Some bananas had become overripe and since last week I had made banana nut bread, I thought this time I would make a banana pudding.
When you are bi- or multi- cultural, you get hungry for things from elsewhere, not available locally. You either do without, substitute or make it yourself.
Banana pudding. But we have no cookies. Vanilla wafers are not available here; usually I substitute Petit Beurre, not at all the same, but they work. However we had none. Bright idea—why not make some vanilla wafers? I quickly found a recipe: https://bakingamoment.com/homemade-vanilla-wafers/
Upon reading the comments I was surprised to see that many people wanted to make them for the same reason as me—banana pudding!
I set to work and soon they were cooling on a rack. I only got 38 rather than the 65 indicated in the recipe and two of them disappeared almost immediately. When my husband asked if he could have more, I replied non, non, no-on, non, non. Full disclosure, one of them was eaten by me.
Next I made the custard. Mix 1/3 cup flour with ½ cup sugar and pinch of salt. Slowly add 2 cups milk, stirring well. Put in a 1 inch piece of split vanilla bean. Separate 3 eggs and add a 4th to the yolks. Cook the milk/flour mixture until thick, it is OK if it boils. Then, beating all the while with a whisk, add this very slowly to the egg and yolks. Return to pan and cook for one or two minutes on low heat. Let cool, stirring from time to time.
Layer the cookies, custard and sliced bananas in a dish that can go in the oven.
Wait a little while, then beat the egg whites until frothy, add ¼ cup sugar gradually, beat until peaks form. Spread this over the pudding and brown under the grill in the oven, not too close, and watch carefully. It only took about 3-4 minutes for the peaks to brown.
It will probably be better tomorrow as the cookies did not have time to absorb from the custard and were a bit crunchy. We found it a bit too sweet; I generally use less sugar but did not this time.
A landscape? Mountains, desert, sea?
The peels get chopped and given to the roses.
At the supermarket, a package of industrially produced food caught my eye : ravioli with Gorgonzola and walnuts. Hmm, my hand almost reached out but my head said “I could make that”. So all I bought was some Gorgonzola.
I reflected for a while about what kind of sauce would best accompany this dish. Not tomato, not just butter. I decided to use Waldorf salad as my inspiration and cooked some apples down to applesauce, then added some celery, a small shallot, salt and the seeds from one pod of cardamom. I did not let the celery cook too long as I wanted a crunchy element.
I shelled and finely chopped ½ cup walnuts which came to about 50 grams and blended them with the 150g package of Gorgonzola.
My usual pasta, one egg per person, as much flour as it will take.
I had extra filling which I put aside for another day.
At the last minute, I added two large dollops of crème fraîche and some pepper to the sauce.
So many gray skies
Make me blue
But as it’s a holiday
What can I do?
I’ll make a cake, I decided. We had a very nice crop of walnuts this year. There was a cake we used to eat sometimes a long time ago, between 35 and 40 years ago. I feel like I have escaped from a history book with all these preposterous numbers of years.
On the way between where we lived and where my parents-in-law lived, one could find at one of the rest areas this delicious confection consisting mostly of nuts with a bit of pastry to cover and caramel to hold together. Walnuts in French are called “noix de Grenoble” and this cake could be found when passing close to that area. My mother-in-law was fond of walnuts and so am I.
I did a google for “gâteaux aux noix”. Just looking at the images was quite cheering. The one that corresponded to my search is actually from Switzerland.
It takes a lot of nuts—300 grams, about 2 cups. I’m glad there were two of us to shell them.
Up until about age 23, I thought gravy came in an envelope or maybe in a soup can. I have cooked and baked a lot since then but I am not very experienced with caramel. I carefully followed the directions and exercised patience—it turned out good.
This is supposed to make 12 servings, each one over 500 calories. Oh boy.
The recipe is here:
Apples cooked in about 1 Tbsp butter and 2 tsp honey with 3 walnuts, a crumbled sage leaf and some cardamom. Purchased pâte feuilletée. Baked for about 15 minutes, then topped with ½ Crottin. Baked a further 5 minutes. Yum.
1 Free unpredictable creativity. 2 Strange fleeting taste, a whim. 3 A work of the imagination, a creation that does not follow the rules. …
I was a bit surprised when someone once commented on my knitting “oh, you did a point fantaisie (a fantasy stitch). After a while, I realized the French call anything that is not the classical named model “fantaisie”.
Mixing sweet and savoury is “fantaisie” and could be totally unacceptable for some people.
I was thinking tagliatelli but some of these are bordering on lasagne.
My grandma told me “use one egg per person, add as much flour as it will take, roll out as thin as you can.”
Sprinkle with flour and gently separate them from the work surface. This plastic tool comes in handy. Toss them around a bit to be sure they are well separated, play with them, enjoy them. Cook as usual, they will get done faster than dried pasta.
Not sold in any package. My husband made the sauce.
And so together, between us both, we licked the platter clean.
Riddle: What do homemade pasta and snowflakes have in common?
Some people split hairs, I thought, as I chopped each physalis into 8 pieces.
Physalis or groundcherries or Cape something I forget
Red bell pepper (not hot)
Shallot finely chopped into lime juice
A sprinkle of Berber spice blend (it is quite hot)
Mix well and wait a little while. Then enjoy as a relish.
Something different for me, I volunteered to participate in a traveling sketchbook. Its theme is recipes.
First I had to translate and convert my recipe; then I had to bake the muffins. Now I have to wait until the end of today’s fast to eat them.
Now I will return the book so it can go on its way for the filling of the remaining pages.
The thread for this project can be found here:
Sometimes she even plays with other people’s food. These are for a reception.
You may have seen this type of thing on Youtube, as I did.
You don’t need to speak Arabic to get the gist. I think one could use any kind of bread dough and any kind of filling. They could be any size.
I made my regular pizza dough and some tapenade (olives, anchovies, capers, olive oil and lemon juice). I needed these to be cool by noon so I made the dough last night and let it rise in the refrigerator. A bit of cheese on top and in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Sometimes watching videos can be a pastime (a waste of time?) and sometimes it can move one to action. I saw a young man being taught Mexican cooking by grandmothers and it inspired me to do something along the tamale line. This is in no way meant to be an authentic tamale but it made a nice dinner and kept this gardener occupied while waiting for the weather to be more auspicious for gardening. Previously, as far as I can remember, the only tamales I have eaten came in a can.
I cooked some meat like I do for pork BBQ (boiled, basically) and steamed some leeks from the garden while it was simmering. I stuck four whole tomatoes down in there just until they cracked, then removed and set aside for a sauce.
I made the corn flour mixture using half the fat called for. I think 2/3 cup must have been a mistake. So 2 cups corn flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ¾ tsp. salt, 1/3 cup lard and duck fat that we had left over and 1 ¼ cup bouillon from the meat.
I didn’t have any banana leaves or corn husks so I used parchment paper. I set them to steam for 2 hours in our couscoussier.
For the sauce I used the Vitamix blender and the four tomatoes, one shallot, one clove of garlic, some salt, cumin and paprika.
While they would not win any prizes for elegance, they were a very satisfying meal and I was happy that they did not turn out as falling apart blobs.
I am very happy to have a plentiful supply of zucchini/courgettes this year. I had almost forgotten this recipe which is a vegetarian variant on stuffing them. I will type out the recipe here, but I didn’t do it like that. 🙂
4 small zucchini
½ cup chopped cashew nuts
1 large red pepper
5 tablespoons cream
½ cup granola or breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tahine
2 tablespoons crushed rosemary
2 ½ cups mushrooms
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
Cut zucchini lengthwise and remove seeds. Mix cashew nuts with very finely chopped red pepper. Mix in cream, granola, tahine and crushed rosemary. Add salt to taste. Spoon filling into zucchini halves.
Sauté onion sliced into rings in oil. Slice mushrooms and add to onions and also the lemon juice. Let simmer for a couple of minutes. Put onions and mushrooms with pan juices in an ovenproof dish. Put stuffed zucchini in the dish and sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese.
Bake in oven, preheated to 375°F, until cheese is golden, about 40 minutes.
Serve rice and a salad with this dish.
From “The International Vegetarian Cookbook” by Kirsten Skaarup, Garden Way Publishing, Pownal, Vermont 05261, ISBN 0-88266-362-3
I did not mess with the sautéing part, I just poured some olive oil into the baking dish, threw in 3 sliced onions quickly done with the mandolin, then added a small can of mushrooms (drained). Never mind the lemon juice. I hollowed out 2 large zucchini with a grapefruit spoon, chopped that up finely and put it in the bowl with the other ingredients. I always use oatmeal instead of granola for this recipe. I didn’t have any cream so I used a Greek yogurt. Skipped the cheese and we did not need any rice or salad.