Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Origin of The Banana Split Dinner

Joy at Garden Joy 4 Me posted yesterday about donuts for dinner. She reminded me of our occasional banana split dinners and their origin.

I am the oldest of seven children. My youngest sister is 18 years younger than I am. Mamala had three babies while I was in high school. A pregnant mom was the best birth control ever for a teenage girl. I didn't have my first child until I was 30. It worked really really good.

Grocery shopping for a family of nine was an ordeal. It took two carts and a keen eye for value. It also took volume. There had to be lots and lots of food. Three of the seven were boys, and boys eat a lot. It was also impossible to take along anyone under the age of four to the grocery store. Someone had to stay home with the creepers, crawlers, and toddlers. I opted to man the second cart and leave the rug rats to sister#2. I'm thoughtful like that.

One afternoon Mamala and I went shopping and left Sister#2 with the runts. On a whim Mamala decided we would have banana splits for dinner. I think, "She has finally lost her mind, but cool." We loaded up on the banana split ingredients praising ourselves on surprising the clan.

When we arrived home everyone over the age of 3 runs out to the station wagon to unload more than 100 pounds of groceries. Everyone except Sister#2, who stayed inside with the urchin

Side note - I mean urchin in the most loving and gentle way, but hey there was snot everywhere. Sisters, before you leave me a nasty comment remember, I changed your diapers. Love you, mean it.

Now that I have called off the pack of rabid sisters, back to the story

We managed to get everything put away before noticing, Sister#2 had set the table with the good stuff as a surprise for Mamala. The nice plates, cloth napkins, and the good crystal were perfectly displayed on the table. Mamala thinks this is exactly how an ice cream dinner should be served and we ate banana splits off the good china. Life was excellent.

About once a year I give the Monkeys banana splits for dinner and remember how sweet it was.


  1. That has to be one of the best memoir tales I've read in a long time! How wonderful! I like how you're passing the fun "tradition" on to your children... er, monkeys.