I don’t know if anyone else ever sat next to their grandmother and watched her calmly butcher a grapefruit, bite by bite, while the thing sat tamely before her and awaited its death. News flash: Your grandmother was an apex predator, her instincts finely tuned by decades of hunting and killing grapefruit. She was probably whispered about in orchards, tales of her fury whispered from tree to tree with the evening breeze. Grapefruit all over the world feared her.
Fast forward to today, when you stand over the sink with a pulverized mass of ruby flesh in one hand, peel everywhere, and citric acid making its home sweet home in your eye. Don’t worry. It’s not too late. You can still become the scourge feared by bitter fruit everywhere. Read on.
Step one: Take a deep breath.
This is crucial. Don’t just barge into that kitchen (or wherever you keep your grapefruit) and grab the nearest orb of juicy goodness. Take a breath and prepare yourself. As of this moment, the grapefruit is winning. You can’t just proclaim that you have won and snatch up your prize. The grapefruit will mock you. No, you must change your mindset: You have the power. You are the predator. You will prevail.
Breathe it in. Feel it in your bones, and in your killing hands. Flex them, these finely tuned instruments of destruction. You got this.
Step two: Pick your grapefruit.
Now it is time to step into your kitchen, with your resolve newly settled upon you. Pick your knife from the block or drawer. Inspect it carefully for cleanliness, preferably where the grapefruit can see you. Then set it down beside the slaughtering block.
Now it is time to loom over the little bastards with a calm countenance. Observe them. Consider them. Move your hand from one to the other, exerting a tiny bit of pressure here and there. Try to notice which one seems most fearful, and when the moment is right, pounce upon that one and carry it back to the block.
Step three: The slaughter
This is the difficult part. As you know, every grapefruit up to this point has conquered you. Grapefruit are used to being the predator. They are vicious and reluctant to give up their superiority. You must keep your wits about you and see this through.
Grasp the grapefruit firmly, and pick up your knife. Make one cut through the center, from navel to bottom, and let the grapefruit fall into two haves. Do not forget that this is when the grapefruit is at its most dangerous, as it now has nothing to lose.
Flip the two halves over, exposing their rounded flanks. Cut them in half again, with the same orientation, to make four wedges. You may need to capture your fruit in your hand and tip the block toward the sink to drain it of the lifeblood of the grapefruit at this point. Do not let it escape.
Now you have two choices: To cut the wedges in their protective casing once more, or to peel them out at this point to expose the tender flesh to your knife (I prefer the latter, as peeling is difficult and to cut them too thin first may leave the remaining flesh too fragile). Either way, when you have the wedges at the size you prefer, remove the peel to leave your slices of delicious pinkness.
Whether you left your wedges wide or not, now is the time to make bite-sized pieces. The grapefruit is dead, or nearly so. It should offer you little trouble. However, the juice is slippery, so great care must be taken. Lay your wedges with the middle facing up, and determine how many cuts you wish to take along their width. Cut through the point of the wedge, down toward the outside of the fruit. Unless your knife is very sharp, simply chopping it will likely result in a squashed mess. Treat it more like you would a serrated knife, sliding back and forth a bit until you are cleanly through. Repeat this until your grapefruit is pieces the size you want, and thoroughly dead.
Congratulations. You may not look as badass as your grandmother, but you have successfully slain a grapefruit after a glorious struggle, and managed to get a little breakfast out of it, too.