When Life Hands You Grapefruit...

When we received word we'd be getting a delivery from a Fruit of the Month club as a holiday gift from a friend, though it was slightly reminiscent of the Jelly of the Month club bonus Clark Griswold received and we couldn't tell whether we were being punked at first, we were excited about having a box of fun food delivered to our doorstep. So far we've recieved pears (which I made crockpot GAP {ginger apple pear} Butter with), pineapples (which we grilled in a delicious teriyaki glaze and enjoyed with chicken), oranges (plain devoured), and six plump, deliciously sweet grapefruits. I have made it my goal to waste as little foodstuff as possible so the grapefruit found itself first devoured in fleshy, juicy bite-size chunks, and then I turned the byproduct into FOUR awesome life-extending creations.

The first one was a simple stovetop simmer of grapefruit peels, cinnamon, and water. I left it on the range for hours, turned to the lowest degree simmer possible, and let it fill my house with the smell of clean comfort.

The second is a byproduct of the byproduct simmer... Is that like a double negative? Anyway, blending the aromatic pulp down to a puree makes it a perfect addition to any number of inexpensive body scrub recipes I utilize. The smell creates a great pick-me-up in an energizing morning shower, while the cinnamon helps to reduce acne-causing bacteria and exfoliate dead skin cells.
 The final two creations come in tandem, and are an incredible blend of house cleaning awesomeness fit for the dirtiest jobs. Using simple nontoxic ingredients and a little bit of leftover citrus, you too can create this easy cleaner that your children can literally drink if they wanted to--which they won't, unless they happen to be weirdos with a constant hankering for pickles doused in citrus air freshener, and who has that?
Rinds of six citrus fruits
Cinnamon oil (if desired)
1 gallon distilled vinegar
Airtight glass storage containers (I use mason jars)
Spray bottle(s)
Cheesecloth (though I found a mesh produce bag worked well)
Total cost: < $3
Simply stuff the rinds into the jars leaving headroom to fill with vinegar. Secure lids and put it somewhere safe to sit for two weeks. Every few days shake each jar vigorously to release the citrus oils. Once the two weeks are up simply strain the vinegar through the cheesecloth or mesh bag, taking care to wring the pulp. Reserve the pulp for the next project. Add cinnamon oil if you like the combination (I think it's wonderful), and bottle the citrus vinegar using a 50/50 ratio with water. You are now ready to clean up your act, your kids' act, your dog's act, or any other "act" you might find stuck to your counters, floors, appliances, toilet or walls. My favorite use so far? Whatever that shit is that's plastered to my dining room table. Whatever it was, it's gone now. You will have plenty, so save it for refills or put a cute bow or homemade label on it and drop it on the porch of a sweet friend to brighten their day! To use, simply give the bottle a little shake to enliven the oils, spray, give it a second to work it's magic, and voila! Wipe off the grime with ease.

As for the vinegar pulp, pulse blend it until it is nothing but small lumpy chunks. Store it in an airtight container, and simply mix a small amount with a dash of baking soda for a good extra-strength cleaning scrub for the extra-tough jobs!    

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