I just finished the Julia Child biography, Dearie. It may be one of the best books I have ever read. The writing and the subject are both riveting and entertaining. Julia Child is a pure inspiration. She lived life on her terms, warts and all. She was everything that I would ever hope to be. She was irreverent, hard working, a great lover, an outspoken idealist, a great writer, a true friend and a trusted brand. She lived a long and delicious series of adventures that she eventually took us all on. Above all, she changed the way America cooked.
Cooking requires inspiration. Hunger is often a good start, but does not often provide the idea. If inspiration were left to hunger than frito-lay would sell even more product than it already does. No, inspiration has to be more cerebral. It needs to be triggered from travel, experience, memory and random smatterings of life’s little gifts. The armload of bananas that was heaped upon me last week from my neighbor, for instance. Julia was always kind to chefs. But when she would encounter one that she thought did not yet possess the skills needed to dazzle, she would gently suggest that he or she should travel and see first hand the old world traditions and tastes that differ from what is available here at home. It was Julia’s way of saying, “You really ought to get out more.”
So many people felt a kinship with Julia that it’s hard to also claim the same, but I certainly adore everything about her and will forever be inspired by her legacy. She is gone now, “slipped off the raft”, but will never, ever be forgotten. If there was one single trait that I would admire at least as much as the others it would have to be her ability to be decisive and always move forward, never looking back. And so we move on to banana ice cream.
There are a few different types of ice cream recipes, basically ones that have eggs and ones that don’t. The rest is essentially the same formula. Only the flavors change. If this looks vaguely familiar, that is because most ice cream recipes are identical. I use the type of ice cream freezer that I have mentioned before. It consists of a frozen drum and a turning mechanism. There are several on the market.
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/4 Cups Whole Milk
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Ripe Bananas
- 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoons Brandy
- Mixing Bowls
- Medium Pan
- Ice Cream Machine
- In a mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and combine.
- Mix in the flour and salt.
- In the pan, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Turn off flame.
- Beat the milk into the mixture, little by little. You do not want to cook the eggs.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan and constantly whisk over low heat until it starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a clean bowl.
- In another bowl, mash the bananas then blend into the mixture.
- Let cool for a few minutes.
- Add the cream, brandy and vanilla.
- Cover and refrigerate for about an hour, until it is cold.
- Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and let it freeze. This usually takes about 20 minutes, but check the booklet that comes with the machine.
I like to eat it right away, but my wife puts it in the freezer for a few hours. It all depends upon your will power.