Banana RevoltPosted: August 18, 2013
As I’ve mention on numerous occasions, Mom is a woman of simple tastes. A granola bar, a banana, a glass of OJ and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Slim Fast and rice cakes for lunch.
For my part, lunch is easy. I just make sure her little frig is kept stocked with cold diet drinks and the storage area below the frig stand is full of a variety of flavors of rice cake.
Breakfast, however, is a bit more complicated.
The OJ can’t have pulp. The granola bar must be a certain size and have a specific crunch to chewiness consistency. The coffee must be served in a covered mug to help keep the heat in. And the banana must be small to medium-small sized. Big bananas always cause for complaints.
Banana shopping day is Sunday and, from my perspective, the banana dilemma is threefold. First, they have to be in a bunch of six bananas in order to last from Monday through Saturday. Second, they have to have varying shades of green within the bunch to allow for staggered ripening over a one week period and at least one banana in the bunch must achieve the desired yellowness so Mom can have it for breakfast next day. And third, the optimum length should be no more that about 5 inches long. Finding all of these elements in the banana produce bin every Sunday doesn’t always work out.
Sometimes the bananas have been picked clean by hoards of Sun City residents restocking for the week and all that’s left are castoff singles laying around the display area like little yellow and green corpses. If that’s the case, Bill and I have to go to another store, usually outside the senior citizen banana buying zone.
Other times, there are no green bananas to be found. Maybe a storm slowed the banana boat and gave all the fruit time to ripen as they lay around in the hold. Maybe the produce people didn’t get to the boxes of bananas in time and left them stacked in the warehouse so that all the bananas turned bright yellow as they sat in the Arizona heat. It doesn’t matter. If there are no green bananas, Bill and I have to go to another store.
Then there’s the problem with the length. You see, in Mom’s banana world, size really does count. If she thinks the banana is too big, she’ll call me into the living room every morning for a week and complain about the size.
“It’s just too much to eat in one sitting,” she’ll lament. Or, “This has too many calories. That’s why I like small bananas.” Or, “I won’t have room for my breakfast bar if I eat this whole thing!”
Telling her to only eat what she wants doesn’t help. She comes from the depression era. Her mother and father made her and her sisters eat everything on their plate and that habit has carried over throughout her 87 years.
So now, on banana shopping Sunday, if I’m lucky enough to find a bunch of six that display the correct shades of green, but they happen to be more than 5 or 6 inches long, they go in our shopping cart anyway. This is our concession to minimizing our carbon footprint by not driving all over the city hoping to hit three out of three banana prerequisites.
Mom’s concession? Well she doesn’t make any. But at least she has something else to complain about besides the triple-digit temperatures and Hilary Clinton’s latest hairstyle.