Spoiled Fruit

November 19th, 2011

There are two kinds of people in the world.

(What a stupid, uninspired way to start something.  I promise never to begin another blog post this way.  Of course, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who keep their promises and those who don’t.)

Anyway, back to my first point.  There are two kinds of people in the world: those who eat the almost-spoiled fruit first, and those who eat the fresh, perfectly ripe fruit first. 

I want to be in the latter category.  I want to be the kind of person who grabs that perfectly yellow banana because it looks good and who stuffs it in her mouth with abandon.

But I’m not.  I’m the kind of person who thinks, “If I take the good banana, the almost-bad banana will become completely bad and will have to be thrown out and that’s such a waste.  So I’ll eat the almost-spoiled one now and I’ll eat the good one later.”

Once you set down that path, there’s no getting off of it.  Something is always on the verge of spoiling.

My friend Dawn once described avocados as being “sneaky little things” who are hard as a rock one day and turn to brown mush the second you turn your back on them.  She exaggerates: there’s a day or two in the middle when avocados are perfect: mellow and smooth and buttery.  Not that you’d know in our house where I always grab the overly ripe, blotchy avocado first, in the hopes of “salvaging at least a part of it” before it becomes completely unusable.  Of course that means that the next time I reach for an avocado, the perfect one I didn’t use before is now overly ripe.  Time waits for no man.

There might be a metaphor in this whole spoiled fruit thing.  Something about fear making you choose the less good thing or about how life is what you make of it or maybe just a “carpe diem” kind of thing.

Or . . . you know . . . not.

  • Claudia says:

    I enjoyed thinking about this. My husband and I eat the “bad” fruit while our kids eat the good.

    But worst of all is being the person who decides vegetables (almost never fruit) have died. I never throw vegetables out when anyone is home as I don’t want to get caught. Green onions seem to meet with the worst fate in my house. I often find some that have died in my bin. But I’ve thrown out pretty much every type of vegetable, and I feel self-loathing when I do this as I remember the day at the grocery when I bought the vegetable and planned to make it that very night…only I forgot, or ran out to dinner with friends instead of cooking. SOMETHING. And somehow the vegetable met with a tragic fate.

    I really do feel enormous guilt about the vegetables that have died in my bin. I picture how someone starving would have wept with joy to have found that vegetable.

  • Irene Dawn says:

    I love being quoted here. I feel the same way about pears. In fact, they’re even worse than avocados. They’re only perfectly for about 20 minutes after months of being rock hard.
    Michael cuts bananas in half, in the skin, and leaves half in the fruit bowl. This is a surefire way to start a fruit fly swarm in no time. Sometimes I just eat the sad, browning half just to be rid of it before the fruit flys appear.

  • You could use any bananas that turns brown for banana bread. It’s what my Mom always did because they are still edible, but not a lot of people really wants to eat them that way 🙂

  • Claire says:

    Petra, I do make banana bread with brown bananas–and I should be honest here about something: I don’t actually ever eat any bananas EXCEPT in banana bread. I don’t like bananas. But I genuinely use the over-ripe avocados instead of the good ones and I try to salvage pears and apples that are way past their prime!

  • I love this, Claire. Because if nobody else is home or watching, I eat the good ones first. And I don’t feel guilty!! I grew up in a house where we were told we had to eat the overripe ones first. I am rebellious about it now. I feed the overripe ones to the dogs.

  • Claire says:

    Poor dogs!

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