It is Thanksgiving 1975, and our customer service FruitGuy, Erin Giordano is eight years old. Wild red hair and polyester, she is off at her aunt Dorothy’s house in Glendale, California for the November feast. Mary Jo Banana! She yells with the other kids at her 18-year-old cousin as she tools them around the neighborhood in her yellow Pinto: three kids sit center console and take turns shifting from second into third, safety 1970s style. Mary Jo’s wiener dog, Tigger, barks for hours at the refrigerator in the garage where MJ keeps her frozen, dead cat.
The smell of turkey fills the house as Mary Jo’s secret margarita blender, kept under the bed, whips up into a frenzy- no it is not a shake, and you can not have some. Mary Jo is all frosted blond with tubular curls that hang down in front of her face. Her bell bottom jeans embroidered with flowers at the ankles whisk around as she walks. That is where we saw the ghost last night; she says casually pointing into the visiting kid’s room. Shrieks and bare feet fly down the hall. Post-feast, the crew croons to Barbara Streisand on eight-track. The women are crying as the pink JellO salad wiggles to the table and is served. Erin smiles, ready to slurp dessert through her missing front tooth. Thanksgiving has come a long way, baby…Have a happy 21st-century feast!
Speaking of Bananas
Bananas are grown in tropical regions where the average temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Banana growing regions are found between 30 degrees latitude north and south of the equator. The bananas that are imported into the Bay Area are the Cavendish variety and generally come from either Guatemala (approx 15 degrees north latitude) or Ecuador (approx 0 degrees latitude, it is the equator). Bananas are the largest plants on the earth without a woody stem. They reside in the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms and are considered giant herbs. The banana plant does not grow from a seed but a bulb. Each bulb will sprout new shoots, year to year. However, each banana plant only yields one harvest of fruit every 8 to 10 months. After harvest, the stem is cut down, and two new shoots are grown and cultivated from the main plant. This starts the fruit growing cycle again. You may have noticed in 2005 that banana prices rose in association with the windstorms and floods in Guatemala earlier in the year. That is because the banana plants are fragile and their stalks, which are 90% water and formed of tightly wrapped leaves, can be blown down very easily.
Plants are propped up with thick sticks and overhead cables to keep the fruit as safe as possible. Here is some nutritional information on bananas: Serving size one medium (126g), Calories 120, Fat 1g, Sodium 0, Protein 1g, Carbohydrate 32g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Potassium 300mg. Percent of U.S. RDA: Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 15%, Calcium 0%, Iron 2%. * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calories diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower, depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org