Brandon Burt: Whenever we buy a bunch of bananas, a slight, morbid anxiety descends upon the household, and we all become increasingly aware of the passage of time. If we don’t eat bananas within the optimum timeframe, then we must either force ourselves either to eat brown bananas, which we hate, or to keep them until they turn absolutely black—and then shamefacedly throw away the shriveled-up things, mindful that there are starving Third World children and feeling like fat, wasteful Americans.
Hoping to avoid that fate, we bought green bananas, reasoning they would take longer to ripen, and thus give us more time on the banana death clock. This strategy doesn’t work. Green bananas are not much better than brown ones. Any food that has to make your mouth numb in order to get you to eat it is probably doing all kinds of other tricky things. We waited for them to get yellow—they didn’t. Then we had green-brown bananas that nobody would eat. We kept them until they were black, then threw them away, thinking of starving Third World children.
Banana bread is probably the only real solution to the banana problem.
Ben Rosch: I have started using a really good sauce for my baked Ziti: Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro Arrabbiata Sauce, made with Napa Valley Cabernet, spicy red chilies, fresh basil, and garlic. It is a bit on the spicy side but the flavor is full and very, very good. This can be found at your local Smith’s in the International aisle.