Bananas - such a versatile word; I'm going a bit bananas over here; yer man got bananas drunk last night; that child is pure bananas; your ring tone is driving me bananas. The fruit - nyeh, I wouldn't be wild about it. It seems something of a treat-substitute to me, since it's so sweet and soft and sugary. I never see why you should overburden yourself with healthy substitutes for things when the thing you're substituting it for isn't exactly crack cocaine. It can be a significant part of some yum desserts and makes seriously tasty bread, but the only reason I am ever compelled to grab a 'nana is post-exercise, if there is a significant time barrier between me and my next meal. My cousin Sheila has diabetes and when we were kids she was constantly having bananas forced upon her like there was a banana famine on the way (a banamine, if you will), resulting in a loathing of them. That has also reinforced my view of them as pure pointless sugar. They are frequently cited as a favourite porridge topping, however, and I'll take whatever I can get on the inspiration front in my weekly quest to put something new atop my stirabout.
The book that I borrowed from the library to encourage me to eat more red meat has yet again taken me in the direction of something that, er, isn't red meat. As I was drooling over the desserts section in the Ripailles cookbook, I found some delicious compotes, one of which was a thick and sweet banana compote. Clearly this flies completely in the face of my whole intention to get the day off to a healthy start, but whacha gonna do.
Have I introduced you to my fab new Joseph Joseph chopping board? Isn't it a bright beauty? It's a housewarming gift from Couple O Loveliness, Donncha and Karen, and it has added a new dash of personality to my little kitchen.
So: the recipe says to make a caramel with some maple syrup. It doesn't actually say how to do that, but I assumed that it was something to do with heating it so it thickened a little. I then panicked at the thoughts of that lovely (and bloody expensive, I tells ya - you could buy a helluva lot of bananas for the price of a bottle of maple syrup) syrup burning, and I very quickly turfed in the sliced bananas. Here we have five bananas. We also have an indeterminate amount of maple syrup; the recipe says four tablespoons, but that just didn't seem like enough, so I had a lil freepour for myself.
After that has cooked itself into a lovely sweet squidge, it's time to deglaze with the juice of a lemon and an orange.
It turned out so thick and sweet as to have a luxurious feel to it, sweet and still with texture, in spite of the comforting mush of it all.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Honestly, when it is stirred right through that bowl of porridge, the pure substance of it has you grinning from ear to ear with satisfaction.
The really is no room for manuka in this concoction, but seeds still have their place - and see how they match my new bowls! How have I managed not to coo on about my new bowls until now?! Such uncharacteristic restraint. I splashed out on a pair of actually-not-that-much-of-a-discount-on-them-to-be-honest bowls in the Conran Shop sale, and they really do make me very happy indeed. They were purchased with the usual string of self-hoodwinking justifications - I eat a lot of food from bowls, I need new stuff to make my blog pics more interesting, they're green and it's spring so, y'know - but really, they just provide a bright and beautiful start to the day.
Er, I may or may not have poured in a load of extra maple syrup on top of that after I took the photo *cough cough cough*.