In my family we serve a big bowl of ambrosia at our Christmas meal, which begins early in the morning with fresh pastries. We take turns preparing the food in the kitchen and opening and eating raw oysters outdoors. Ambrosia is often found on the dessert table in the South, heavily laced with liquor; but it is also a perfect foil for our rich holiday brunch of fried quail, grits, and biscuits. No one in my family is a lover of cold weather; we rejoice, however, in the delicious oysters and citrus that winter brings.


  • 2 large grapefruits
  • 6 large seedless oranges
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 small coconut


Over a large serving bowl, section the grapefruits and oranges as described, squeezing the extra juice into another container. Pare and core the pineapple and cut into small chunks, adding them to the citrus. Crack the coconut and grate the interior white flesh. Add the grated coconut to the fruits and toss the ambrosia to mix well. Drink the excess citrus juice while it is fresh.