Today I donated my meal swipes to the YHHAP fast, benefiting homeless shelters in New Haven. It’s a great program and they’ve made it so signing up for it is easy, but it always leaves me with the problem of figuring out what to eat. One of the things I absolutely cannot live without is a bundle of fruit, so last night before I headed out to Miya’s for dinner with Amy and Liz, I stopped by Trumbull to swipe some fruit. I came away with 6 blood oranges, 2 apples, a pear, and two bananas. I know. It sounds like an atrocious amount of fruit–but trust me kids, I inhale the stuff. Anyway, I’ve been itching to relive my childhood lately, especially since crunch time is starting to feel especially crunchy these days. The last day of classes is next Friday, and then it’s Reading Week, papers, finals etc. You get the horrible picture. This stress all made me think back to this time I performed with the Irvine Unified School District’s Honor Orchestra at Disneyland. Of course I remember having fun playing music and all, but what I distinctly remember is how hot it was, how gruesome the lines on my 10 year-old feet, and how fun it was to devour sourdough bowls full of soup at Disneyland’s New Orleans quarter.
My friends and I would buy popsicles, water, or anything cold we could get our hands on as we waited in the hour-long lines. Once, in front of the Haunted House ride, four of us decided to buy frozen chocolate-covered bananas. As the vendor opened the cart, dramatic wisps of liquid nitrogen flowed out of it, and our bananas emerged solid as concrete. This all would have been fine, except that as we neared the end of the line, a sign cautioned us to eat or drink all of our food unless we wanted a ghost to follow us home. I nearly dropped the banana when I read it. My mom grew up with her large share of superstitions, and was terrified of death, spirits, and wackiness. Standing there, I had two options. Wolf down something that refused with great frozen energy to be eaten properly, throw it away (which I couldn’t let myself do because Disneyland charges exhorbitant prices), or take a ghost home with me. I chose the first option, which is probably why I remember the scene so well. The brain freeze was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
This time around, I was less interested in cooling off, and more interested in taste, quality, and smaller bites. I took one of the bananas I’d pilfered from the dining hall last night, chopped it into pieces, and came up with what I think is a new, sophisticated take on the standard kid-friendly frozen banana. I used organic rose-berry dark chocolate. Dagoba brand makes it with raspberries and rosehips, which I thought would give a depth of flavor to the treat. I froze the bananas, melted the chocolate in a make-shift double-boiler, and scooped the melted chocolate over the banana slices until they were covered. Then I froze them again, and took them out after about a half hour. I couldn’t believe I even waited that long!
Recipe to make 6 chocolate-covered banana chunks:
2 oz dark chocolate (I used Dagoba rose-berry, but feel free to use regular or other flavored chocolate)
1 pot boiling water
1 bowl (to melt chocolate in over the pot)
(optional) garnish: chopped nuts, berries, or coconut
1. chop bananas into thick chunks, freeze on platter
2. melt chocolate
3. take bananas out, and scoop melted chocolate over them
4. refreeze chocolate-covered bananas until set (about 15 minutes)
You can keep these in your freezer for a while, and take them out whenever you want to eat them. They make a beautiful dessert!