Let’s talk pie. More specifically, let’s talk banana cream pie. Have you made one, tasted one, loved one? Or have you passed over it on the pie menu as too ordinary? I’m curious, because not everyone adores banana cream pie, but those who do seem to have appeared everywhere in my life. And I believe this special combination of cream and crust has played a powerful role in my destiny.
I know that sounds dramatic, ladies and gentlemen, but consider the evidence. My mother (an infamous ad libber in the kitchen) sent me off into the world with just one recipe written down: her banana cream pie. I successfully wooed my future husband with a consistent supply of banana cream pie. I actually won a ribbon in a local pie contest with my banana cream pie. Whenever I ask any of the men of my family what they want for their birthday, the answer is always, always the same: banana cream pie. Case closed.
As a playwright, banana cream pie has come in handy for a good punchline or a fun plot point. It’s featured most prominently in my third Pie Palooza play: All’s Fair in Love and Pie. At the time I was writing the script, I felt somebody was missing in my pie character line-up. I had Strawberry-Rhubarb and Peach and Blueberry and Cherry and Apple, and they were all deliciously funny characters. But I needed somebody else. Someone solid, old-fashioned, classic. And as I was mulling this over, a young fellow in my school approached me with a special request. Could he please, please, please wear his new banana suit in my upcoming play?
Do you hear that? The angels singing, I mean? Because I’m sure they were at that moment. Of course the missing pie character was Banana. Of course, of course, of course! Why hadn’t I put this together before? I’d made enough banana cream pies to supply a horde of hungry middle schoolers in a three day pie-eating contest! It was clearly time for banana cream pie to appear on the stage.
So in All’s Fair in Love and Pie, the character of Banana ends up being a rather aggressive defender of the dessert which often gets overlooked in a pie line-up: Banana Cream Pie. His best line is when he turns on the other pie characters and grumbles, “You girls are all fancy and glamorous with your fruit fillings and your top crusts. Me? I gotta prove myself with the basics: eggs, milk, butter. Ya think that’s easy?”
And I’m sorry for this spoiler alert, but Banana ends up walking away with the blue ribbon in the town’s infamous pie contest at the end of the play. Call it justice. Call it destiny. It was pure plot satisfaction for me with sliced bananas and whip cream on top.
To read a sample of the play, you can pop over to this link: All’s Fair in Love and Pie. And to check out my entire Pie Palooza Trilogy of playscripts, with or without bananas and cream involved, please head to this link: Pie Palooza Trilogy. And here’s to banana cream pie getting its proper due.