Good Stuff! Brown Bananas, Peerless, and Cinderella

BrownBanansI’ve solved the banana bane.

The banana bane is this. You buy bananas, and the next day they’ve got freckles. Nobody likes freckled bananas, so everyone leaves them on the counter, thinking that someone else in the family must be a freckled banana fan. But nobody is a freckled banana fan, which means a few days after that, they’re brown. Then black. Then you toss them into the garbage and go to the store and start it all over.

I’m going to tell you how to stop the madness. I’m going to tell you what you do with brown bananas. The Brown family discovered this last week. (Yes, the Brown family discovered the solution to brown bananas, strange, isn’t it…)

I know some of you are thinking, oh, banana bread.

Are you kidding? Banana bread is cake in bread form. It’s nice once in a while. But who wants to make four loaves of cake every week and gain five million pounds?

I’m not talking about a sumo weight-gain program that involves cake.

And I’m not talking about taking them over to Joan and Cardon Willis’s place and feeding them to their pigs. They have a very nice sow who, Joan reports, loves bananas. The sow’s little piglets do whatever she does. She scratches her bum on a post; they scratch their bums. She grunts; they grunt. So I assume since mumma loves bananas, the little piggies love bananas too. But I’m not talking about turning your bananas into someone else’s bacon.


I’m talking about extending their useful life by days.

I’m talking about consuming them yourself.

I’m talking about making something delicious, sweet, and healthy with them.

What is this magnificent discovery?


With brown bananas.


Yes. Look, we were out of fruit. We had milk, freckled bananas sliding towards completely toasty tan, and a little bit of chocolate powder. We were desperate.

Desperate people try desperate things. Some do not work out. Like the one time I tried asparagus in eggs. Think green sticks for breakfast. But sometimes they do.

Case in point: John’s Chocolate Banana Whip.

  • 1 brown or freckled banana
  • 1 cup of milk (use almond milk if you don’t like the cow variety)
  • 1 tablespoon Nesquick (no, you don’t need the 3 tablespoons they recommend)

Throw it all in the blender and frappe until smooth.

It’s heaven. Especially good after a nice hike-jog in the middle of the day.

BTW, frappe is one of those words that makes you think I know what I’m talking about. Can you feel my chef aura radiating off the page?

But Nesquick, John. That’s so white-trash unhealthy.

Fine, you don’t want the added sugar? No problem. Try this one.

Ellianna’s Strawberry Surprise

  • 1 brown or freckled banana
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

Frappe until you’re happy.

You can do this with frozen blueberries. You can add Greek yogurt–and let me tell you the Great Value plain Greek yogurt made with whole milk is delicious. You can add more fruit. Less fruit. Add ice. Whatever you like.

The bottom line is that brown bananas are delicious in smoothies. And they should be—bananas are at their sweetest when they’re brown.

It’s summer. It’s hot. Time for smoothies with sweet brown bananas.


I like a clean van. But I live in the country, and I don’t have a pickup. This means the minivan has to haul stuff. It’s hauled hay, plants, dirt, kids—you name it.

We vacuum, but there are things a vacuum can’t touch. And if we want our van carpet and upholstery shampooed, we have to drive an hour to Logan, then leave the car at the shop for a full day.

A full day.

They want you to drop it off in the morning, pick it up in the afternoon. So what am I  going to do all day? Bring my bicycle and ride around with Brent, the happy dude with horns and flags on his bike that pedals up and down main street, waving to everyone?

Needless to say, shampooing was infrequent.

But then one day a few weeks ago I was talking to Patrick Floyd in Laketown. I was actually talking to him in Suzanne Siddoway’s basement.

What were two men doing in her basement?

We were doing what many men do in her basement…

We were sitting around waiting for her to cut our hair. What else would men be doing in her basement? (You know, it’s Quin’s basement too.)

And Patrick said that he’d started a new business called Peerless Detailing. He was trained and had the equipment to detail boats, cars, vehicles of all kinds.

I said, “Do you do just a shampoo?”

“Whatever you need,” he said.

I said, “Duuuude!”

You have to read that with kind of a hope, like a thirsty man seeing an ice cream truck in the middle of the Serengeti.

He said, “Yeah.”

I said, “Man.”

He said, “Yup.”

I said, “Alright.”

After that scintillating conversation, I took my van over. Patrick of Peerless did verily clean that carpet and upholstery. And he did it for less money than it would have cost me in Logan! And in less time!

I got back a new van. It smelled great. Looked great. I felt like rolling around on the carpet in joy, but refrained. Instead, I drove home, and everyone in the house rejoiced. We drove around a little, just to celebrate.

A week later, we had to haul more crap. I took the seats out. I put them in the garage. This was a dumb thing to do. I’d learned long ago to put them in the house. See, we leave our garage door cracked so our mouse control service can get in and out, the mouse control consisting of five cats.

Sometimes, other cats figure they can help themselves to whatever’s in the garage. Some of those cats are stray toms. And because I don’t mark my territory with my own scent, which I’m sure would put the fear of whatever cat god is out there into them, they think they can muscle in. Feel like they can claim the place for their own.

And so they spray.

I’ve been meaning to get a gun. A paintball gun, if nothing else. I figure a few stings with a paintball ought to learn the dogs and cats and deer. It’s my theory, and I’m going to test it one of these days. So if you one day see various animals walking around with polka dots, you know what’s going on. Anyway, I don’t have a gun, and I’m not going to go around and mark the perimeter of my yard. You know how much water I’d have to drink!

So this cat came in and sprayed.

He sprayed one of my newly cleaned captain chairs!

(Anyone who wants to practice their marksmanship on live targets, just let me know.)

So what do you do? Well, I’ll tell you this: we didn’t have to set the seat on fire. No. We just called Patrick.

Patrick did his magic and removed the offending blankity-blank cat spray. And the seat was as good as new.

Can I tell you how happy I am we now have someone doing this in Laketown?

I’m ecstatic. I plan to take my vehicles in once or twice a year. Why not?

If you need your boat or car or van detailed, I think you’ll be pleased with Peerless. You can call Patrick at (435) 535-1493 and set up an appointment. I think he’s mobile to boot and can to it at your residence.


Cinderella2015Okay, movie time. I have four daughters. They all wanted to see Cinderella.

Except, what new thing can you do with Cinderella?

I mean, how many different ways can you see her leave a glass slipper behind and still reel in shock at the story turn?

Well, how many Bond movies do we see that follow the same darned plot? And we still love them. It’s very often the details that make the difference. And this new Disney version of Cinderella with live actors included a number of wonderful details.

Like how Cinderella got in this fix in the first place. And how her position in the household devolves.

And what’s motivating the stepmother, who is played wonderfully by Cate Blanchette.

And the relationship between the king and prince, and Cinderella and her father.

And a little bit of wisdom.

I enjoyed this film. I think the key thing that lifts this above many remakes is the insight it gives into the key characters and relationships. And the many small surprises along the way.

If you have daughters, this is a no-brainer for a date. If you liked the original Cinderella, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this version. If you like romances, this is a classic. Furthermore, you’ll go away with a little something to think and talk about. I gave it a try; I was glad I did.

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8 Responses to Good Stuff! Brown Bananas, Peerless, and Cinderella

  1. Rick H says:

    Wow! A Three-Huzzah for you !! And for me, getting to read three things!

    I think there are some bananas that are heading towards ‘brown’. Now I just have to find the blender. And some chocolate powder. Will a brownie (the spouse just made them tonight) work instead? And how will my glucose level react?

    Enquiring minds and all that. Gotta think on that tomorrow.

    After I find the blender.

  2. John Brown says:

    This is supposed to get you AWAY from the cake diet, Rick (grin)

  3. Mike Barker says:

    FWIW — I was amused to see a small poster at our grocery recently explaining the stages of the banana, from green, through green-tipped, through all yellow… to sugar spots! Much nicer than brown spots, right? Knowing that those show it is sweet could help make those bananas get eaten, right?

  4. Mark Holt says:

    I actually only buy bananas once they look like they do in the picture. I’ve never enjoyed eating them any other way. If the store doesn’t have any ripe bananas, I wait until next time. If I don’t eat them within a couple of days, I freeze them. That means when I turn them into protein shakes or smoothies, I need less ice (read: water) and the drink tastes even better.

    Bananas cost half as much if you buy them in the “overripe” category (slightly more spotted than those pictured). Then just take them home and freeze them right away. There are usually no brown spots on the banana itself, and if there are you just cut it away before freezing. This is when bananas are sweetest. I can’t stand that “sticky” feeling I get in my mouth from eating a green banana.

  5. Sharilyn Miller says:

    Regarding asparagus & eggs: You have to pre-cook the asparagus before adding them to the eggs. You can steam or grill them; I tend to pan-fry them in a bit of butter with garlic salt. So, snap off the ends and wash the asparagus, then slice into short pieces. Melt some butter in a large pan and toss in the asparagus, separating them in the pan (don’t pile them in, they’ll just steam). Sprinkle with a bit of salt (optional). Let them brown in the butter; resist the temptation to stir them around too much so they can brown up nicely. Meanwhile, whip up some eggs and milk in a bowl. Once the asparagus is al-dente, pour in the egg mixture and turn down the heat. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese (optional). Let the eggs cook, gently bringing in the edges to allow the raw egg to cook. Resist the temptation to stir the eggs too much, as this toughens them. In a couple of minutes your eggs-with-asparagus should be ready to eat! Enjoy…