One Sunday afternoon, a 13kg (that’s 28.6 lbs, ya’ll!) box of bananas landed on my kitchen counter.
B said “I thought you could do something with these.”
Some context: B is a bicycle mechanic. He is quick to identify and repair problems, and he can be pleasantly chatty with bike-owners, and sometimes just blunt in saying “the best fix is getting a bike that’s not trashed” (which is a lot nicer than the way he actually says it, tbh), but fixing it as best he can if they really want to go with whatever terrible thing is happening with their ride.
I would give an example, but I don’t want to feed you any of my made-up vocabulary for parts and repairs- I’m pretty sure that “frappering the funtzhunny” is not a technical term. B also attended NASCAR Tech, where he got a solid education in MacGyvering rattletraps and getting them back in the race.
**Hang with me here- I’m getting back to the bananas, I promise.**
This combination of gifts leads bike shop managers to select B to work at various charity bicycle rides and races because- let’s face it- if you are teetering up in your clickety-clack clip-in shoes to a mechanic at a charity ride either A) Your bike is a piece of crap or B) Something has gone terribly wrong. In either case, you want someone like B there to cobble you a quick-fix and get your spandexed butt back on the road.
At these rides there is, inevitably, a table stocked with big orange coolers of water and/or Gatorade, energy bars, and bananas. Always with the bananas, so many bananas. There is such an embarrassment of leftovers that volunteers shove them off on one another, in a perverse game of potassium-overdose roulette.
We lost this round.
And so, I got to work making banana-y things. First up, the obvious- peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Which the kids thought was great the first time I packed them in their school lunches, but deferred when I kept offering them for the next week. I get it- I’d be gakked out, too. They don’t hold up well being knocked around in crowded backpacks.
So, I started on the breads: plain banana bread; then upside-down caramel banana bread; pineapple-coconut banana bread; pineapple-coconut-jalepeño banana bread; pineapple-basil banana bread; chocolate chip banana bread… is that all? I can’t remember now. My head is spinning.
I made banana chips, banana guacamole (surprisingly delicious!!), banana bars, banana smoothies, banana muffins, and banana candy.
I couldn’t handle any more. So, I began smashing and slicing and freezing them, but we ran out of room in our tiny freezer, so I slogged on- the banana panic starting to rise.
Then, the bananas started getting suspiciously mottled. My house smells like a Runts candy factory. At this point, I am freaking out…. but, I can’t let them go to waste.
That Southern mama-voice at the back of my head was hollerin’ something about starving children and how I ought to be grateful for the abundance.
I pressed on, dropping little chunks into the mouse cage, frustrated that they couldn’t eat any more than they did, despite their tiny tummy distended with the fruit. Why can’t you digest faster, you ungrateful vermin??? I think I saw one of them give me the finger after I offered yet another piece today. They’re over it, too.
I was thinking about placing them outside as bait for the possums, so that I could capture one and snuggle it until it scratched me to ribbons trying to escape. The possums here are really cute. But I don’t want them to come eat any more of our floundering attempts at a potted garden- they’ve already done enough damage to our.. whatever that plant was.
… and then, today, O came home from a friend’s house with some banana-fritters the grandmother had made. The uncle shrugged an apology, aware that we are “bananaed-out.” No apology needed- THEY WERE FREAKING AMAZING!
So, now I’ve got to get that recipe, because we are almost at the end of this box!