meeting, went to each other and gazed eye-to-eye and lit up. We arranged a time to get together at home, and we continued to schedule regular dates for the rest of her life.
On one of our dates, Dinny asked me over to her house for lunch. She was still living in the house where she raised five children with her husband Jack, who had since passed away. I do remember the salad she made us, but only vaguely. What really sticks out was this gorgeous broiled grapefruit that she made, because it was just like her: simple, elegant, unfussy and healthy.
Years later, when Dinny was in her final days at her nursing home, she held on to this lovely wooden cross that was hand-carved. She didn’t hold on to it, per se, but rather popped it in the top of her shirt with the tip standing up out from her collar.
After she passed away, her loving family who knew how much I admired her cross, sent me an identical one as a gift. I pray with it every single day. When I am done with my scriptural readings, and one-to-one prayer with God, I end with an “Our Father” and I really try hard not to rush through it. Every morning I kiss the blessed cross and say out loud, “Thank you, Dinny for showing me your faith.”
I recently took this cross to help a friend through chemotherapy. When I told them the story behind the cross, the friend and family lit up. They knew Dinny very well. My friend’s grandparents were good friends with Dinny and her husband. I knew right then that my friend was going to have to keep this cross throughout her treatment and journey to full recovery.
Little signs of Dinny’s light persisted at the hospital. When my friend and I went to the cafeteria, we chatted in the elevator when I suddenly recalled out loud this grapefruit that Dinny broiled for me at her house a decade ago. A hospital administrator behind us in the elevator immediately chimed in and said she was going to try that because it sounded to easy and light. It was just like Dinny to influence someone in 30 seconds or less that was required to engage someone in the time it takes to whiz a few floors up or down.
The next day when I arrived at the hospital, my friend said something odd happened the night before at her house. Her framed photo of these friends of Dinny’s suddenly fell off the dresser where it had sturdily been perched for many years.
My friend had been in the next room and was the only one in the house when she heard this loud bang of that picture falling to the ground. She picked up this photo of Dinny’s dear friends and smiled before placing it back on the dresser with love. We all knew in our bones that this was their way of expressing excitement that we had all made the connection.
We were all destined for a deep friendship, and the party in that hospital room was heretofore going to include several other good friends who would shine their light on us as we chatted, told stories, and walked our beloved through her treatment.
Call it a fluke if you will, but I call it good “chemo-stry”.
Thank you to Dinny for sharing her time with me years ago to serve me this glorious and simple dish which seems so vintage now that we all talk about power foods and bars and juicers.
A simply strong, delightfully sweet, and fresh winter treat is yours. I hope you are tickled pink.
Thank you Dinny, for showing me your faith… then and now.