Monday, January 31, 2011

Food For Thought: Gravity's Rainbow Cont.

"In the kitchen... Teddy Bloat is mincing bananas with a great isosceles knife, from beneath whose nervous blade Pirate with one hand shovels the blonde mash into waffle batter resilient with fresh hens' eggs, for which Osbie Feel has exchanged an equal number of golf balls, these being even rarer this winter than real eggs, other hand blending the fruit in, not over vigourously, with a wire whisk, whilst surly Osbie himself, sucking frequently at a half pint Milk bottle filled with Vat69 and water tends to the bananas in the skillet and the broiler...

Acton and I had Fresh Direct deliver the ingredients the day before. We had settled on a recipe for yeasted waffles from the adorable blog Honey & Jam. And while yeasted waffles need a little more prep time than your average Bisquick mix... it somehow seemed fitting that for a Pynchon-themed meal the recipe for our simple banana waffles should be as complicated as humanly possible!  In the end, the result was well worth the extra effort. (Ahem...Hoping this proves true of the book too...?) Our waffles were divine. We think Pirate would approve.

For the banana feast, we had some options to work with. Here are just a few of the delicacies that Pynchon mentions in the famous banana breakfast scene:

Banana omelets, banana sandwiches, banana casseroles, mashed bananas molded in the shape of a British lion rampant, banana french toast , banana blancmange, banana croissants, banana kreplach, banana oatmeal, banana jam, banana bread, banana flambed in brandy... and let's not forget the mugs full of fermented banana mead.
And, of course, finally: "Tall cruets of pale banana syrup pour oozing over banana waffles"

Thanks to Honey and Jam for the recipe!

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground clove
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup mashed ripe banana
2 tablespoons sour cream
The morning before:
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, milk and vanilla. Set aside, the mixture should be warm but not hot. (oops. my butter kind of burnt in the microwave. try and maybe heat yours stove-top.)

In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and spices. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking until smooth. (We liked the addition of spices. But the ginger was a little strong at the end. Maybe just a pinch less next time). Stir in the beaten eggs. Cover the bowl loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but up to 24.
Morning Waffles:
About 30 minutes before you want to make waffles, take the batter out of the refrigerator to come up to room temperature slightly. Stir in sour cream to mashed bananas and then mix into the batter. Fire up your waffle iron and get ready to cook! (Also, our first batch totally overflowed all over the kitchen counter so go easy on the ladling at the beginning while you gauge how much you really need).
Banana Frappes
Breyer's Vanilla Icecream 2 Cups
Milk 1/4 Cup
Bananas 2-3
Honey 1 Tbs (a must!)

Mix in a blender and serve chilled!

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