Bananas Foster Problem Solver

Here are the problems I had last night when I got home after a really long day, and how I solved them.

Problem 1: I was, like, zombie-level tired. When I come home on Mondays & Wednesdays, my two longest teaching days, I am wiped out. I have 5 office hours (that are always jam-packed with things to do & students to see) and I teach 4 sections of 3 different classes. That’s after swimming at least a mile at 6:30 am. So, when I get home on those nights, I’m basically a zombie. I am a terrible conversationalist. I’ve talked all day. Answered questions. Given advice. Smiled a lot. Acted like an extrovert. Told all the funny stories I could muster in order to get my students to listen. It takes a TON of energy to be “Dr. Daws” all day. So by the time I get home on Mondays & Wednesdays, I pretty much talk in short grunts, sad nonverbal expressions and whines until I pass out around 9 pm. This wouldn’t be a problem if it was just me & the cat, who would likely prefer I just leave her the hell alone anyway, but when you’ve got a husband to keep happy, it can become an issue. I’m usually so tired I don’t even try to smile. I just go put on my pj’s, heat up some dinner, and veg on the couch until I catch the train to Sleepytown, feeling really guilty that I can’t muster the energy to have a conversation with my sweet husband, much less smile or attempt to look halfway decent.

Problem 1 solution: look at the pretty fall-colored flowers Dave got me, “just because I wanted to make you smile.” 🙂

Awwww. I felt much better. They definitely put a smile on my face & inspired me to actually attempt to have a conversation over dinner last night. Marriage FTW. May all of you ladies have husbands/boyfriends/partners that are so sweet and understanding.

Problem 2: I was dehydrated. Those of you who know how much water I drink in a day are likely laughing. But y’all also know how I am if I don’t have enough water: cranky pants. I had 3 liters of water yesterday when I probably could’ve used 4, since I had a hard swim in the morning.

Problem 2 Solution: of course, a Woodchuck fall cider with dinner. That counts as hydration, right? (At the tailgate on Saturday, Reynolds & I had a disagreement about whether the beverage truly is “fall in a bottle” or “autumn in a bottle,” which he argued was a better word to capture the full spectrum and timeframe of flavors held within the bottle. I seriously think we debated that for a good 5 minutes. This is what happens when Comm/Rhetoric PhD’s get together for tailgates. We are super exciting. Watch out New Orleans!)

Problem 3: I wanted dessert. And I wanted something besides just vanilla ice cream, which is the only thing I thought I had available that was dessert-ish. I had no caramel sauce hanging out in the fridge to make it extra creamy. I had no magical chocolate brownies in the freezer to reheat (guess I’ll be making another batch soon), and I had no energy to make much of anything.

As I was sitting on the couch, pondering dessert, wondering if the plain ol’ vanilla ice cream would even be worth the calories or if I should go to bed, I realized that I did not eat the banana I brought to school as part of my lunch. And, the banana was in my big roller bag that comes with me everywhere, and I realized I should probably retrieve said banana so that it didn’t get smushed or make the entire bag smell like an old, gross banana. I peeled myself off the couch (see what I did there? Banana? Peel? Get it?), retrieved the banana which had turned extremely brown and gross looking, started to berate myself for eating 3 mini Snickers instead of the healthy banana snack earlier, and then it hit me. No, not the banana. An idea hit me. I could make bananas foster to go on top of my ice cream!

I know that part of the charm of this dessert is the flambé, when you tilt the pan full of rum over a flame and watch it burn. I like fire as much as the next pyro, but I also like having all the skin on my hands, arms and face. Y’all know I am somewhat of a klutz in my life and especially in the kitchen, so I’ve found a “LBDelicious” method for making bananas foster that does not require any risk of life or limb. And, it only takes about 2 minutes to whip up – an investment well worth the time, even on a really long day.

Bananas Foster

In a nonstick pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter. As it’s melting, stir in about 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Slice a banana into quarters, lengthwise, or slice into thin circles (I was in a hurry; the less cutting last night, the better).

(Yes. That is the cutest measuring spoon ever from Anthropologie. I smile whenever I use them. I lusted over these for about 3 years before I let myself splurge & purchase them. I don’t know how I lived without them.)

Allow bananas to hang out in the melted sugar/butter combo for about a minute, coating them on all sides.

Add about 2 tablespoons rum to the pan. Stand back.

(Yes. I have purple martini pajama pants, courtesy of Casey.)

Don’t try to make it flame up. Just crank the heat up to medium  high and let the alcohol evaporate from the pan. Continue to stir the bananas in the sauce for another minute or so.

Pour over some ice cream, and dig in.

This would also be delicious on top of pound cake, if you’re not too keen on ice cream. Or, if you like them both, how about pound cake, ice cream AND bananas foster? I was just reminded I need to make a big pound cake and put it in my freezer for the next time I decide to randomly make bananas foster…

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