Monday, August 12, 2019

Brain power

I think the heat has cooked my brain.  Writing, which is usually an enjoyable thing, has become difficult (which is why I’ve been so quiet lately).  All I can do these days is stay in from the outside after 7am.  Not very much exciting happening inside.  And, in fact, I am suffering a bit from cabin fever, however it’s terrible, awful, dreadful, abysmal out there.

Today the temperature is going to be 99° and (oh joy), 100° tomorrow.  When I spoke with granddaughter #1 (who lives in San Antonio), her response was – “ack! That means it will be 112° here!”  Probably so – poor baby.

High / Low
Aug 12
99° / 76°
Aug 13
100° / 77°
Aug 14
Just hot
99° / 76°
Aug 15
Cold Front!
94° / 75°
Aug 16
aannnd, the humidity is back.
94° / 75°

Yes, yes – whining going on here.

Last trip to the store, I bought bananas.  Which is weird for me because, I really don’t care too much for bananas. 

They always look good but, they always taste like --- well, bananas.  I did eat a couple – two and remembered that I just don’t like them.  Then, they got really ripe.  And I pulled out my banana bread recipe. 

And, while waiting for the bread to bake, I looked up some things about bananas.

So, here’s a Did You Know?  While banana trees are one of the common trees that come to mind when dreaming of the tropics, they’re not really a tree.  They are really a very large herb.  The trunk is composed of the main fruiting stem surrounded by leaves. 

Plants come in a wide range of sizes from "Truly Tiny" which gets only about 1.5 feet tall, to "Cuban Red" growing up to 25 feet tall.  They lend themselves well to container growing although for regular sized plants, you’ll need a large container (15 or so gallons). 

Here, they’re pretty easy to grow in the ground.  Banana trees like heat and humidity (we have plenty of both).  They need a lot of water and grow best planted in groups (protection of the masses against extremes in temperature and wind).  They will freeze during a cold snap but come back in the spring.  They like fertilizer with a high potassium number (third number on the fertilizer box, bottle – NPK – Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) and do best when fertilized regularly.

OK, so here’s another Did You Know?  Bananas are classified as a berry because the fruit actually comes from the female flowers.  Banana seeds are not fertile so the best propagation is through division. To divide banana plants, separate the sucker or pup (after it’s about 3 feet tall and has a few roots) from the rhizome using a very sharp spade and quite a bit of strength.  When we lived in the house in the country, I asked my neighbor if I could dig up a small one from her huge grove.  Oh yes – and god help you, was the response.  Right – god, Michael, and a good sharpshooter. 

While the fruit contains many health benefits (a healthy source of fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants and phytonutrients), the leaves also have many uses. The leaves are high in antioxidants, cure sore throat, reduce fever, boosts the immune system, used in the treatment of dysentery, heals wounds and skin irritation.  Like any herb, it can be used in a tea or tisane; can be used fresh or dried although dried is more often used in teas.  In addition to health benefits, the leaf extract has been used to cure dandruff and help maintain a healthy scalp.  A “leaf mask” can be used to promote healthy skin (crush leaf and apply to face and body).  The allantoin and antioxidants help prevent early aging signs such as wrinkles and dark spots, helps with skin irritation, helps reduce acne and pimples, and keep the skin moist and soft.

Also, banana peels are a rich source of potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, along with a number of other minerals your plants need – compost pile.  A good friend told me she fertilizes her staghorn fern by putting a banana peel in amongst the fronds. 

Use bananas for:  Bananas Foster, cut up for a topping on pancakes, French toast, or in salads, breads and muffins, pudding, pie, cheesecake.  Use the leaf as a sort of bbq mat to keep fish, shrimp or vegetables from falling through the grill.  Be exotic and use a leaf as a plate for salad, rice, fish or finger foods.  Try wrapping up some chicken, fish or seafood, or other meats in banana leaf and baking them in the oven.  I saw this recipe which on many levels does not appeal to me but for children of all ages – Frozen Banana Cereal Pops - dip bananas in yogurt, roll in cereal, then freeze. 

 Finally, plant a banana tree around your house in order to inspire good luck and prosperity in your household. 

And there goes the timer.  I made two loaves – have to find someone to share this with!

12 Aug 2019


  1. Interesting. I wish David hadn't dug up my banana trees. I had several. There is no such thing as just one tree. I didn't know about the leaves doing such good things for the skin. You might go visit your sister and share a loaf of buttered slices with some iced tea. I'm sure she would welcome the break.

  2. Banana bread ranks right down there with bananas, in my book of books. I have nephews and grandsons who love it.

  3. You can also polish your shoes with the inside of banana peels. Seems like I remember that bananas were popular once they could be transported by trains? I'll have to look it up, my memory not too good. Maybe I should eat bananas!😄interesting post!

  4. I like bananas, but not as much as I think I do. But I LURRRVVEE banana bread! How far is it to where you live? I think it might be more expedient to just buy my own bananas & then ignore them.

    We had a banana "tree" growing outside my childhood bedroom. It never grew any bananas, but it did terrify me on a regular basis, scritching on my bedroom window any time the wind blew. I was always pretty sure it was a serial killer. Yikes!