If you’ve read any of my recent posts, you may have become aware I am clearing out my house, the place I’ve lived for such a long time. I have my sights on another place and don’t want to drag a whole lot of stuff with me as I downsize.
Part of clearing out is the chore of handling each piece of everything. Many things I pick up are of my younger days when I cooked for my family. I love cookbooks and have the ability to know what a recipe will taste like without actually making it. But still, I held on to the recipes.
Are any of you old enough to remember the “Chiquita Banana” jingle? You’re humming it right now, aren’t you? “I’m Chiquita Banana and I’m here to say, eat a banana every day.”
So I came across the soft cover cookbook with banana recipes from 1950. I think one of my aunts gave it to me.
From baked or fried, to salads, oh so many banana salad recipes. Did you know you could bake bananas in the peel? You can, but why would you? You can, according to this recipe, “dress up roast duck or ham with bananas,” the picture showing banana slices on a roast duck. Nah, they would turn brown within a few minutes. Heck, there is even a photograph of how to slice bananas! Who doesn’t or can’t figure out how to slice a banana?
Did you know you could grill bananas? How one keeps it from falling through the grill is beyond me. If you really have a yearning for a cooked banana, there is a Broiled Bananas with Cream and it gives a way to make it a vegetable by adding sour cream. Huh?
This give-away cookbook must not have impressed me, because there is only one recipe on one page of evidence I made it. When I cook or bake a recipe, I keep it nearby as I follow the instructions and little drops of this or that end up on the pages.
The recipe I wrote, “Very good,” on is for Banana Bran Muffins I made once.
Now this banana cookbook is being passed on to a thrift shop and perhaps some other young cook will want it.
The 1950s saw an upsurge in new recipes using new methods of cooking using less common foods like bananas.
The Big Plus was the Chiquita Banana Woman who appeared on the nascent television and sang the Chiquita Banana song. She wore a bandana festooned with bananas and other fruits. If I remember correctly, the original one was Carmen Miranda, who got us all humming the Chiquita Banana tune.