“How do I feel about bananas?” he told me, his face turning puce with rage. “Imagine you were incarcerated in the toughest jail in America for a crime you didn't commit and ended up being serially raped by the muscle-bound prison daddy. A few years later you’re walking down the street, a free man, when, suddenly, you spot the rapist standing on a corner, chatting with a bunch of mates. The trauma you’d experience at that moment, the mixture of abject terror and psychotic hatred –that’s how I feel when I look at a display in the supermarket and see a banana."
You go Dougie!
I tell you this story because today’s Famous Friday Foodie is Kate Smith and I am going to share with you a recipe that includes bananas, a recipe I will not be making.
Kate Smith was known for her big voice – and her big physique! She was an old-fashioned operatic character who was almost as wide as she was tall – the mark of a great soprano! In the late fifties, she authored The Kate Smith “Company’s Coming” Cookbook. According to the jacket the book contained, “Three hundred sumptuous recipes for the hostess to delight her guests.”
After pages of meats, desserts, breads, brunches, cakes and teas, we find a final chapter on salads. Smith’s introduction to the chapter speaks for itself. Actually, it needs a bit of translating as it appears that there was no editor in site!
“I realize that all the true gourmets feel that the salad is the epitome of good taste in serving a meal for fine taste. And I’m for it up to a point! However, I don’t think one will not survive without the addition of greenery to every meal. There are salads and salads, you know; and some of them can be pretty grim, and fodder for rabbits.”
The translation: Don’t was my precious time with lettuce! A culinary aesthetic that offers a keen understanding of Smith’s heft!
So, here is a recipe, without the addition of any greenery, that typifies a Kate Smith brunch!
Bake Bacon ‘n Bananas
4 ripe bananas
juice of one orange
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
6 slices bacon
Butter a shallow baking pan. Peel and cut the bananas in thirds, crosswise. Dip the banana pieces in orange juice, and roll in powdered sugar; then wrap each portion in a half slice of bacon, and fasten with a toothpick. Place the prepared bananas in the pan, and bake in a 350 degree oven about twenty minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. They’ll brown on all sides if you turn several times during the baking.
I must say, IF (and it is a BIG IF) I am forced to eat a banana, I would want it wrapped in bacon. As Kate would say, God Bless America!