Red bananas bonkers Lord Horatio here. We have all gone palm tree potty at Dawdle Hall thanks to my nephew Simon’s new found enthusiasm for this super fruit.
He has been hard at work converting the large glasshouse into a plantation and we have all been dragooned in to help. Within just a few weeks the place has been transformed into a steaming jungle, lush with vegetation.
Apparently red bananas are a bit special. For a start the flesh is pink and, according to the experts, packed with more vitamin C and stuff called beta-carotene, which we turn into vitamin A, than the more familiar yellow ones.
Well, Simon is so convinced he had us all down on our hands and knees tilling the soil and anointing the young palms with buckets of manure. Heady stuff indeed! Unfortunately he had reckoned without our old playmate Whimsy the dog.
Now we all know dogs like digging so his early efforts at producing a series of holes, admittedly not always in the right place or of the required depth, were to be applauded. However, in our haste we had forgotten their other great love – retrieving!
As we finished planting a row of palms and stood to gaze back at the fruits of our labours, Whimsy could be seen digging them up again. With tail wagging he would proudly deposit them in a pile at our feet as if to say: “you’ve forgotten these.”
No amount of cajoling could overcome his natural instincts and reluctantly he has been banished from the glasshouse until our tropical titans are big enough to look after themselves. So far our palms have proved to be thirsty and hungry blighters.
My wife Lady Winifred is looking forward to our first crop and is poised with a whole range of recipes. Like the yellow variety they can be eaten raw, apparently they have a different flavour too ranging from mango to avocado depending on your tastebuds.
We are bracing ourselves for red banana with everything. They can be fried, baked, chopped into salads and desserts, toasted and blended into exotic smoothies and milk shakes. I must say it all sounds very appealing!