Young people tend to think that fruit salad is a waste of space on a dessert buffet but old people often appreciate the vitamins and fibre, and maybe also the fact that if they substitute a serve of fruit salad for a slice of gateau, they’re avoiding a whole bunch of things that don’t treat them kindly.
You don’t need a recipe for fruit salad – just cut up some fruit and put it in a bowl – but here are some variations:
- Go for a huge range of fruit. (My friend Carol does a cosmopolitan fruit salad for Christmas every year and her guests play a guessing game trying to name everything that’s in it.)
- Alternatively, cut it down to a small subset: berry bowls are always popular, three kinds of melon can be good or make it just kiwifruit, strawberries and grapes to bring those Christmas colours into play.
- Soak some of the fruit in liqueur overnight (and then keep out of reach of children). Or fold liqueur into whipped cream and serve that with the salad.
- A platter of cut fruit (and this one so popular with small children)
- Fruit kebabs (but avoid fruits that brown quickly)– and add a chocolate fondue to dip the fruit into if you need to bribe people to eat rockmelon.
The department head called me into his office this morning to ask me to volunteer for the social club committee. Apparently the party cubs are proposing crazy extravagances so he wants to put me in as treasurer to rein them in. (This is not in my job description but neither are a good three-quarters of the things I end up doing at work so that’s okay.)
 Uncle Bill used to call his daughter’s caramel meringue tartlets “gut busters” but, in my opinion, the problem was not with the tarts but with the uncle, who loved them so much that he would eat a dozen in a sitting.
 She hasn’t yet succumbed to the temptation of adding cucumber which is, technically, a fruit.
 Auntie Margie used to add marshmallows but I don’t think that’s a good idea.
 This is not the kind of over-subscribed committee that you have to campaign to get into. (My colleague Murray says it’s the kind of committee that you have to fight to get out of.)