It Doesn’t Matter How Old I Get, I’ll Always Have a Bowl of Rotting Fruit on My Counter
There is a white porcelain bowl that sits on my counter, just beside the french press that still holds soggy grounds from yesterday’s coffee. On any given day, it accommodates three very brown bananas, a few bruised apples that are quickly turning to mush, as well as the oranges that nobody wants to eat because they are too soft for human consumption.
This is my life, and I have come to accept it.
It occurred to me the other day, as I sliced up previously mentioned apples for an apple crisp, that it does not matter how rich or mature I become in this life, this bowl of rotten fruit will forever remain.
The reason for this is simple. I am lazy. I am unorganized. I am, at heart, unapologetic about the decaying fruit on my counter.
In my younger years, I would attempt to rectify this blatant exposition of slobbery by not having a fruit bowl at all. I’d stow away the pears and Granny Smiths in the fridge, which did alleviate the problem of rotten fruit on the counter but eventually cause me an even larger dilemma.
This came down to the mantra, out of sight, out of mind.
While my counter would be pristine, the crisper drawer of my refrigerator looked as though a small rabid animal had taken up residence and was collecting foodstuffs for a long and challenging winter.
Because the fruit was tucked away in the fridge and out of sight, I would forget about it and think while at the grocery store, “huh, I haven’t eaten an apple in over a week, I must buy a bag!” Only to get home, remember that I’m not doing the fruit bowl thing anymore, look in the fridge and realize that the drawer is full of nearly gone-off apples.
At this point, any rational person might remember their high school home economics class and the FIFO rule (first in, first out) but not me. I would dump the new bag of apples atop the already month-old apples and think, well, my friend, you sure have a lot of apples to eat in here.
So eventually, I took up with the fruit bowl on the counter once more and accepted the cloud of fruit flies that would seemingly appear out of nowhere within seconds of setting the dish on the counter.
Ultimately, I don’t mind the rotting fruit because, in the end, it prompts me to do what I do best.
I make fruit better by baking it into something sweet.
Every few weeks, I will take a gander to the countertop where the rotting fruit sits, almost artistically, and realize that today shall be a baking day. Then I spend no less than 7 hours straight making apple jam for fresh turnovers, banana bundt cakes, candied pears with caramel sauce and any type of crisp I can think of with the almost-mouldy remnants of the bottom of the fruit bowl.
The best part of these baking days is watching my family enjoy the fruits of my labour. Not because I’ve spent countless hours harping on them to “eat the fruit in the bowl. It’s going bad!” But instead, because I’ve transformed this fruit into something more enjoyable.
Yes, sure, the extra mounds of refined sugar I’ve added to the mix may not be optimal for our health, but that’s why we have the fruit bowl! In those first few days of filling the thing, when the fruit items are nice and firm and brilliantly coloured, it is a welcome snack, which the children tuck into readily.
So we go through cycles.
Healthy fruit-eating one week, then everyone avoiding the bowl like the plague the next week, and finally the rotting fruit getting transformed into a delightful treat the following week.
And that, my friends, is why I will forever have a bowl of rotting fruit on my counter. It just works.