Friday, April 16, 2010

The Life of a college student and Southern Banana Pudding


When I was in college, I was wild.  Maybe not wild in the party-hardy loose living kind of way, but I did do crazy things.  I don't remember a semester when I had less than the maximum 18 hour load of classes, and I often had special permission to take more.  I was involved in my sorority, was on the school swing dance committee, performed in an on-campus ballet, was involved in a campus ministry, often participated in Relay for Life, fundraisers, and church events, was often found in the house kitchen cooking up something for friends or classmates, would stay up until the wee hours with friends, and then would do my homework.  I have no idea how I would live such a life, day after day, and survive!  There were days when I would get two or three hours of sleep, night after night.  I cannot even fathom that now!

I still love being involved.  I'm still a go-getter, to an extent.  But I cannot go with such gusto anymore (and even if I could, I now have a husband who would collapse if he had to keep up with me).  All that said, this week was a week requiring that old college fervor.  Thankfully, we had no less than seven hours of sleep each night. 


The big event this week was the Annual Culture Night I mentioned a few weeks ago.  I was indeed asked to coordinate the southern table, and had several wonderful friends who helped as well.  We were given few instructions, our budget, and a lot of freedom.  I chose to represent the south with shrimp and baked garlic cheese grits, turnip greens, black-eyed peas, and homemade banana pudding.  Because I had a full meal and I knew there would be other cultures and other foods there, I decided to only cook for 40.  I figured if we ran out, then we ran out.  There was a huge turnout; I would guess well over 100 people.  But there was also a lot of food!  By the time the crowd got to my table, their plates were full with an assorted variety of food including Chinese, Greek, Malaysian, Korean, Irish, African Amercian, and much more.  At the end of the night, I took home about 30 servings of shrimp, grits, greens and peas, which I promptly packaged to send home with friends!


The banana pudding was another story.  This rather unattractive dish of homemade pudding, bananas and vanilla wafers topped with real whipped cream, which frequents church potluck dessert tables and almost always shows up at low brow BBQ restaurants, was completely gone.  This is comfort food at its finest. 

Now I have to go bake a cake, or go to a party, or do some homework, or something.


Homemade Banana Pudding

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

45 Vanilla wafers (about half a box)
3-4 bananas, sliced
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
3 egg yolks, well beaten
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour and 1 cup sugar.  Add one cup of cold milk and whisk until combined, then whisk in the eggs, and finally add the rest of the milk. 

Cook, stirring often with a whisk, over medium-low heat for four minutes, and then reduce the heat to low.  Continue to stir and cook over low heat until thick, about fifteen minutes.  Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

In a glass bowl, layer the vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding.  Repeat the layers until you have used all of the pudding (reserve some vanilla wafers and bananas for the top layer).

Pour the whipping cream in a cold metal bowl.  Using a hand mixer, beat the cream until it is thick.  Mix in the powdered sugar.  Pour the whipped cream over the banana pudding, and decorate the top with the remaining vanilla wafers and banana slices. 
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8 comments :

Linda www.mykindofcooking.com said...

Wow! What a schedule you had. Banana pudding is one of my husbands favorite desserts. I created a Caramel Banana Trifle recipe for him. If you want to take a peek at the recipe, I have it posted on my blog. I posted it a couple of weeks ago. Just scroll down on the page to see it.

Megan Gordon said...

eek! Love the banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery in NYC and have been looking for a recipe for homemade...I have a Southern baking book that has a version but this looks even simpler. Can't wait to try!

grace said...

nothing unattractive about that massive bowl of comfort, no ma'am. banana pudding is close to my heart, and if it's close to my hands as well, it's going into my belly apace. :)

Anonymous said...

Next year, just make only desserts. Your family gave you a whole list of possibilities this year and you picked the best one. If Uncle Larry had been there, it would have disappeared even sooner.
Aunt Dianne

citymouse said...

The Banana Pudding looks awesome and I know my husband would love me just a little bit more if I would make this for him. Thanks for the post!

Your blog looks very cool, so I am gonna follow it so I don't miss a thing!

Stopping by from SITS.

the southern hostess said...

Absolute perfection! I could eat it all.

Tickled Red said...

The Banana Pudding looks fantastic but I also love the fun with friends pics :) They make you want to jump in and have fun with you guys.

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