Monday, September 10, 2007

more with less

When the fruit flies begin to organize into small armies, it is time morph those over-ripe bananas into banana cake. I was removing the brown peels from the fruit when I remembered this story. The More-With-Less Cookbook is a favorite around here, not only for the healthy and economical recipes, but also for tales that challenge the way I think about food preparation and my attitude towards serving it.

"Traveling in India we could toss the banana peels out of the bus window without concern for littering. Momentarily a goat or a cow would wander past and dispose of the peel in a single gulp.
One day two small children retrieved the banana peels our family discarded. The girl, about eight years old, wore a ragged saree. Her little brother of four or five was clad only in an oversize shirt. They were not beggars but watched for banana peels because they saw me coming from the fruit stand. As four peelings landed on the dusty road the children pounced.
The girl brushed dirt from the peels. She handed all the peelings to her brother, pulled a grimy square cloth from the folds of her saree and smoothed it out carefully beside the road. She and the boy sat down.
Meticulously, the girl pulled the soft portion of each banana peel away from the outer skin and placed it on the cloth. The outer tough portions she tossed aside. She gave half to her brother. They began to eat.
Whoever says that hungry people eat like like animals when they have the chance did not see that Indian girl serve banana peels to her brother."
-LaVonne Platte, Newton, Kansas


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