Yes! We have no bananas! We have no bananas today.

Is Mercury in retrograde or is this the prelude to Ladies’ Holidays, I wondered blearily to myself yesterday, conceding my tiredness could also be due to general busyness, I-guess-I’m-that-age-now interrupted sleep cycles, and the pervading darkness of December. A quick check to the calendar pointed to all of the above. But that was yesterday; what a difference a day makes.

I am having a fabulous day, no thanks to the hour and a half I lay awake last night after Roomba mysteriously started by itself and woke me up at 2:00 am. After shutting off the phantom robot, I lay awake with Baby, It’s Cold Outside running through my head, only to fall asleep for an hour before awakening for the day. By all rights, that should have left me crabby and tired but, in fact, I have been oddly energetic and pleasant.

Just when you feel despair for all of humankind, something wonderful happens to restore faith in humanity, and for me that was the elderly lady I saw yesterday in the Costco parking lot, neatly rearranging all of the jumbled carts in the corral. I very nearly threw the car in park and jumped out, but there were several cars behind me and I didn’t want to evoke road rage. So I will just say here: Madam, you are doing the lord’s work.

Then today – because grocery shopping never ends for me, apparently – I decided to stop in the Superstore liquor store after picking up my usual weekly groceries. A young woman stocking the shelves smiled at me and said “Oh my god, I love your hair, it looks so fabulous” and that is a thing I do not hear often, and so I, like the Virgin Mary, treasured that and pondered it in my heart. If that wasn’t enough joy, the Superstore liquor store had this:

Dairy-free Baileys, you guys! Honestly, everything is coming up Nicole today.

Not unrelated, I want to talk about something important: bananas. We – as you might guess – go through what I feel is an insane amount of fruit and vegetables each week. In a good way. Bananas are a staple in this house, even though only three out of four of us eat them. Well, four out of five, if you include Barkley. I have a frozen banana in my smoothie every day, and the other two banana eaters average a banana a day. I also make banana bread and muffins, and so our average weekly banana intake is 21-24 bananas, sometimes more. I like to buy a variety of ripeness as I like ripe bananas for my smoothie, extremely ripe and kind of gross looking bananas to freeze for later muffin/ loaf making, and then, of course, we need some that are a bit greenish and just nicely yellow for raw consumption.

Exactly fifteen days ago I bought bananas from Costco. I hadn’t bought them there before but all their other produce, with the exception of peppers, I have found to be exceptional, so I assumed bananas would be no different. However, they were very green. I bought two large bunches, thinking that within a day or two they would be fine for raw consumption. I had already had a surplus frozen for smoothies.

This is what the bananas looked like after a WEEK on my counter.

Still completely inedible. That one yellowish banana I placed in a paper bag with an avocado, which ripened. The banana did not. At this point, desperation was setting in and I went to Superstore and bought more bananas. At that point I had forty bananas on my counter.

Forty bananas, you guys. The ones on the left are the Costco ones, the ones on the right from Superstore: as you can see, in a variety of ripeness.

The days passed and yesterday marked two weeks since the purchase of the original Costco bananas.

One bunch, STILL GREEN, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? WHAT KIND OF BANANAS ARE THESE? The others ripened with the notable exception of the one that was in a paper bag, which made me wonder if I was in some kind of banana bizzaro world.

This morning the greens are still green but the yellows are deteriorating at an alarming rate:

I am becoming really invested in the fate of these bananas; like it’s my own personal science experiment. Will the greens ever ripen? Or will it be like a McDonald’s hamburger that – allegedly, I’ve never tried this – will never mould even if left on the counter for months.

Meanwhile, I am digging up all the containers I can find to freeze the bananas as they devolve into brown-spotted mush. For those of you interested, I freeze super-over-ripe bananas in groups of three, and when they thaw they are disgustingly perfect for baking. And if you’re looking for the easiest banana bread recipe ever, here it is! It’s from my friend Maureen’s mom, and I always think of it that way.

Maureen’s Mom’s Banana Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed (or if using frozen, thawed)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil (I always use grapeseed)

1 tablespoon vanilla (this is a deviation from Maureen’s mom’s recipe, I just like a lot of vanilla. Original quantity is 1 teaspoon, if you’re not into a tablespoon)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten (or use a flax egg)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a loaf pan. Mix together mushy bananas, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Add egg, mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Voila! I usually use my stand mixer and the whole thing comes together in under ten minutes. Super easy, and delicious!


  1. Maybe they somehow got super-rapidly shipped and were picked like a week before you bought them? That is so weird. Or maybe they’re plantains.

  2. Favorite part: “and that is a thing I do not hear often, and so I, like the Virgin Mary, treasured that and pondered it in my heart.”

    I think those must be Zombie Bananas.

  3. Banana bizarro world — ha! — that seems like the perfect explanation for this madness.

  4. Maybe they’ll ripen on the last day of Hanukkah.

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