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Going bananas.

2004-04-26 - 11:05 a.m.

I spent the weekend making long-overdue visits down in and around Toronto. Iíve got some amazing friends that make the trek up here several times a year and I hadnít been down there to reciprocate in over two years. It was high time I do so, and J had a conference to go to in the vicinity, so I decided it was an opportunity not to be missed.

Friday evening was spent with Jo (whose link is at the bottom of this page), her family, and an old friend of ours, having the first real BBQ of the season! Saturday I was outside of Kitchener getting in a visit with another good friend before she gives birth (sheís due this July) and becomes incredibly busy and tired. Her brotherís birthday celebration was that evening and her family has this great tradition of the birthday person selecting a theme and the family descends with food that fits the theme. Last time I participated in one of her familyís Food Fests, the theme was Mexican. This time, her brother had selected the more challenging theme of Bananas.

Yep. Bananas.

The first thought that might flit through your mind is, what on earth can incorporate bananas that isnít dessert? You have underestimated the cooking prowess and creativity of this family.

We had two curries, one with the bananas cooked right into it, the other with raw banana chunks spread on top. We had ham cooked with bananas and coconut. We had chunks of banana wrapped with bacon that had been spread with Dijon mustard and broiled. We had a casserole of sweet potatoes and bananas, and a dish that included baked plantains. Dessert included banana-chocolate chip muffins, banana bread and a chocolate cake with banana-flavoured icing. I'm sure there were other things so hopefully my friend will tweak my memory after she reads this entry.

It was great, but I was soooo stuffed! And if I donít have another banana for a couple of months, I think Iíd be ok with that.

Sunday I managed to sneak in a coffee with my sister and her not-boyfriend-just-friend-but-they-see-each-other-almost-every-weekend. Iím glad I took the time to give her a call as it was a pleasant, if short, visit. She and I have very different lifestyles and ideas of what flattering fashion is and often thereís a lot of friction between us, but this time I got to honestly say that I liked her new look and she seemed pleased at the compliments. Sheís training for a new type of job and it requires her to be a bit more conservative in her style. I know thereís nothing necessarily wrong with being flamboyant or having multiple piercings but sheís a big fan of more than skin-tight. She normally favours corsets and clothes that she bulges and pops out of, and the fact that her clothes now fit her instead of being tight enough to show every ounce of spare flesh she carries, well, she looked 20 pounds lighter. The clothes are still very much her style, but the fit made all the difference. It was great to be able to say how good she looked, and mean it.

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