Leaf of the Day: Bananas, Jazz and Cockroaches

I have prised myself out of bed and back to the drawing board today and was looking around for fruit to draw. There is a lone banana in the kitchen.
There are lots of banana plants at Leu but due to my horrible cold I am housebound so this is a supermarket one from Honduras, it says on the label. Bananas must be one of the great comfort foods, mashed, eaten on the run, fried, baked, curried and the 100% divine Bananas Foster which I was lucky enough to first encounter many many years ago as breakfast at Brennans in New Orleans. After a heavy night of jazz, blues and just a few drinks, it was a perfect pick me up.
Here from Brennans site is a photo and their recipe. http://www.brennansneworleans.com/
“Thirty-five thousand pounds of bananas are flamed each year at Brennan’s in the preparation of its world-famous dessert. “

Bananas Foster
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
¼ cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Ohmygod …. …Just reading the recipe is making me feel better already. It is easy to make at home but the flambe can get out of hand. How much better to sit on the terrace at Brennans and have the experts prepare your flaming bananas before your very, widening, eyes. If you do happen to go to New Orleans, Bananas Foster and Beignets from Cafe du Monde are a must. Your waistline will never forgive you but your endorphines will flow.

It was also my first encounter with a cockroach..not in the restaurant, I hasten to add but in an old hotel in the French Quarter. I had no idea they were THAT big! My only knowledge of cockroaches came from reading “Archy and Mehitabel” by Don Marquis. Archy seemed quite an endearing character,writing his avant garde blank verse by jumping on the typewriter keys and unable to operate the shift key. But try as I might, I could not imagine that the huge cockroach that marched across the bedroom floor, with such an attitude, could ever be the reincarnation of a sensitive poet. We do have the odd cockroach here but the ones I saw in New Orleans have never been outsized!

George Herriman’s drawing gives Archy a tiny type writer, not really like the description on the book..but I am such a fan of Herriman and Krazy Kat he can do no wrong.

Seeing this reminded me to tell you that Ant is still my faithful companion, out and about today patrolling the borders of the drawing board, waving an antennae now and then and cheering me up. I must get round to a sketch soon.
I still have another week or so of fruit drawings to do but hopefully will feel well enough to go to the Gardens tomorrow and see what has been happening. It’s a good ten days since my last visit. Today then just a few a banana skins.(I can’t even raise enough energy to think of puns about slip ups today) I wouldn’t rush to draw a banana normally and wasn’t much inspired but liked the floppy banana skin. Have eaten it now and am going back to bed..