I am not terribly fussy about food, in general. I like good quality food, but that is different than being all delicate about it. Seeds in the orange juice? Not a problem. Peel on the fruit, preferred. Peel on the potatoes preferred, for that matter. A bit of shell in the egg? Not going to worry about it (unless you’ve come over for brunch, in which case I will make one or two attempts to remove it). Antithetically to this kitchen attitude and behavior, I spent much of my youth working in the kitchen of a restaurant – a Tea Room, it was called, even – which served quite fussy food to grey-haired ladies. We’re talking cucumber sandwiches, petite aspics, lemon tartelettes. We’re talking we had to remove the crispy rib of a lettuce leaf before turning it to salad, because the crispy bit might be offensive. It’s a good life practice to occasionally have to behave in exactly the opposite way you’re inclined; keeps you flexible, and teaches you to be cognizant of a world unlike yours, in which people prefer their eggs without a little crunch of shell.
In this salad, I applied some of my old Tea Room training to prepare the grapefruit in the manner we used to for Sunday fruit salad. This technique removes most of the peel, pith, and the membrane that divides each section. It leaves only the most delicate part of the fruit. Can I tell you something? After preparing the perfect little sections, I ate the remains of the membranous de-sectioned fruit.