Banana Bread Racism
Every once in a while I end up in a conversation with my wife Trina that is completely random leaves both of us scratching our heads wondering how in the world we got to this point. Let me preface this with a few useless facts. For the past couple of days I have not been feeling well fighting a stomach virus that has been going around lately.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I am sick I am one of the biggest babies in the world. It’s weird, I can play a baseball double header with a broken arm or throw an entire season with a torn rotator cuff and not think anything of it but if I get sick, I turn into some kind of sniveling pile of dirty laundry that just wants to lay in a corner in the fetal position.
I have been diligently trying to not act like such a baby while I’m sick mostly because I didn’t want to hear Trina remind me yet again about how superior women are when it comes to being sick. I do appreciate that when “mom” is sick that she does not shirk her responsibilities and that she can simultaneously hold a child’s hair back while they throw up and with the other hand she can be cleaning the bathtub. To be honest, that is not a skill I want to develop nor would I ever hire someone who had that written on his or her resume.
So rather than moaning and complaining this time I tried to just be quiet and not say anything. I have learned that from a woman’s perspective that is even worse since she now thinks that I am somehow mad at the world and she continues to demand to know what is wrong and to quit acting so moody. That then should give you an idea of what life in our house was like when this particular conversation took place.
As near as I can determine, our children are the missing links in Darwin’s theory of evolution. There is no other explanation of why they eat so many bananas. We seem to go through bananas like Joan Rivers goes through plastic surgeons. I do not think it is possible for us to purchase any larger quantity of bananas unless we have a zookeeper’s license.
The problem is that the moment one of these bananas have any color even bearing a slight resemblance to brown the kids refuse to eat them. Given the climate of Arizona, that means bananas must be consumed within three days of purchase or they become inedible according to the kids.
Trina through the years has counteracted this by using the left over bananas to make homemade banana bread. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for a slice of warm homemade banana bread so I actually see this as a positive thing. After 28 years of marriage, Trina has become the ace of banana bread.
Her favorite recipe for banana bread requires three over-ripe bananas. Given the weather in Arizona and the finicky nature of our children that requirement is fairly easy to fulfill. Unfortunately due to scheduling issues Trina usually only makes banana bread on the weekends and by that time the bananas on the cupboard are bananas by shape only, the peel is more of a charcoal color.
This does make it somewhat easier to mash the bananas as by this point they are in a new liquid form. The resulting banana break comes out a dark and golden brown that is perfect.
When Trina was on her recent trip to Indiana to visit her sister, they made banana bread and Trina was excited to come home and try out her new recipe. It probably should be noted here that most husbands HATE being culinary guinea pigs. Just about the last thing any of us want to hear as our wife puts a spoon in our mouths is, “tell me what that tastes like”.
When I see Trina with a new cookbook in hand I get the involuntary heaves just thinking about the concoction that I am about to have to endure. And to begin tinkering with the time-honored tradition of banana bread is paramount to heresy. I have my own theory that women were burned at the stake in Salem Massachusetts not because they were witches but because they began experimenting with different banana bread recipes or worse they went to the dark side of magic and created that abomination of nature, zucchini bread.
I awoke to the aroma of freshly baked banana bread and although I was not feeling well, that smell did peak my interest. I wandered down the stairs and into the kitchen to see two loaves of something sitting on the cooling rack.
The smell said it was banana bread but it was too light and too flat to be banana bread. My first reaction was to look in the cupboard to see if there was a new cookbook. The second reaction was to check the garbage can for signs of zucchini peels. This was obviously some sort of conspiracy to make me believe there was banana bread when in fact there was only some kind of banana bread wanna-be.
Trina offered to cut me a slice and as graciously as I could I declined. This seemed to be the wrong thing to do because Trina immediately leapt at me still clutching the bread knife and began peppering me with questions as to why I would not eat banana bread.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered if she had somehow laced this bread with some sort of drug that when eaten by the male of the species would place our minds in a trance and force us to become some sort of landscaping slave.
My mind raced to try and come up with a valid reason as to why I would not eat the banana bread. In a fit of panic, I blurted out the only thing that came to mind. “I cannot eat white banana bread. According to former president Jimmy Carter, I would be a racist if I did not eat dark banana bread.”
Trina stood there, staring at me. Her eyes glared into my soul and the hand which just a second ago had held a bread knife in a death grip relaxed. Suddenly her facial expression softened and she dropped the knife and ran over to me. “I had no idea that you were sick. Go lay down and I’ll take your temperature.”
I walked back up the stairs and crawled back into bed. I couldn’t help but wonder how she was able to figure that out just from a comment on the color of banana bread. I swear I am never going to figure women out.