by Sarah Albrecht
I came home with a hunger headache late in the afternoon and only one food would work the cure. A banana. Handy things, bananas: easy to peel, nutritious, filling yet lo-cal, and great for things like headaches or burbly stomachs. They’re scrumptious in bread, pancakes or splits or even in strawberry jello salad. I recall a gourmand’s divine chocolate crepes with banana sauce for book club snack.
I’m not really a fan of plain old bananas, though. Might be the spots, might be the taste…might be my mom’s classic Banana Tale from my childhood that I have told my children as a bedtime story.
Picture a family of seven, five children, two parents, moving from Utah to Iran for the dad to serve as engineering counsel to rural areas in the early 1950’s. They’ve traveled across the U.S. by car, across the Atlantic and Mediterranean by ship, and have disembarked in Turkey for a final drive across Arabia to Iran.
They need food. Dad buys a crate of green bananas.
The time spent driving across Middle Eastern desert can be measured by banana color and texture: firm green, tender yellow…mushy brown. “No complaining. Eat your bananas!” Dad decrees, passing around the brown ones from the bottom of the crate somewhere outside Tehran.
So eat my mom did eat her bananas. At least on that trip. But after that, bananas were never the same.
After her story, they’ve never been quite the same for me either.
How about you?