MEANING IS USE


I have no idea of how Wittgenstein felt about bananas. I know that he designed the doorknobs for his sister's house, but that is neither here nor there. Tough I wish I could discuss logic, qualia, private language, and the like with authority, the fact is that I am slightly more knowledgeable about bananas. I know, for example, that the Japanese poet Matsuo Kinsaku, who made an art of living simply, wrote the following haiku,



"A banana plant in the autumn gale -
I listen to the dripping of rain
Into a basin at night."


Matsuo, who is known to us as Basho--banana tree, in Japanese--renamed himself after he renounced samurai status and became a teacher. His disciples built him a hut and planted a banana tree in its garden. Matsuo is said tiomhave developed an affinity for the seemingly fragile yet utterly resilient plant. What to do with this bit of trivia is a problem that taxes my imagination. I am better at finding frugal ways to use overripe bananas, as I did today. Here is the recipe,

BANANA MUFFINS

Preheat oven to 400F
Butter and flour two one-dozen muffin tins


Ingredients

Three overripe bananas, mashed


One and half cups of flour


One cup sugar


One tablespoon baking powder


One teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon


Half a teaspoon salt

Three tablespoons canola oil


One teaspoon vanilla


Two large eggs


One and a half cups milk


Two cups unsalted cashew nuts



Stir dry ingredients until well mixed. Reserve. Beat liquid ingredients. Stir in flour mix. Mix in cashew nuts. Place batter in buttered and floured muffin tins. Bake for twenty minutes.
Makes two dozen muffins.

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