Saturday, January 23, 2010
I have the best of intentions when I see bananas in the supermarket, especially if the clerk has just put them out and the bunches are creamy yellow, not marred by brown spots, and there is just the slightly fragrant smell, hinting at ripeness just a few days away. The girls will eat these bananas after school, I think, and indeed, if I remember to pack them in my purse, they will eat a banana in the car on the way home. The problem is remembering them...
As the wrestling coach who spoke at my high school graduation said, "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas." (I can't remember much else about the speech, but the cliche has stuck with me.) So, intentions aside, I have a back-up plan. The plan used to be, and still is, freeze the mushy, smelly reprobates and give them new life as banana bread or snack cake. There is another solution, but this is entirely dependent on timing: the key to successful banana rehabilitation is to catch them just before they go bad.
If you have such a banana on your counter, check the freezer for vanilla ice cream or the fridge for vanilla yogurt, and if the answer is affirmative, get out a saute pan and go to town. Place the skillet over medium heat and sizzle a couple tablespoons of unsalted butter. Peel the banana or (s) as necessary, slicing the length of the fruit, then crosswise into 2-inch lengths. Saute the bananas in the melted butter until softened. Sprinkle a couple tablespoonfuls of brown sugar, light or dark, over the bananas, stir through. A pinch of salt would be ok, as would a finishing glug of vanilla. Have ready bowls of vanilla ice cream or that fridge mainstay vanilla yogurt, I say allow one banana for two servings, and spoon the syrupy bananas over the the vanilla ice cream. Lovely.