The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Banal Banana


Bananas are and have been a part of my workweek lunch routine for more decades than I want to count.  I have over the years, tried a large array of banana-type fruits (plantains,  miniature bananas, etc) but those variations have been eaten in other venues/times/places/contexts than the workweek lunch routine.  For the workweek lunch, it has ALWAYS been the "standard" grocery store banana.  But, even these "standard" bananas have undergone changes across the decades.... mostly due to growing issues related to a pathogen that can sometimes take hold of the plant and kill it.  This pathogen is regularly thought to be near the point of starting a "pandemic" across banana trees and potentially wiping out the population. 

The "standard" banana is usually referred to as the "Cavendish" banana.  I learned this perhaps 2-3 years ago while reading a news report about the risk banana trees were facing.  When I first learned of this moniker, it pleased and bemused me.... as "Cavendish" is a very common style of pipe tobacco.  Cavendish pipe tobaccos have been cured by a gentle heating process (often steam, but sometimes other heating methods are used) and this particular curing process leads to creating a pipe tobacco with a sweeter flavor and texture to its smoke.  I have enjoyed many, many Cavendish pipe tobaccos over the decades.  They are usually very grand and pleasant, although for some reason (perhaps due to the steaming process, but probably at some level it is just tradition), they are often overly moist (to my preferences anyway), and I typically would let them air dry somewhat for one to several days in a glass pie pan I use for such purposes, prior to smoking these tobaccos.  But, patience with drying has given me the opportunity to have many beautiful pipe-fulls of various Cavendish-es over the years. 

Back to bananas for a moment.... it is interesting to me that people have so many different preferences of WHEN they consider a banana to be at the perfect level of ripeness for eating.  I know some folks who prefer their banana to be rather considerably green.  To me, the banana is too hard and under-ripe at this stage.  My own preference is to have a banana be uniformly yellow with NO brown spotting at all.  To me, this stage is when the banana is at its peak of flavor and texture.  When bananas start to accumulate the level of spotting that is shown in the photograph I have at the top of this entry.... then.... to ME, the banana is TOO ripe and has an unpleasant, almost spongy texture.  Even though I have eaten many bananas of this "spotty" style over the years, I have mostly eaten them because that is what my wife gave me in my lunch and these "spotty" beasts were the last banana or two of the bunch before our next shopping trip.  To me, I feel these spotty beasts are better left for freezing and use in my healthy oatmeal "cookies" my wife and I make and bake up in large batches and freeze in packages she can drop into my lunch everyday as well.  

Other items:

  • I ran 18.1 miles (~29.5 km) this morning.  I *HAD* planned on TRYING to reach 20 miles (~32 km) today (which would have been a new record distance for me in a single run) as it was a very nice morning.... but I foolishly had forgotten to plug in my "gizmo" watch (the one I inherited from one of my sons when he wanted something "fancier").  By not plugging in the damnable "gizmo" watch last night before bed, today I started to get flashing warnings about impending doom (the watch would no longer track my miles) starting at about mile 16.  I made it home at 18.1 and the watch had only 1% of its energy reserves left.  Perhaps next Monday, I WILL try to reach 20 again.
  • Depending on what my wife finds out today, there may be a possibility that my wife and I can travel away alone for TWO days later this week as she has a potential trip she may need to go on for work about 5 hours away.  With the previous success of leaving our dog under my youngest son's care last time, I am hopeful to not be overly worried this time... if we get to go on the trip.  
  • I keep debating on ordering a few ounces of "Peter's Pleasure".  I REALLY want to.  But, I keep worrying that  it may be too much of a temptation for me.  My "UNKNOWN" commenter friend, however.... has decided to order some for himself.  I am hoping that when he does receive it that he will write a detailed description of his opinions of it.  I look forward to hearing if he finds it as grand as it seems to be from its paper description.  
  • At Mass this weekend, we had a substitute priest as our parish priest was at a conference of some sort.  As this weekend was the "Solemnity of the Holy Trinity" this priest was talking quite about about the mystery of the trinity in his Homely.  I happened to also be substituting for a lot of folks at Mass as well and was a lay lector, a Eucharistic minister, and also an usher at Mass.  After Mass, I asked this priest if he might have a recommendation for a book that delved into the theology and philosophy of the Holy Trinity, since I found his perspective in the Homily to be especially interesting and well developed.  I gave him my phone number, and he said he would look on his bookshelf when he returned home and give me a couple of suggestions on ones he especially valued.   I am hoping to hear back from him today.  
  • My wife and I are in the midst of another "decluttering" campaign at our house.  Our plan has evolved into picking a particular room/closet and starting by envisioning how we would WANT the area to look and function.  We then try to imagine what we need to do to get that level of function back, and then try to take a very critical look at what things we NEED, what things we like and want to keep, and what things are just taking up space and we no longer find useful.  Each of us were able to take a trunkload  of useful items (that we did not need/want) to our local Goodwill.  Not only did we make the two rooms we have gone through more comfortable and usable, we helped in some small way, the workers at Goodwill.  And ultimately,  as these things will eventually be sold there at budget prices…. these items may be able to help some folks in need.  We are hoping to continue this trend to every other room/closet in our home this Summer.  



Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I think I have read recently that bananas are their most nutritious when they are yellow and perhaps with a bit of brown. I do find sometimes that they can be ripe underneath when they don't appear so on the outside. I seemed to have observed this in this past winter.

As far as the trinity, my feeling is that it came about as the gospel writers and early church fathers kept elevating the divinity of Jesus. You sure wouldn't get the impression from the first gospel, Mark, that Jesus was fully God, had lived forever, and had created the universe.

Monday, 13 June, 2022  
Blogger Margaret said...

I agree with you 100% on bananas! Too many speckles=banana bread. I need to follow your excellent plan of de-cluttering rooms. I've tried to do as much as possible but I have some big items I should get rid of.

Monday, 13 June, 2022  

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