I'm quite partial to a piece of toasted banana bread with lashings of butter or even a green banana barbecued with a nice steak but . . I just don't like bananas on their own in their perfectly packaged, well wrapped mellow yellowness, in or out of pyjamas.
My father was a war child. During the entire second world war he was a tween and a teen only to enlist in 1945 when the whole shebang was over. His experiences in Manchester were told and retold under the influence of Dr Jamieson, Dr Bells or even Dr Dimple if it was on special.
He often regailed us with tales of being a child during what was affectionately referred to as the blitz. Coming out of bomb shelters to find their house intact and the neighbour's gone. Collecting shrapnel for 'show and tell' at school. Being dragged out of bed at night to be taken to safety while the Germans did their best. Lack of fresh food, school closing due to a strike. Even my mother remembered making a dance dress out of blackout curtains and was severely chastised for leaving the upstairs window so exposed.
One of Dad's big claims when we complained about having to eat fruit as teenagers in sunny Australia (invariably Bananas because my mother used to swear 'there's a meal in every banana and force them into us even if they were a bit brownbespeckled and 'floury' because they're a wonderful source of fibre and potassium) was that he didn't eat a banana for 10 years. We should be grateful that this creamy goodness that reminds me entirely of making esters in Chemistry class, was freely available, cheap and nutritious.
As children we thought this a strange complaint, I mean who would miss bananas?
As I studied high school and university wartime history from a number of perspectives, I realised the magnitude of war time shortage and rationing and the scarcity of fresh food. I began to understand that this humble fruit shunned by me was indeed something exotic 50 odd years ago, especially to a boy living in Manchester's industrial heartland.
Not forgetting my father's frequent lament, we road tripped to Queensland one year, as you do. Travelling along the Pacific highway takes you first through freeways and nondescript countryside, further north into staggering eucalyptus forests, further north banana country before hitting sugar country. Acres and acres of the bloody things. A stop at the "Big Banana" in Coffs Harbour is simply mandatory on any road trip north.
So, cogniscent of my Da's lament, I bought him some bananas. Not one, not two, but an entire hand.
They were green on purchase but yellow and perfect by the time we arrived home. Which meant he had to eat the lot . . and quick before they spoiled. He appreciated the joke if not the quantity . .I didn't hear him complain about never having a banana ever again. And I've never taken such an amazing fruit for granted. It's sweet really. The memory not the fruit although the fruit is sweet but you know what I mean.
I never visit his grave but something as simple and yellow and bendy and peely and nutritiously yielding as a banana brings back wonderful memories of my Dad, every time I shop.
Pop along to the other Theme Thursday contributors and see what goodness they've embraced with 'Yellow'