Sunday, February 24, 2013

Banana Week

It’s banana week at our house. 
A few weeks back, one of the bunches of bananas on the banana trees in back of our house dropped.  Ronit and I had big plans for these bananas – we tend to use whatever we have on hand pretty well.  So when they went missing, we were pretty bummed.  And confused.

After a bit of inquiry, we discovered that one of our guards had helpfully put the bananas in a cardboard box, tied it closed with copper wire, and put it in one of the back storage rooms on the property.

When he heard we were looking for them, he brought the box up to the house, explaining that you should always put bananas in a cardboard box to ripen quicker.  “Right,” we said, nodding our heads.  Inwardly, I likened it to an old Tanzanian-wives-tale, like the one where I'm not supposed to drink cold water on hot days because it makes me cough. I'm sure it had nothing to do with allergies!?

All I could think of when I saw the copper wire was how people steal
copper off irrigation systems in the States to sell it for money! 
If they only knew how many boxes of bananas were sitting wrapped
with copper wire in Tanzanian backyards...
I'm assuming the newspaper is also critical to the ripening process?

My roommate and I laughed, took a few pictures (because that’s what we do), and left the box covered to see what would happen.

A couple of weeks later we started smelling a mysterious banana-like smell from the entryway where we had left the box.  We checked inside, and whala!  The bananas were ready!  Turns out that bananas really do let off a ripening agent-something-or-other-that-does-something-so-they-ripen-and-apparently-you-can-put-other-fruit-in-the-box-to-ripen-too-and-I-should-look-up-why-this-is-but-will-refer-you-to-knowledgeable-chemist-friends-instead-because,-well,-I’m-too-busy-cooking-with-bananas.

Suddenly, all our plans for Sunday-afternoon cooking changed.  Pumpkin bread for morning routines was cancelled, and banana bread subbed in.  We found a Betty Crocker Pound Cake Mix (a treasure in these parts!) in the freezer and came up with a banana-maple syrup topping for it.  Making pancakes?  Add a few – or ten – bananas to the mix!  And I’m pretty sure that banana chocolate chip bars will be on the dessert/snack menu for sometime this week – sans oats, since oats are so expensive here.

yum! :)
We started wondering in the bustle of banana-cooking what would happen once these bananas were gone.  After all, we had managed to use nearly half the box in 30 minutes time!  And then we remembered the trees out back, with another five bunches worth of bananas slowly getting ready to drop… and simply smiled as we thought of all the banana weeks to come.


No comments:

Post a Comment