Banana Pudding Lovers Month (with only a few hours left before the month is over)

Yeah. I’m not even going to deny that I procrastinate. Or that I get distracted and forget things all the time. That’s what led to this last minute post tonight.

It started with taking Steve into work today (it’s my day off this week and we’re still juggling one car). On the way in, I mentioned that I was thinking about making banana pudding since I had all the ingredients (and also because I was feeling a little guilty about neglecting him lately, but I wasn’t going to mention that). He reminded me that November is Banana Lovers Month so I was cutting it pretty close, and I suddenly remembered promising to make him some at the beginning of the month. Man, I hate forgetting important things like that… ‘specially when they’re documented in the comments section of his website. Crap!

Now pudding making was mandatory.

Good thing I’m kinda known around these parts for my Banana Pudding. Really, just ask anyone. Or at least anyone named Dave or Mary from the band Southern Culture on the Skids.

Drummer Dave

See? Dave likes it.

Banana Pudding Time

So do some of the other people at their concert in 2010 (although I didn’t get a chance to make it for the 2011 show due to short notice and lots of overtime at work). We try to bring some for them to dish out to the audience in Austin when they play “Banana Pudding”.

I have to make some really good stuff for their next concert to make up for the store bought crap Steve delivered this year.

Enough distraction….

Today I decided to try using up some of the freeze dried bananas that I refuse to eat. That’s the downside of bulk purchasing. You get great deals on the stuff you like (freeze dried apples), but then you have lots of the items you hate (freeze dried bananas and strawberries). I picked out the banana slices and crushed them to a powder using a rolling pin. Then I mixed the banana powder in with the cream while making the pudding. It kinda clumped up a bit, but it tasted pretty damn good.

November is Banana Pudding Lovers Month

This is it. Tasty, tasty banana pudding. Of course I had to scarf some down before writing about it so I could remind myself why I’m a banana pudding lover.

“It takes a little time to develop the flavor
(Day old banana puddin’)
To soak it all up with your vanilla wafer
(Day old banana puddin’)
So get out your bowl and your wooden spoon
(Day old banana puddin’)
‘Cause I can smell your pudding clean across this room
(Day old banana puddin’)”

I feel like my life is all hockey and concerts

My last few weeks have been pretty busy and I’m still catching up from it.  So lets do this by date.
 
Tuesday 3/22/11 was hockey!

I took the night off from the camera so I could concentrate more on the game. The Houston Aeros are our big rivals this year and we not only beat them, we shut them down for a 3-0 victory. Even though I’m trying to ween myself off of the camera during the game… I really missed being able to see the game a second time while sorting through all the photos the next day.
 

Wednesday 3/23/11 was more hockey!

Our hockey buddy also works a few evenings a week as an on-ice official for our local hockey league.
 
Faceoff
 
Interestingly enough, the game I decided to attend to get photos of him working as a linesman was also the same game that my boss was playing in (he’s in the background of the next photo and going after the puck in the one after that).
 
New LinesmanBoss Hockey
 

Thursday 3/24/11 was our weekly Skate Night.
 
Steve's Skates
 
While I don’t skate, Steve loves it and even purchased his own pair of hockey skates. I tried it several times, but while physical therapy may keep my bilateral vestibular hypofunction in check, but it’s not enough to allow me to balance on two thin blades of metal without spending most of that time clinging to the rails or on my butt. So I sit and take advantage of the rink’s free wifi connection instead.
 

Friday 3/25/11 was Bernadette Peters in concert at the Paramount Theater.

No photos of that because I’m not completely camera-rude. She’s still incredible. Steve covered that show quite well on his site, so I won’t bother repeating it.
 

Saturday 3/26/11 was more hockey!

It was the Texas Stars vs the Grand Rapids Griffins, and we kicked some serious ass.  I even told Steve that we’d score our first goal within the first five minutes and sure enough, four minutes into the first period – Greg Rallo proved me right (I could have kissed him. Still willing to too).
 
Texas Stars vs Grand Rapids Griffins
 
(…that’s Francis Wathier.   I didn’t have a good photo of Rallo from this game.)
 
Steve spent the first intermission riding on the Zamboni.
 
Steve on a Zamboni
 
You can tell by the look on his face that he hated every moment of it.
 

Sunday 3/27/11 was Devo in concert!
 
Devo in concert (Austin)Devo in concert (Austin)Devo in concert (Austin)
 
Once again, Steve covered this concert thoroughly, so I’m not going to add much other than I finally learned how far I could be pushed before grabbing someone and tossing them back behind me (I don’t know if she sneaked off or if the crowd continued to move her back, but she wasn’t there when I turned back around).  While I did have several strangers come up after the show telling me how awesome that was, I’m still kind of embarrassed about losing my temper.  Other than that, the show was worth the hours of standing outside the venue, out on the terrace, and finally in front of the stage. 

Devo also has the best concert t-shirts – I picked up two of them.
 
Devo in concert in Austin, TX
 

Afterwards, we finally had a few days off that were spent catching up on work, chores around the house, another skate night, and getting lots of sleep (I’m getting too old for this). Then it was back to fun times.
 

Friday 4/1/11 was Texas Stars Hockey!

Texas was up against Chicago, who had recently moved up from a joke to being real competition. The best parts of the evening were the goals scored by two of my favorite defensemen (Fortunus and Larsen each got a goal).

There was also a horrible and then beautifully karmic moment with one of the on-ice officials for the game.

During the score-tying goal by Chicago, Deveaux jabbed Bachman (our goalie) in the face with a stick. After seeing several replays of the incident from different angles, there was no question about whether it was deliberate or not. There was no penalty called for high sticking, so the crowd starting chanting “Ref you suck!” over and over when suddenly the ref was knocked to his feet by a player. My first thought was “Oh shit, we’re gonna get called on it,” until I realized that we didn’t do it.
 
Stars vs Wolves - Hitting the Ref
 
Yep, it was Jaime Sifers from Chicago. Heh heh.
 

Saturday 4/2/11 was a SCOTS concert

I didn’t attend the Southern Culture on the Skids concert at the Continental Club with Steve this year. Normally I make a batch of homemade banana pudding for the go-go dancer to pass around during the song “Banana Puddin”.  Not this year.  With only a day notice, Steve had to throw something together with store-made nasty stuff.
 

 
This is the best copy of the song I could locate on YouTube.  There’s no go-go dancer with pudding, but at least you can hear what SCOTS is about (rockabilly surf music!).  I’ll have to make it up to them next year with a special batch for the band after the show.
 

Sunday 4/3/11 was a Scissor Sisters concert.

I brought a book to read while we waited for the show to start–someone else had a more productive idea.
 
Waiting for Scissor Sisters
 
It was a great show, but the combination of pain/nausea and heat forced me to leave the great spot Steve and I had carved out for ourselves. I ended up watching the rest of the show from the sidelines… along with some guys in hot pants (very nice legs).
 
Scissor Sisters in Austin
 
I can’t wait to catch them again when they come back to Austin.
 

There were finally a few more days off from with nothing other than work and chores before it was back to league hockey games, a skate night tonight, and the Wire concert tomorrow.  I really don’t know anything about Wire, so Steve’s going with his music buddy instead.  Me?  I have no idea what I’ll do other than sit with my feet up and snuggle with cats.
 

Recipe: Homemade Pudding

I still had 12 egg yolks left from Memorial Day’s angel food cake, and Candy Pants has been bugging me about making pudding with it all week (yeah, so maybe I promised him pudding in a moment of weakness). I finally got around to making it last night; and even though I used my base recipe, there were so many little changes that I may never be able to reproduce it. But damn! It was fine chocolate pudding.

My base recipe for pudding and pastry cream is below (this is my first test of a recipe plugin for WP).

Recipe: Homemade Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 quart milk (use half and half or cream to make the pudding a little richer)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 1/2 oz cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick), sliced into thin little butter pats
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Pour milk and 1/2 cup of sugar into a sauce pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together whole eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 cup of sugar, and cornstarch. Set the bowl aside.
  3. Heat the sauce pan with the milk and sugar mixture until it reaches 180 degrees F. (If you are using half and half or cream, you can let come to a boil, but be careful or it will boil over very quickly. If you are thinking about using fat free half and half or cream, please stick to instant pudding).
  4. Whisking continuously, slowly pour about 2 cups of the hot milk into the bowl with the egg mixture. Pour this back into the sauce pan with the hot milk, once again while whisking continuously.
  5. Return the pan to low heat and stir until thick (not quite pudding consistency). This usually doesn’t take very long.
  6. Remove pan from the heat and stir in vanilla.
  7. Add the butter pats in a few at a time, stir until melted and add next batch, continue until all the butter is added. Stir until the butter has melted and is completely combined.
  8. To chill, pour into a storage container and cover with plastic wrap, making sure that the wrap is touching the surface to keep condensation from forming. Let cool on a cooling rack until it’s cool enough to place in the fridge.

Variations

Banana Pudding: Line the bottom of a casserole dish with vanilla wafers. Spoon in a thin layer of the pudding. Add a layer of sliced bananas.  Add another thin layer of pudding. Repeat the cookie, pudding, banana, and pudding layers until you reach the top edge of the dish. Top with one more layer of cookies. (This is served at one of the several SCOTS performances every time they come through Austin.)

Chocolate Pudding: As soon as you remove the pudding from the heat, add the vanilla, butter, and 2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted. If you’re a chocolate snob, use the good stuff instead, just make sure it’s broken up into small pieces.

****************************************************

For this batch, the changes were either due to an excess of an ingredient and a shortage of others. Don’t forget, experimentation should be fun!

In this case, I had 12 yolks left from the cake. Doubling the recipe still only called for 8 yolks, but since we’re using the eggs as a thickener, and in this case the creamier the better, I just traded out two of the whole eggs for four yolks. I also used a combination of cream and water instead of milk. The rest of the base recipe stayed the same.

The big change was in making it chocolate pudding instead of vanilla. I had a bowl filled with the chocolate sauce from the dessert for the Memorial Day party (bittersweet chocolate, cream, sugar, corn syrup, cream liquor, vanilla) and two ounces of white chocolate left over from a Red Velvet Cake experiment. Since I wasn’t sure if it was enough chocolate, I also added in about two tablespoons of sifted powdered cocoa.

I’m afraid to calculate the calories on this one, so I just limit myself to three spoonfuls at time. This is one of those times that if you want to make it healthier, you can use 2% for the milk, but don’t go any lower; otherwise you might as well just make the crappy premade stuff.

The best way to make this less fattening is to eat less of it. Seriously, there’s no point in making it if you aren’t going to do it right.  A great example of how to make this healthier without sacrificing flavor is making the base recipe above, with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (add at the same time you add the vanilla), and serving a small amount of the pudding with lots of berries and sliced fruit… maybe even some toasted almonds sprinkled on top.  That way there’s all the healthy stuff with just enough tasty pudding to make your eye roll up in the back of your head with orgasmic foodie delight.

If you try the recipe, please let me know what you think.

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