No one can ever say my grandfather wasn’t a meticulous man.
Sure, his truck may have resembled something from the Clampett’s backyard from all the fences he rear-ended, and his basement may have been littered with parts from various items he bought just to put back together but didn’t know how.
But whatever Pop lacked in organization during his living years, he certainly made up for in death.
After my grandfather died, my family came across a tattered piece of looseleaf while we were digging out the will. Scribbled on the paper was a set of directions outlining exactly how his funeral was to take place, dictating everything from hymns and prayers to a gospel song by Elvis that would play as mourners walked into the chapel.
But what struck my family as odd was not that he requested Elvis to be played at his funeral, but that the man (who, we discovered, owned half a dozen burial plots throughout the province, from the days when they sold those things door to door) would have such an oft-overlooked thing planned out to a T.
But that was my grandfather: completely unexpected. One Thanksgiving, he went on in detail about how festive pumpkin pie was for that time of year, then loudly proclaimed that he wanted the apple variety.
His ridiculous humour and sense of adventure stayed with him long after his body and mind would allow it. If I close my eyes long enough, I can still hear the sound of him laughing. It never changed, no matter how much he did.
He passed that humour on to my dad, and I like to think I’ve got some of it too.
But to paint him as a funny man undermines the dozens of other qualities my grandfather possessed. He was an avid lover of music, and took pride in owning one of the largest antique radio collections on PEI. He had a deep respect for nature, something else that made its way into me.
But what my grandfather possessed that I’ll never be able to mirror was an incredibly large appetite. As much as my grandmother loved to cook food, Pop loved to eat it, and in large quantities.
Like I said, Elvis was King in my grandfather’s house, so when I came across this recipe for Elvis’ favourite snack in a Nigella Lawson cookbook, I had to make it. I’ve made a few alterations, mainly adding more bananas and substituting margarine for butter; I found the butter too salty and it overpowered the sandwich.
I also made the recipe for two sandwiches; trust me, you’re going to want more than one.
small mixing bowl
2-3 large ripe bananas
4 slices of bread
4 tablespoons peanut butter
a few tablespoons of margarine
In a small bowl, mash peeled and chopped bananas with a fork. Toast bread until golden brown, then spread peanut butter on two slices. Pour mashed bananas evenly on remaining two pieces of toast.
Heat frying pan and add a couple tablespoons of margarine. Sandwich one of each peanut butter slice with matching banana slice and place in frying pan.
Grill on medium heat for about four minutes, then flip once golden. When both sides are done, remove from pan and slice diagonally.