BanApple Sur-pies: the Ultimate College Dessert

College is not generally a time of great culinary advancements, but today, history was made and what might just be the ultimate college dessert was born:

Part bananas foster.

Part apple pie.

Part bread pudding.

We call it… BanApple Sur-pies

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“Well…it looks good in person.” -Master Chef Josh

You too can recreate this marvelous delicacy if you have….

Ingredients:

  • 2 forgotten and almost brown bananas
  • 1 green apple you stole from the caf last week
  • 4 slices gluten free bread (or 2 slices of regular, not oddly-small bread)
  • enough cinnamon for two people to complete “ye olde cinnamon challenge of 2010”
  • enough honey to compensate for the lack of actual sugar
  • several tablespoons zero-calorie, low-fat (preferably diet) water
  • 2-3(ish) tablespoons of the coconut oil you also use as makeup remover

Materials:

  • A stove and sink (preferably in the dorm common area so you can make use of whatever utensils you find lying around)
  • A frying pan (preferably your own)
  • At least one fork (I had to eat with a knife…) and a knife (two if you do not have enough forks)
  • spatula

Bonus Resources:

  • The hunger of a student deep in the “sophomore slump.”
  • The blind determination to make something, anything edible by combining the remnants of groceries found in your dorm.
  • A partner who understands that “sprinkling” is different than indiscriminately “dumping” when it comes to spices.
  • Whipped cream…which by a terrible tragedy arrived too late to be included in this first attempt.
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“It’s starting to look like something!” – Sous Chef Me

Directions:

  1. Slice the bananas. Eat a few when your cooking partner isn’t looking.
  2. Spread coconut oil in the frying pan and allow to melt over medium heat.
  3. Place banana slices in pan evenly and allow to sizzle for 1-2 minutes. Turn your face in despair as the bananas become mush instead of beautiful golden crisps.
  4. As you do so, mix water, honey, and a little cinnamon together in a cup you found left behind (#finderskeepers).
  5. Flip the bananas over as best as you can and allow the other side to fizzle for another minute or so.
  6. Drizzle the water mixture over the former banana slices. Panic at your inability to drizzle. Give up and just dump it.
  7. Look at the weird banana soup you just made. Disgusting. Consider using the sponge you found in the sink to soak up the liquid. Decide that’s a bad idea. Use bread instead.
  8. Tear the bread into bite-size pieces. Really tear that bread. Take out your anger on the bread. That bread is your midterm and you are going to destroy it.
  9. Toss the bread remains into the frying pan with the weird banana soup. Poke it with the spatula to see if it moves. Now stir it all together.
  10. Rejoice with your (optional) cooking partner when the mixture starts to look more like bread pudding than throw-up.
  11. Accidentally dump more cinnamon onto the mixture. Have the cinnamon confiscated by your partner. Compensate by adding honey when he isn’t looking.
  12. Hmmmm….stare together at your shapeless creation. Turn down the heat. Both you and the food need to chill out.
  13. Think with regret that you could have made apple pie. Decide to add chopped apple to your banana no-longer-soup. Close enough.
  14. Before mixing in the chopped apple pieces, fry them in a tablespoon of coconut oil (enough to remove waterproof mascara) on the opposite side of the pan.
  15. Now mix them in with the banana stuff.
  16. Garnish the mixture with more cinnamon and honey until it looks and smells like it will taste good. Believe me, you’ll know.
  17. Scoop onto a plate and call your roommate. Beg her to bring whipped cream for you to put on top. Lament when she is off campus.
  18. Make puns to revive your spirits.
  19. Look with yearning and pride at your creation.
  20. With or without whipped cream, enjoy your finished “BanApple Sur-pies” with whatever utensils you have on hand. Or, if it comes down to it, your hand.
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We were a little afraid to try it…but it was sooooo worth it.

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It ended up being so good, we were in anguish when we dropped a single piece. (Also that girl with the meme-worthy face is 100% not me….)

Human Attraction

I am a proud Sherlockian and for those of you who are not citizens of a geek fandom, that is simply someone who is obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, whether it is the BBC television show, Benedict Cumberbatch in general, or the original works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was first inducted as a Sherlockian when I happened upon the BBC show on Netflix, having already watched every Disney movie and Bigfoot documentary available. The show inspired me, for it provided a fresh, modern take on classic tales without making a mess of them as many have done (cough cough…Elementary…). After watching every episode at least twice and knowing it will probably be at least a decade before season four, I picked up a gigantic copy of the original stories and have been lugging it around with me for the past few weeks. (That in itself is a feat as it weighs at least five pounds; my biceps are getting huge!)

This morning as I read one of Mr. Holmes’ many adventures, “The Engineer’s Thumb,” I found myself more confused than poor Mr. Watson. You see, while Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing is impeccable and his tales chillingly pleasant, I often find myself wondering why he chose the plot lines that he did. After all, why write about an ordinary murder when death by boomerang is more surprising and also fits the evidence? Why purposefully leave a case unsolved or allow a criminal to escape? But most importantly, why don’t these frustrating details hinder my enjoyment of these stories? I personally love Sherlock Holmes, but it seems that the neatly-packaged resolutions of Nancy Drew might be more pleasant to the average reader. These questions and more have tantalized my brain for the past week, and so, following my hero’s example, I have deduced that the answer is elementary.

This brings me to my deduction: classic literature endures not because its plots are smooth and its resolutions entirely satisfying, but because it is distinctly human. In the case of the Sherlock Holmes tales, if every mystery had been sensational and every loose end tied up, it would not be believable. No human life is exiting all of the time and no human life has every problem resolved perfectly. The same statement is true of Anna Karenina, Gone With the Wind, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Vanity Fair, the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, and nearly every other piece of true literature. None of these renowned books has the perfect fairy-tale ending that audiences today expect and none of their plots are completely fantastic. If they had such endings and plots, they would be predictable and dull and probably not survive more than a generation. But they do not! AK made the terrible choices characteristic of humanity’s sinful nature, GWtW was wrought with tragedy and unstable relationships, TPoDG certainly did not end well, VF was riddled with unfortunate and unpredictable circumstances, and even the beloved fairy tales we heard as children were in actuality filled with gore and sorrow. None of these great books have complete “happily-ever-afters” or crystal-stair plots, but they did not need to. What makes a story a classic is its ability to reflect, even through fiction, the human condition, which is not generally solved by wit or relieved by magic.

However, none of this is to say that these stories are dull! They would not have lived through generations of frivolous human readers if they were. Rather, as Sherlock Holmes states, “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent… it [makes] all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”  Thus, unlike certain modern tales of predictable sensationalism and tidy endings (hint hint…Twilight…), these classic works will endure as long as mankind because they are the mirror of man’s humanity and, according to current psychology, we are attracted to what is representative of ourselves.