craftiness · kitchen capers · remembering / musing

Banana prices, pretty plates and timely poetry

Being fifty-something, I remember when bananas cost 25c a pound (or was that a kilo? Or was that 25p?)

I also remember (more clearly) last year when Cyclone Yasi (or was that Larry?) wiped out the North Queensland banana crop, driving banana prices up to $15 a kilo.

Almost overnight, bananas disappeared from our fruit bowl. I allowed myself one per week as a special treat – almost a guilty pleasure.

Everyone was talking about bananas. Lusting after bananas. Lining up at the juice bar for a banana smoothie became akin to ordering an exclusive cocktail.

The horror didn’t last too long; as the next banana crop reached market, prices fell back to normal levels below $2 a kilo.

And I fell back to taking bananas for granted.

This morning I spied two over-ripe bananas languishing amongst the apples, oranges and nectarines in our fruit bowl.

That would never have happened at $15 a kilo! I deplore food waste and here it was happening in my own fruit bowl, all because a price signal was no longer there to remind me of the value of food.

Not good enough!

I resolved (again) to waste less food. Some researchers estimate Australians send to landfill some 30% of the food they purchase. Yikes! Definitely not good enough.

Deciding to drag matters back under control, I whipped those two over-ripe ‘nanas into a batch of muffins using a recipe I googled over here.

banana muffins on plate

My three fifty-something sisters will laugh (cackle, guffaw, perhaps even pee a little) to see me featuring home cooking on my blog. I was definitely at the end of the helix when they were handing out culinary genes in my family. My oldest sister K was front-of-line.

My muffins aren’t perfect, but they’ve elevated me above food-wasterer for today, at least.

These little beauties are destined to be lunch-box treats for the men-of-the-house but I’ve photographed them on this pretty display plate to segue to an otherwise unrelated story (something a little more up my alley).

This gorgeous two-tiered plate combines some of my favourite things: vintage transferware, poetry and family provenance.

myott plate

The Myott plates were part of my husband’s late Granny Cherry’s collection. I’ve had them for many years, hidden away while I hoped to luck across a suitable metal fitting on my travels. I never did.

Recently, while on a declutter spree, they re-surfaced. I checked eBay and found a seller in the UK listing the correct-sized fitting for just a few dollars. In just a few days it arrived and I had a fancy two-tiered display plate befitting high tea at the Ritz.

The plate design features a cottage scene and on the base, each has a stanza from the Tennyson poem, “The Brook” – very much a favourite of mine.

“I murmur under moon and stars

In brambly wildernesses;

I linger by my shingly bars;

I loiter round my cresses;”

“I chatter, chatter, as I flow

To join the brimming river,

For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.”

Unfortunately, unlike brooks, bananas do not go on for ever.

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