Doing without bananas won't cramp my style


June 10, 1996|By Lyn Backe | Lyn Backe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A SAD COROLLARY to having your parents die before their time is all the things you don't get to ask them: questions of philosophy and genealogy, and how their own experience relates to what we see and read and assume about the aging process.

It's quite possible that I wouldn't have asked the questions, had my parents lived longer, but I sure wanted my mom in the middle of the night last week, when I discovered leg cramps . . . or they discovered me.

I'd have awakened her to ask if they run in the family, could they conceivably get any worse than what I was feeling that night and, if she'd had them, how come she'd never said anything?

Because my mother is 11 years past questions, I called my doctor -- a step I don't take lightly because I hate being told to "take something." Seeking another answer, I also asked if there was something I could/should eat that might stave off frequent repetitions of my middle-of-the-night agonies.

"Yes," he said. "Bananas."

I would rather have heard an expensive drug name with serious side effects. I'm one of perhaps three people in the world who detest bananas. It seems, however, that they're a super source of potassium, and that mineral could be the answer.

Preferring excruciating leg cramps to the prospect of 30 or 40 years of eating a banana every day, I dug out a book I had barely looked at since ordering it on a whim some years ago: "The Complete Book of Food" by Carol Anne Rinzler. And I discovered that, indeed, God is good.

Bananas may be a super source of potassium, but so are potatoes. And apples and artichokes and barley and brussels sprouts and carrots and cherries and garlic and green beans and peanuts and pomegranates and raisins and spinach and strawberries and tomatoes and zucchini, to name but a few.

To the already long list of accepted reasons to increase vegetables, fruits and grains in one's diet, I add another: You don't have to eat bananas, and you might not get leg cramps.

All things Italian

If I knew more about opera or Italianate mansions, I might be able to segue gracefully into announcing a very special day on June 30.

I don't, however, so I'll suggest that you include lots of raw and roasted vegetables, some tabbouleh, perhaps, and a fruit salad in the picnic you'll pack for Serenata Italiana, an extraordinary afternoon of music in the garden at Evergreen House in Baltimore.

It's a co-production of the Annapolis Opera and Evergreen House, featuring music of Puccini, Verdi, Ponchielli, Donizetti, Rossini and Mozart.

The grounds of the mansion, at 4545 N. Charles St. in Baltimore, will be open at 1 p.m. for picnics and tours. A strolling mandolinist will play Neapolitan folk songs beginning at 3: 30 p.m., and the concert will begin at 4: 30 p.m.

Blankets and lawn chairs are suggested, and box lunches may be purchased on the grounds. In case of rain, the concert will be held in the Carriage House, on the grounds.

Tickets for the afternoon concert are $15, with Annapolis Opera member and student prices available. Reservations to tour the house are suggested, at an additional fee.

A package, at $40 per person, includes coach bus travel to Baltimore, a tour of Evergreen House and the concert.

' Reservations: 263-2710.

Summer music

A concert of a different kind kicks off the summer schedule of Chesapeake Cultural Arts June 22, when vocalist Judy Willing of College Park joins Roy Battle and the Altones at West River Center.

With original members Battle on drums and Jack King on acoustic bass, the Altones have performed at the Annapolis Yacht Club and other local venues for 40 years.

The 7: 30 p.m. concert is free; folding chairs and blankets are suggested. Information: 867-0888 or 224-8825.

Pub Date: 6/10/96

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