The GATHER blog today featured the picture of a perfect, yellow banana lying in a snow-bank. It reminded me instantly of an ago, an even farther-back-in-time ago, and of a just-now thing which sorta tied the whole thing together.
Chris Dad liked a GOOD RIPE banana. I don’t remember a time in their house that there wasn’t a big bunch of them draped into one of those BIG clear glass bowls---you know, the pressed-glass ones, nearly punchbowl size, that came with the set you got a piece of every week with a 25.00 purchase at Kroger?
Every house in five counties had at least some of that stuff---the pattern so recognizable as what it IS, that it seems to be the emblem of every seventies dining room in the South.
There were goblets to start---getting everybody hooked on a set of something you had to get at least eight of, and the smaller goblets, and then the sherbets and sandwich plates and other footed bowls leading up to the great big ole baby-bath size that cost another five dollars on top of the minimum.
Chris’ Mom had every piece ever offered in her china cabinet, and in the kitchen/den, the big old bookcase divider was always topped with that bowl of bananas. And his Dad liked them RIPE. Ripe on over into the stage that they grew limp---too far gone even for Banana Bread---and smelled like nail-polish remover, drawing clouds of Alabama gnats like the crowds on Game Day at the Tide.
I'd handed Chris a banana the other morning as he went out the door, just in case he needed a quick snack, and then yesterday he brought it back in, all browned and bruised and voluptuously dying from the outside in from its freezing two-days-and-nights in the car.
It was still firm and heavy in its skin, and remembering back to the days of frozen ones, removed from Miss Avis' freezer at the Milk Bar---yes Milk Bar---our small town was too provincial for a Dairy Bar, I guess---I gave it a try.
She'd take out one of those banana-sicles on a stick, dip the whole thing into some sort of chocolate stuff that froze instantly into a hazy crisp coat, and hand it over for a dime. Bliss.
Anyway, yesterday, I peeled the one he'd brought back in, and marveled at the creamy cold absolute BANANA-ness of it, its own perfect moment captured inside that elderly exterior. It was like the banana ice cream from decades of Summers, or a pudding that needs no spoon.
Do try one, but start with a fresh. It has to get really ugly on the outside from the freezing, kinda like the time you spilled the Bottle of Bonne Bell 10-0-6 on your brown suede loafers. Then peel and find your own bliss. Chocolate optional.
Hope you're all well and warm!