Once upon a time there was a young, hip grandma who planted the top off a store-bought pineapple and hoped for the best. For 6 1/2 years, this vibrant funny grandmother babied the pineapple plant. She watered it every third day. She set it in the sun and turned the pot so that all corners of the plant would thrive. When it dropped below 40F outside, she brought the pineapple plant indoors and lovingly wrapped it in a blanket. For six long years, she loved the pineapple plant. And then one day, just as all hope had been lost that the plant would ever produce an actual pineapple fruit, the plant finally bloomed.
Now, you should know that the average pineapple plant takes approximately 2 to 3 years to bloom and fruit. But this one was a late bloomer; a very, very late bloomer. On that day, the incredibly patient, horitculturally gifted grandmother cried a little. Not because she was a borderline wackadoo as her beloved husband hinted, but because her hard work and dedication had finally paid off. Her dream of nurturing a home-grown pineapple to fruition had finally been realized. Love triumphed over despair yet again… and it was a beautiful thing.
As the summer passed, the baby pineapple continued to grow as the caring yet brilliant grandmother was surprised and delighted daily. Together, they talked about the weather and sunlight and water and grandkids. Soon, the two of them became inseparable. The grandmother’s friends would see her and say, “Well, hello! And how is our baby pineapple doing?” And the grandmother would smile with pride and answer fondly, “She’s getting bigger and more beautiful every day” which was true, because the baby pineapple had begun to flower with lovely purple blooms the likes of which the scintillating grandmother had never seen.
As time passed, the baby pineapple matured and grew into the adult pineapple the loving grandmother had always known she would become. Slowly, her purple blooms turned into the traditional pentagon shape patterns of an adult pineapple fruit. Yes, the baby pineapple had blossomed into a lovely young woman, and the illustrious grandmother was very proud. Her hopes and dreams were not only realized but exceeded as the pineapple plant began to produce offshoots that in turn, produced six additional new pineapple plants. At this, the vibrant and charming grandmother was pleased beyond her wildest dreams.
And so, with both sadness and excitement in their hearts, the family gathered this weekend to celebrate the second birthday of their beloved granddaughter Lilly Bug and the life and noble sacrifice of their beloved pineapple plant. Together they gave thanks for the blessings of nature as Jonah Bear (with help from the adults) at long last harvested the fruit from the pineapple plant.
But the wise, all-knowing grandmother understood that the future would eventually bring the inevitable. Some day, the pineapple fruit would mature to the point of harvest, and their more than six-year adventure together would end. This made the tender-hearted grandmother sad, but also hopeful. For the grandmother had a grandson, the gentle yet effervescent Jonah Bear, who – like the grandmother who planted the pineapple top and wished for the best – also had a dream. A dream of homemade pineapple upside-down cake.
A celebration of dreams come true, of a homemade pineapple upside-down cake, and of a little boy who couldn’t quite harness the excitement of it all.
With the creative and yet humble grandmother at his side, the boy known affectionately as Jonah Bear began his adventure in baking a birthday cake for his baby sister. He sprinkled brown sugar and melted butter into the bottom of his prepared pan. He carefully placed the fresh pineapple rings and pieces. He meticulously and lovingly nestled the maraschino cherries into place.
He waited until he thought the grandmother wasn’t looking and tried to snitch all the cherries back out of the pan without success because the patient but ever vigilant grandmother wasn’t born yesterday. Or the day before that.
And a tiny princess got a birthday cake made with love by her personal hero.
To see more about NanaBread’s pineapple plant adventures, simply type pineapple plant in the search box on the right hand side of this blog. It has been a long road from planting to harvest, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to everyone who came along on our pineapple adventure!
PS – the top of the pineapple has already been re-planted so it can grow and produce fruit of its own some day. I smell a sequel!