Yes! We Have No Bananas

Waste not, want not

Fresh bananas, practically perfect

“I need a recipe other than banana bread that uses ripe bananas.”

My daughter tells me, “I throw bananas out.” She gives me that weary look, trying not to judge, “Mom, it’s okay to throw away bananas.”

This I know. Yet if bananas sit on my counter past their eating expiration date, they beg me to use them to make something edible. Or else put them in the freezer with all the other bananas I have saved for later use.

My husband calls my freezer “Pre-trash.”

And I must admit that a lot of the frozen leftovers wind up in the trash.

What would bananas say?

Only bananas might have something to say about the different ways we look at waste.

My mother grew up during The Great Depression. She managed to transmit a fear of deprivation, the actual truth that scarcity exists for a countless many and money does not grow on trees, even if some food does.

Whether bananas were plentiful when my mom was growing up or not, I do remember from my own childhood that bananas were a special treat. My mom would buy 2 or 3 at a time. Never more. Never often.

By the time I raised my own children, I took for granted the supply of bananas. Never questioned where bananas grow or how bananas were harvested, stored and shipped to grocery stores, bananas appeared a staple in the produce section. Seldom without bumps and bruises, these tender fruits often displayed neglect or abuse from the farm to the table.

Today, I buy bananas green, wrapped in a plastic bag that slows ripening. Almost perfect to peel and eat in a day or two, I like my bananas firm and under-ripe rather than mushy. After that stage, I make banana smoothies. After that, the dilemma. Freeze of bake?

What one generation can say to the next …

Frozen bananas

Bananas got me thinking about generational differences. How we evaluate almost everything based on personal experience. How one generation has a hard time convincing the next generation that they know anything.

To have or have not, it takes having to do without something to increase its value.

Values develop based on what we crave. What we miss. What we cannot have.

If bananas were scarce, we would value bananas more.

But I live in a land of plenty where bananas at most cost $ .59 a pound.

Yet if history teaches me anything, stories from the past portend a future where things we take for granted disappear.

I guess my mom wanted to make sure I knew that.

Until a time when bananas are scarce, I will keep eating, cooking with, and freezing bananas.

There is a song: Yes! We Have No Bananas, recording 1923.

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