Going Bananas

You know how you’ll be cheerfully going on with life, and suddenly the fates deliver a spate of occurrences related to the same obscure item?  Well, for the last couple of weeks it’s been bananas.  Actual bananas; although things have been a bit bananas in the metaphorical sense, too.

Digression:  Why do we say ‘going bananas’?  What makes bananas crazier than any other fruit?  We don’t ‘go apples’ or ‘go peaches’.  Although now that I think of it, I kinda like ‘going kumquats’.

Back to my point:

I realize bananas aren’t particularly obscure. They’re always in fruit baskets and grocery stores; but they lurk unobtrusively in the background (at least, as unobtrusively as any large yellow phallic object can lurk).  But lately they’ve been popping up in my life repeatedly.

It all started with Hubby. And no, I’m not going to make an off-colour reference to his banana popping up; though the temptation is strong. (Yikes, maybe I’m finally growing up! But probably not.)

Anyway, you may recall that we’ve been experimenting with tomato wine and cider. It’s too soon to tell whether any of it will be palatable, but as a preemptive (or maybe defensive) action Hubby has been researching wine conditioners, i.e. ‘anything that will make vile rotgut tolerable enough to swallow’.

And guess what? A lot of people condition their fruit wines with banana wine.  To me, that sounds like starting with shit and adding new shit in the hope of creating something that doesn’t taste like shit; but what do I know?

That was the first banana-related occurrence.  Next I went out to visit my step-mom. One morning as I reached for the fruit basket, she said, “You do know how to open a banana correctly, don’t you?”

I hesitated, wondering if this was the setup for a joke or the introduction to an etiquette lesson (because everybody knows that ‘ladies’ eat bananas sideways in public). Turned out it was neither.

“I saw it on TV,” she said. “You hold them by the stem, parallel to the floor with the tip curving up, and then snap your wrist down and the banana will open.”

And damn, she was right.  After more than fifty years on this earth, I finally know how to open a banana.

Flushed with my new knowledge, I suggested to Hubby that it would be an efficient way to peel a bunch of bananas if he decides to go ahead with the banana wine.

He raised a skeptical eyebrow. “What if the bananas are really ripe?” he inquired. “Like they are when you make banana bread.  Because that’s how ripe they need to be for wine.”

“Oh,” said I, crestfallen. “No, that would probably end up more like ‘squish-splat’.”

From there the conversation devolved into speculations about banana-bombs and other forms of domestic warfare.  We never did get back to banana wine; but it’s probably for the best.  The smell of fermenting bananas would drive me kumquats.

Have any bananas popped up in your life lately?

Book 15 update:  At last, some quality writing time!  I’m halfway through Chapter 12 and John has just saved the day… for now…

32 thoughts on “Going Bananas

  1. I open bananas the same way monkeys do – most people pull the stalk back, but instead go to the bottom with the brown dot. gently pinch the bottom and it will open. you can then peel it – it results in fewer strings too.

    also, my flatmate has several bananas sitting on the counter and they are starting to go brown. I have a feeling he might ask me to make chocolate banana bread again with them when they go off (I doubt he will actually eat them but I know he meant well) which is fine cause I love choc banana bread, but Money because they take a lot of butter and cocoa oops!


  2. Was chuckling all the way through the post as my maturity level is still at 18 with innuendoes….anyway being the visual thinker I am, when you talked about the correct way to to open a banana, I went right to the mushy ones as my wife is always letting bananas over ripen for cooking…banana bread etc. See, I was able to clean my act up!!


  3. Funny you mention bananas. My Hubby and I each eat one a day and sometimes more, if it’s the only “snack” lying around the camper. We also don’t like to shop frequently. This means that, when we go to the grocery store, we buy A LOT of bananas, as in 2/day for at least a week, equals 14+ bananas, usually three stacks. Yep. Not much room for anything else in our van. Imagine my mother-in-law’s surprise when we stayed there for a bit and returned from the grocery store, with some extra bananas added to the mix for her. She didn’t think it was funny, as we decorated her neatly organized kitchen with three stacks of bananas. (I have many banana stories from when we sailed in the tropics for eight years as well.)

    By the way you’re not making fruit wine, you’re making vegetable wine, so maybe there’s another “conditioner” for that.., Avocados?


  4. I noticed everyone’s commenting on the bananas, but no one seems to have caught that you’re making tomato wine. You’ll have to let me know if you like it. I bought a bottle of it once, down in Naples. There is a cool little winery down there that makes the most unique wines…tomato, orange, chocolate. Matter of fact, I just ran to the wine cellar and looked, we have a bottle yet of their Black Gold, which is a blackberry. It’s called The Naples Winery if anyone is down there. (OK, I don’t REALLY have a wine cellar, it’s more of a furnace room with racks of about 20 wine bottles.) Anyhow…I did try the tomato once. That was enough, it tasted like an alcoholized version of liquid tomato plant leaves. Imagine that kind of pungent peppery smell…yep, you got it. Hopefully yours will be better.
    I’ll keep my focus on perfecting my apple fritter bread recipe. After canning 6 quarts of apples and freezing 22 quart bags with 2 cups each, (plus I still have about a quarter of a peck in my fridge) of Haralson apples, I’m living apple heaven.


    • Oh, yum! Lucky you with all your apples! My little apple twig produced two tiny apples (applets?) this summer, so I have high hopes for some ‘real’ apples next year.

      That tomato wine sounds gross! Ours already tastes better than that — it’s fruity, not peppery, and it doesn’t actually taste like tomatoes. It’ll be interesting to see how it tastes after it’s had a chance to age and lose its yeastiness!


  5. “I was down in Savannah eating cream and bananas when the heat just made me faint. I began to get cross-eyed I thought I was lost I’d begun to see things as they ain’t.”
    I wonder how many songs there are that mention bananas? Now I’m off to do research and it’s all your fault!


    • LOL! I take full responsibility. Can you believe I’d never heard Jug Band Music before? I had to go and look it up on YouTube, and now I feel just fine!

      The only banana-related song I know is this one: (Yes, there were a lot of old 78RPM records kicking around when I was kid.) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Yes, we have no bananas….” As soon as I read your post I started singing this song in my head!! Lmao! I didn’t think anyone else would get the reference if I put it in a reply. Shows what I know. My dad collected every size vinyl and so we heard a lot of ….we’ll call them “different” songs growing up. Good memories. You can all have my share of the bananas though. Blech!


        • I can’t actually remember whether I heard the song originally from an old 78 or whether it was a ‘newer’ Spike Jones record on vinyl — I know we had both when I was growing up. Either way, it’s permanently in my head, a hundred years after it was first recorded. Does that make it a ‘classic’? 😉


  6. I hadn’t heard of that way to open a banana. I’m with you: what if it’s just a tad too ripe? That’s a major – and avoidable – accident!

    Banana bread is heavenly. Fresh bananas are only good for about a two-day window, in my opinion, but of course we have to eat them at other stages, too, or we’d be throwing half of them out. But that’s what peanut butter is for, to drown out the taste of incorrect bananas 🙂


  7. I love bananas and one at night with milk or hot milky drink at night helps me sleep. I didn’t know there was a right way to open it or to eat in public, you learn something new every day.
    Looking forward to the new book and will start rereading again soon.


  8. I too have learned how to open a banana. Shamefully late I have learned how to open a banana (and may practise privately).
    I ONLY like my bananas firm. By the time they get to be ‘cooking bananas’ as far as I am concerned they are compost bananas. And the worm farm loves them too.
    Bananas, nuts… Somedays my mind is the whole fruit salad.


    • Ha! I know the feeling of ‘fruit salad mind’. 🙂

      I’m in total agreement about firm bananas. I like them right up until they start to get tiny brown spots on them and smell like bananas. After that, they’re all Hubby’s. He won’t touch them when they’re firm, but he’ll eat them from the point where I lose interest right up until I’m beginning to question whether I even want to make banana bread with those smelly, squishy things. We’re a great team!


  9. > It all started with Hubby. And no, I’m not going to make an off-colour reference to his banana popping up;

    Umm, wait, didn’t you just do that? 🤣

    No, I’m no fan of bananas myself (either kind), and haven’t eaten one in at least a decade. But banana bread…why do I like it so much?? There is a well-known recipe on the Internet that most of us recall from a set of recipe cards we received in the mail. This publishing company, doing business as Grandma’s Kitchen, used to send out half a dozen cards, in order to entice you to subscribe to receiving these cards regularly. I don’t know if anyone ever subscribed, but one of those cards in the trial pack was for banana bread, and it was fantastic! I misplaced mine, but it did not take long to find it. If you search for “Nana’s Banana Bread Recipe Card” it will come up multiple times. It does require a few things we don’t usually keep around the house, but it’s great for the colder months, especially when it’s fresh out of the oven and the crust is still crispy. When I had to commute back and forth to the college several years ago, I used to cube it up in the morning and snack on it through morning traffic.

    We can’t have it here anymore (my better half is pre-diabetic and we’re on a carb- and sugar-watch at Casa Rudy), but we’re missing it nonetheless. And it would be perfect today since I’m looking out the window and seeing the first snowflakes of the season pelting the cars at this very minute… 😒


    • Ew, snow. I had my share of that when I was out in Manitoba last week. With any luck, that’ll be the last I see this winter; but I’m not holding my breath. The locals tell us that snow is “unusual” here, but we’ve had it every winter since we moved.

      The banana bread recipe sounds delicious! Banana bread is a favourite at our house, too, although my recipe is quite a bit different. It’s a great way to use up half a dozen dead bananas. How sad that it’s off the menu at your place. 😦

      And, gee, you’re right: I did make an off-colour reference. Whew, for a minute there I was afraid I might be growing up. I guess there’s no danger of that!


  10. Lately my wife has been freezing bananas to put in breakfast smoothies … They stay very firm with that method.

    I once worked with a woman who always said she was going nuts until someone suggested she should go bananas instead – then she said she was going crazy.

    and have you ever noticed how easy it is to start writing bananananana but so hard to know when to stop … maybe that’s just me.


    • LOL! I have the same problem when I’m typing the name ‘Barbara’ — it always wants to come out ‘Barararara…’

      Any hey, maybe I should go nuts instead. I hear nuts are supposed to be good for your blood pressure. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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