Several years ago, I was dating a guy who visited my Chicago apartment. We were hanging out in the kitchen and he opened the freezer and jumped back: “What is that?” he said. The man was 6’5” — and seemed scared. It was a pile of brown, frozen bananas. A whole slew of them. He was visibly repulsed. Shortly thereafter, we decided to end our short-lived romance.
See, I save bananas when I don’t eat them. If you put them in the freezer, you can eventually make banana bread or frozen fruit drinks out of them. And it feels so wasteful to buy bananas and then throw them out. I feel downright guilty about it.
But as anyone who knows me knows — and A. learned this on our third date — I am very picky about my bananas. They have about a two-day window where I can eat them. Brown spots make me gag.
So what happens, then, is that the entire freezer fills up with bananas. We’re talking two to three years worth of bananas. Cause I don’t even really love banana bread. My roommate, who is very flexible, was embarrassed when, at a party she hosted, a few of her friends were scrounging for alcohol late night — and they noticed the 50 or so bananas. They teased her incessantly. Also, her brother and sister-in-law saw them and said: “It’s more socially acceptable to have a severed head in the freezer.”
So before we had another party, N. practically begged me to throw them out. And I did — I filled up a garbage bag full of hard, brown, frozen bananas and hauled it out to the trash can. And I didn’t even feel bad about it.
But since then, a banana or two (or four) has creeped into that freezer. I’m ready to claim innocence if accused: “How did those get in there?”
Then, last week, I made an important discovery. A ground-breaking discovery. I discovered that if I trick myself — like a mom tricks a child — by mixing the fruit into other concoctions I eat regularly, I will eat it. Every day for the last week, I’ve had muesli with my Wallaby organic vanilla yogurt (I’m picky about that, too) and a sliced-up banana and some blueberries for good measure.
I gotta say, I’m really proud of myself. I’m trying — really trying — to eat better (just like the USDA recommends in its new nutrition guidelines) and am thinking about everything I put in my body. My next goal is to cut down on my sugar.
Now, who wants some banana bread?