Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday | Going Bananas

Chiquita Banana Recipe Book ©1947

Remember the other day when at the last minute I announced that Marion and I were attempting a get-away? Well, we did. It was rather eventful in a humorous sort of way, I guess…You see, the one thing I have finally realized when dealing with Marion since here last major hospital stay is, you can’t give her much notice. Once a vibrant and on the spot go getter, Marion is beginning, just beginning mind you, to “act” her age. I say that with a tongue and cheek demeanor because, I’m not really sure what is meant by “act your age”, but that dear readers is a challenge for another day:)

Early in the morning of said get-away, I informed Marion that we were going for ride. A long ride. I had the beautiful weather on my side and I was taking full advantage of it. No need to rehash the bitterly cold Winter we’ve been having even this late in the year with Spring days away. However, Mother Nature blessed us with an unseasonable warm couple of days and I planned on jumping on it. Marion was going even if she threw a tantrum as we went out the door which thankfully, she did not!

My intention was to head to New York. I’ve been missing my family in New York for months now and Marion has been hinting about missing hers also. For those of you who still have children at home, or those of you who are familiar with the movie, “Are We There Yet,” you might be able to understand how my line of patience may have been crossed more than a few times when every, what seemed like 5 minutes, Marion asked said question.

“Are we there yet,” she said looking at her watch.

“Not yet Marion” I replied we’ve just left the gas station and haven’t even gotten on the interstate yet.

”How long does it take?” she inquired.

”Oh about 4 or 5 hours” I mumbled.

”What!” she shrieked. “Go back, go back!”

I was prepared for the go back reaction. Four or five hours in a car is enough to drive anyone crazy, including me! I did manage to quiet her down though and made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. I told her if she absolutely couldn’t make the entire trip to New York, we would stop half way, relax, spend the night and head back home. I candied up how beautiful it would be to make such a lovely drive on such a beautiful day and she finally agreed.

Unfortunately or fortunately, two hours into the ride and an infinite amount of “are we there yets” later, Marion had enough.

”Go there” she once again began to shriek.

There, believe it or not, was a sign on the interstate announcing the promotional benefits of joining the gamblers club at a local casino!

”I haven’t gambled in years” she informed me. Quite frankly I didn’t know she gambled at all and when she told me she once bet $20.00 on a horse and won, I was astonished!!!

We pulled off the interstate and headed for the casino! We made reservations but since it was too early for us to check in, we “had” to hit the casino floor for a while. The front desk was more than happy to watch our luggage while we investigated. Now, I have to tell you an important bit of information about Marion and outings. I’ll try to explain it as gingerly as I can. Marion refuses to eat or drink anything if she plans on going out for any reason. Doctor, shopping, women’s shelter, anywhere! If she has a doctor’s appointment at 4PM, she will not eat or drink a thing until after the appointment. No exceptions. (it's a pit stop thing:)

I don’t know when she did it or how she did it but somewhere between reservations and walking through those casino doors, Marion not only devised an itinerary for the rest of our day and evening but also for the next day too. I tried to rent one of those mobile chairs so she could go skimming around the place but, she wouldn’t have it. She did however see the “Players Club” desk where you sign up for a card and they give you “free” money. Free to Marion means give it to me now!!! But, Marion didn’t get one because, she has never, ever had a drivers license and in order to get one you have to have what is referred to as a “government ID.” She was not happy but, it didn’t stop her from hitting those slots one after another in every direction. I was mesmerized by her energy, her knowledge and her excitement!

We had a wonderful time both days:) I was glad that we booked two separate rooms though. It seems, Marion was having a most difficult time getting into her bed the first night, unbeknownst to me. Marion only stands about 4’11” and the platform beds in the rooms are pretty darn high. Apparently, she tried to climb on a hassock in the room to get up on the bed but she then realized she would have to use the hassock every time she got up during the night. Her solution? She called the front desk, insisted that someone come up and rearrange the room, remove the platform so the bed would be lower so she would be able to get in and out of the bed. She also, so the girl at the desk told me the next morning, gave every single person she talked to a lecture on how none of the senior citizens roaming the casino would be able to get in their beds and that they were probably spending the night in the chairs in the rooms. How dare they!!!

Marion’s 95th birthday is this Friday. This morning, (17th) she asked me if we could go back to the casino. She’s feeling lucky for her birthday! I told her we coudn’t because even though it will be the first day of Spring on Friday, there’s a Winter storm warning in affect for the entire weekend. Whew! I better start saving my pennies:)

Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake

”In the early 1950s New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Owen Brennan, owner of Brennan's Restaurant, challenged his chef, Paul Blangé, to include bananas in a new dessert. It was Owen's way of promoting the imported fruit. At the same time, Holiday Magazine asked Owen to provide a new and different recipe to include in an article on the restaurant. Bananas Foster was born.” (source:recipe)

Mention the words Bananas Foster and I go ga, ga. Seriously I do. It is, without a doubt, my very best favorite flaming dessert bar none!!! I can actually remember the date and time of each and every Bananas Fosters plate that has been set before my eyes. And believe me, there have been many. I have had Bananas Foster created for me by some of the best chefs and some of the well, not so good cooks. I do believe I could probably make the dish blind folded, which of course would not be a good thing to do considering you ignite it table side after adding the banana liqueur and rum.

Although we usually have a bunch of bananas in the house, Bananas Foster have not been on the menu in quite some time. I doubt we will be enjoying bananas flambé any time soon. Too bad you might say but don’t. After I baked this Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake for Marion, I realized that with a bit of tweaking, I may just be able to get my “fix” another way because, this cake is not only reminiscent of the real deal, it is oh so good too!!!

Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake

You would think that since today is Cookbook Wednesday, that I harvested the recipe for Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake from one of the many banana cookbooks that have. I didn’t. Truth be told, although they are really cool and sometimes comically graphic, the recipes in these books circa 1947 don’t come anywhere near being as scrumptious as my cake.

Choosing Bananas ©1947

Take these Banana Ham Rolls for example. Even if I could get past rolling up the bananas in sliced boiled ham, there is no way on Earth I would be able to bathe them in cheese sauce. Just not happening!

Baked Bananas In the Peel ©1947

I do have a couple of banana recipe books hanging around here. I thought maybe I wasn’t being fair about my selection. Let’s try another sample from another book.

Chiquita Banana Cookbook ©1947

I know, a Springtime Salad may be just what Mother Nature had in mind. Or not:)

Banana Salad Recipes ©1947

I found today’s recipe for Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake in my trusty Cake Doctor cookbook by Anne Byrn. Whenever I reach for a boxed cake mix, I then hit the bookshelf for the Cake Doctor. The author recommends using a butter recipe golden cake mix because she thinks it has a “finer more delicate grain which complements the crusty crunch of the cake exterior once baked in a cast iron pan.” (you can also use a plain yellow cake mix. I went with the butter recipe mix)

Upside-Down <p>Bananas Foster Cake

Marion enjoyed the cake immensely. I did take a little nibble of it and realized I must bake it again so I can have some too. Marion was only able to eat a few "healthy" slices so I packed up the rest of the cake and sent it home with Bill's mom. She was kind enough to give me a hair cut on the spur of the moment and refused to take a cent! She confessed to me the next day that she knew I was baking a cake and hoped she would be "paid" in pieces, lol...It was difficult, but I resisted having a piece. I must admit though, it was almost as rewarding to know the cake was enjoyed, almost as much as actually having a huge slice warmed with ice cream on top! That's how Bill's family enjoyed it:)

This post is linked to the Little Thumbs Up (March 2015 - BANANA) event organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Faeez of BitterSweetSpicy.


I'll also be sending this link over to Joyce's Cook-Your-Books:) Thanks Marjie!

cyb12 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg
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  1. Your outing sounds delightful, but it's too bad you didn't get to see your family in New York all the same. You must be a very patient person!

    As for bananas -- I hate them, so I wouldn't dream of making any recipe with them. How did you miss the kids' cookbook recipe from the 50s or earlier? ... the one with a banana standing on end somehow with a maraschino cherry on top that's supposed to look like a candle?

    1. It worked out okay Mae. We were glad to get away for a couple of days. Well, I was any way, lol...Oh my, Mae, I forgot all about that candle banana. I have no idea where it is:)

    2. Found the history! http://www.thekitchn.com/the-candle-salad-a-retro-recipe-to-make-you-blush-food-history-192197

    3. Oh Thank YOU! Mae!!! That Candle Salad!!! Did you read some of those comments. They were as funny as that "salad." Now I'm going to have to dig out my Betty Crocker Children's Cookbook and see if it is in there, lol...Hilarious!!! Anyone who see this comment should follow that link for a chuckle:)

  2. Hi Louise, I love, love love your storey about taking Marion to the Casino. You wrote that in such a way that I really thought Marion was a spoiled kid, haha. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY Marion. So nice of you to give the cake to Bill's Mom.

    That Upside Down Banana Foster Cake looks so delicious and thanks for posting the recipe.

    1. Hi Julia,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. I'm beginning to think Marion behaves in such a way with me because I have a tendency to spoil her, lol...Bill's Mom loved the cake! She even asked for the recipe!

      Thank you so much for stopping by Julia. I know it's a busy time in your neck of the woods:)

  3. Hello Louise! Such a great story about taking Marion to the Casino! Happy belated birthday to Marion!
    The cake looks gorgeous! I love bananas so much! Thank you so much for sharing!

    PS. I am going to live in Long Island City too! My boyfriend lives there :)It would be so good to have you as a neighbor !

    1. So glad you like the story, Marcela. Long Island City is in what they call Queens, Marcela. I grew up on Long Island in Suffolk County. If you and your boyfriend ever want to visit Long Island, let me know. I will give you some tips:)

  4. Glad Marion had a great time at the casino! Really funny story, particularly about the bed. I get bored in casinos really, really quickly. Just don't have the gambling gene -- I'll make a couple of bets, then decide I have much better ways to spend my time. Not to mention money. :-) Really fun post. In fact I'm going bananas over it!

  5. It sounds like you had fun. I love that Marion had them fix the bed so she could get in and out easily - she sounds feisty!

    The bananas foster cake looks amazing.

  6. What a story! I send happy birthday greetings to Marion! Amazing!

    Bananas rarely make it into anything that needs cooking here. We seem to take care of them as they are. Banana Pudding is a favorite of my husband's, though.

    I will try to link again today.

  7. I have to say, the Ham Banana Rolls with Cheese Sauce sounds more like a recipe I would feature than one you would post! Ugh!

    I'm glad you had an interesting trip. It's cool that Marion still has some surprises. :-)

  8. My sweet, dear Louise, I love the story of your trip with Marion! You are a wonderful, sensitive person and Marion is surely a very lucky woman! She really is full of energy and enthusiasm, and you are so kind. :) Unfortunately, you didn't get to see your family in New York...Next time, things will go better. A big hug to you my friend, Mary

  9. By the way Louise, I love bananas, and I use them a lot for my baking...That upside down cake must be delicious, thank you for sharing! XO, Mary

  10. I just love your posts! And Happy Birthday to Marion -- a late one. I love bananas but the ham roll ups? I think I 'll pass on that. LOL

  11. Hi Louise!
    I'm not sure if my first comment published, so I'm submitting again. Your adventure with Marion sounds fascinating, and she sounds like a very intriguing woman! Thanks for sharing these interesting banana recipes. I'm not one for eating bananas- unless baked or cooked, (love the flavor- just not the texture!), but your cake recipe looks seriously delicious! XX

  12. what a fun story--i've never been to a casino! good for marion. :)
    LOVE the banana upside down cake!

  13. What a terrific outing for you both. Marion has a lot of spunk!!! Your upside down bananas Foster cake sounds terrific!

  14. First, you forgot to link your cake to Cook Your Books! It sounds divine. The first time I ever had Bananas Foster was in a fancy-pants restaurant in Hartford, before attending the opera with my dearly beloved and another couple (I was 19). I just adore it, but actually get Bananas Foster very rarely. Banana Ham Roll UPs? No. Bananas in jello with onions and mustard? No. Those are so absurd they're indeed hilarious! Note that I adore bananas above about any other food; I'll eat a whole hand by myself in a day if I get the opportunity.

    It's just a riot that Marion got the hotel staff to rearrange her room. The maids must have been very puzzled the next day. I'm glad you found something for her to enjoy, even though you didn't make it back to New York to visit your families. Maybe next time, when the weather is warmer. Happy Birthday to Marion! 95 is impressive, indeed. (I didn't know about the winter storm watch; we're only supposed to get rain.)

    I'll be back in a while with my Cookbook Wednesday entry; I haven't got it done yet.

  15. Hahaha Louise Im still laughing with Mario and this story!
    I can see Marion on the Casino and later jumping to her bed lol
    BTW you have a lot of patience!
    I have to say my mom about this story when she feel a little old.
    Pfft ! She has only 85 lol
    My mom loves casino my brother was with her one time about two years ago and she
    Enjoyed so much!l
    She love cards games too and play pocker with the twins lol
    But not money!!
    I love bananas Louise and love this post my friend!

  16. Dear Louise,
    FANTASTIC story about your travels with dear sweet Marion. I love the way you write, I couldn't wait to read the next paragraph! God Bless Marion 95 years young as my dad would say! Happy Birthday to Marion!! She is a card, especially in the casino. Plus, when she really wants something, she gets it and makes herself comfortable. Sorry that you never made it down to NY, but this still was a great trip. Memories to remember...
    These Banana cookbooks are so wonderful. I love bananas and your recipe for "Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake" is beautiful and very tasty as well. Haven't had a piece of that is many years...Spectacular post and recipes Louise, you have done it again...Thanks for sharing..have a great rest of the week...
    Dottie :)

  17. Good evening Louise ,
    I finally made it , boy what a day , watching a pee wee ball game (6/7 year-olds) .
    Love the part about Marion and the casino , wished I was hiding in the back seat listening 'are we there yet .'
    Love bananas , make at least 1 dessert from them each week . Boy will they be surprise when I make these for them , I think I will do the cake first .Ham banana rolls looks delicious .

    Thank you for linking me to Cookbook Wednesday's .
    PS: This post was awesome , thanks for sharing :)

  18. That sounds like a fun trip - so lovely to get out when the sun peeks out again after winter - and marion is lucky to have a patient driver such as yourself. Your banana cake looks fantastic - great self control to not eat it - but hopefully you enjoyed the creativity and the generosity of it. Also love that glass banana stand

  19. Hi, Louise and Marion,
    Loved reading about your adventure. So glad you had a great time! Happy 95th birthday, Marion!! Love how you took control of that casino! You are a woman of mystery with many more adventures ahead.

    Ah, yes, Long Island City, great area! I remember the Silvercup sign we passed when we were on the train.

    About the bed - I totally understand. I’m 5 foot tall, my husband is 6 foot 4. We bought a bed a few months ago and it’s been an adventure

    Love your collection of cookbooks. I only have about 20, but I do have my Ma’s recipe for banana bread that is pretty good and I’d be happy to share it

  20. Hi Louise, Happy birthday to Marion. Wow, 95 years old, that is wonderful. Marion sounds like she has a lot of spunk! I love road trips, too bad you didn't make it to New York. It does sound like Marion had fun at the casino though.

  21. Ahhh geez you're trip sounded eventful! God bless a person who reaches that kind of age. I'd like to think I'll be much more polite and well behaved but I guess we all have our moments, at any age no less. I can only imagine the kind of banter going about with Marion and the staff! Hehehe! Bless you for being so patient. You're both lucky to have one another.


  22. Unbelievable that you took a 95-year old away with you. You must have the patience of a saint. I did find the story of her struggling to get in and out of the bed very amusing and I think it's good you decided on separate rooms! I do love the look of your banana cake - very yummy I'm sure xx

  23. I'd say Marion is amazing....she handled the bed thing all by herself! I remember my sister and I taking my mother (when she was late 80's) on a road/water trip to Mackinac Island (familiar to her as we had visited summer after summer for years). When we got there (4 hour trip), she took one look around and insisted we take her back. We did talk her into staying for lunch, but that was it. We turned around and took her back home. She kind of panicked. She's gone now and my sister and I actually discussed this recently. We couldn't figure it out, still can't.
    Love the banana post!

  24. 95! What a grand age! My grandad died at 96 but I think he could have lived much longer as he was healthy and fit. Sadly he just was not interested in living longer and gave up on life.
    Happy birthday to Marion and to many more years to come!
    I love bananas and that photo of chiquita made me smile.. so cute! I grew up with chiquita bananas.. lol!

  25. What a funny story, made even more amusing by your prose. Happy 95th to Marion. May there be many more banana cakes in her future.

  26. Hi Louise,
    I enjoyed so much reading this post ...
    Hee .. hee ... 'Are we there yet ?!' ... sounds familiar as my parents-in-law (both age 70+) would always ask whenever we travel on long journey.
    Glad that you both had a great getaway. Blessed belated 95th birthday to Marion.
    Upside-Down Bananas Foster Cake looks delicious! Honestly, I don't fancy eating banana on its own as fruit. I prefer to add/use it for cooking, baking ... anything from desserts to cakes, or simply toast it with bread.
    Thanks so much for this wonderful sharing ^-^!
    Yeah ! Going bananas ! Ha ha ! Have a great weekend, Louise!

  27. What a wonderful story! I hope when I'm 95 I'm still gambling and telling hotel people how to furnish their rooms! What fun!

  28. Oh Louise, you both are so cute...before I forget, Happy Belated Birthday Marion...
    Bananas...somehow I cannot stand raw banana, but when it is baked or cooked in any form or shape I love it...please don't try to understand...as I already gave up trying to figure it out.
    Hope you are having an amazing week...and again...thank you so much for your support :)

  29. Dear Louise,
    Please show this to Marion...HAPPY "95" BIRTHDAY DEAR MARION! Hope that your day is filled with fun, food, and mostly the people that love you...Have a great weekend...
    Hugs, Dottie <3

  30. Louise , I can't stop grinning while I was reading about your roadtrip ! Marion is such a feisty gal :D Today is Friday , so , Happy Birthday , Miss Marion !!!!

    I baked some upside-down cake but haven't tried banana yet , need to try it sometime . Yeah , the banana spectaculars sounds yuck lol

  31. I am a glad you had a good trip. Marion sounds like someone to not mess with. Love the gelatin mold retro pic.

  32. Gosh. can't believe you gals actually stopped by a casino! Hahaha! I'm now imagining your & Mario gambling inside. Lol! Love to see a pix of both of you inside the casino.

  33. Looks delicious, and I love all the vintage recipes too. I have a couple very old cookbooks as well, that I usually use for no more than an entertaining read. :)

  34. Dear Louise, What a wonderful and inspiring lady Marion is!! She has energy and spunk and seems to know what she wants and seeing the sign knew it was to enjoy the casino and have some fun. That is simply great. I am so glad that you both enjoyed the a little holiday.
    A Very Happy and Blessed Birthday to Marion!! It snowed for Marion's birthday and mine!!
    The banana cake sounds wonderful!
    Blessings to you both, xoxoxo Catherine

  35. Your adventure with Marion sounds hilarious. Your words were very entertaining! My grandma had a love for casinos too. Every month she would take a bus trip with her friends to Atlantic City. Being from NJ I've been to the casinos a couple of times. I hear most of them are closed down now.

    I had Bananas Foster for the first time at my cousin's wedding years ago. It was really delicious. I enjoyed it so much, the next day I went out and bought the ingredients so I could recreate it for my husband.

  36. Hi Louise,
    Oh my! What an adventurous outing with Marion! One thing's for sure, there is not a dull moment when Marion is around! She's cute! And kiddos to you for being such a great friend!
    The banana foster looks delicious! That book looks really interesting indeed, I love the front cover! I have never seen such banana stand before! And I don't think that I can find it over here. If I do see one, than I'll know what's it for!
    I usually tie a string around the banana stem and let it hang somewhere in the kitchen so that the bananas would not be easily bruised.
    Thanks for linking to Cook-Your-Books! And thanks to dear Marjie for the reminder, so sweet of her!
    Have a great week!

  37. just loved the Banana Foster..looks very delsicious...this post was awesome like always..

  38. Lovin banana all the way, Glorious banana!!!!
    Dedy @Dentist Chef

  39. First, Happy Birthday to Marion! She sounds like a hoot! It sounds like you both had a nice few days at the casino. Did you go to Bethlehem?
    Louise, Your banana cake looks and sounds fabulous! It certainly would be a hit in my house!
    I went to the link that Mae shared with you and honestly it was quite a funny post…and the comments were even better! Have a great week!

  40. Go bananas, Louise! GO!!! Besides, me going bananas with you, I have to say...

    Happy Birthday, Marion!!! Marion's birthday cake looks banana-y awesome!!! I love it especially with the caramelizing topping.

    I'm happy that Marion and you had a great time heading towards NY... No NY eventually but I must say that the trip is definitely worthwhile.

    Before going off, I have to thank you for asking Stephanie to link her sourdough banana bread with us. Thank you so much for your support. Mwah!


  41. Interesting trip. Glad Marion made them disassemble the bed--seems like a good consciousness raising move. Probably best to learn about that after the fact though ;-)

    I used to make bananas foster years ago (okay decades), flambeed and all. Don't think I'd go for the ham and banana roll either!

  42. Marion's fun time at the casino is a great story! Sounds like she'll be asking for a chance to return soon. And, what a delicious idea to have bananas foster in the form of a cake!

  43. Sounds like you and Marion had an exciting trip:). Thanks for sharing the banana recipes. Bananas are a favorite around my house.

  44. LOL - sounds as if you and Marion had a good time, even if it was not what you'd planned. The banana fosters cake looks scrumptious, and the Chiquita Banana cookbook is so cute.

  45. I'm not a fan of bananas at all. I don't like the hint of scent in the bananas. Anyway, I could use these tips to whip up something for my family who enjoys this nutritious fruit.

  46. I bet there's NEVER a dull moment with Marion--she sounds both hilarious and awesome! You know, I've never even thought of making an upside down banana cake---how brilliant! It sure does look delicious =)

  47. Sounds as if you and Marion had an interesting journey. Love the Banana Foster cake recipe.

  48. I don't think I've ever had Bananas Foster, Louise, but after reading this post, feel like I must remedy this soon! One of my favorite cookbooks is one where everything in it can be lit on fire. That book must have a Bananas Foster recipe in it :) Happy eating.

  49. I am mesmerized by the Banana Fosters recipe. Haven't had a slice - in (oh me) decades. Lovely posting.

  50. Hi Louise. Wished I had visited you much earlier so that I can wish Marion a Very Happy Birthday on time but seems that time flies by so darn fast that it doesn't seem to hv enough hours in a day. Anyway, please do send her my belated wish. Seems that you two had a great time together. :))

  51. wow enjoyed reading your story :) and lovely clicks of food :D


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise