Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras - This Happened

My family has celebrated Mardi Gras in our own way for the past decade. We open our home, pour pancakes, and drop our dried-up Christmas trees on a leaping bonfire. It's not decadent, involves no parades or plastic beads, and I see that for the best.

But this year, there's a break in our tradition and I am away from home working during the week. Without our family pancakes, I must fend for myself and celebrate with my nanny-family.
Apparently, I must do this with Banana Funnel Cakes and Deep Fried Fudge Pop Pies.

Banana Funnel Cakes
2 bananas
4 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
10 Tbs flour

Smash the bananas thoroughly with a fork, potato ricer, or pastry cutter. Stir the eggs in well, then add the baking powder and flour one tablespoon at a time. You may not need all the flour, or you may need a little more, depending on the size of your bananas or eggs. Just keep adding until you're pleased with the texture. You want it to be like pancake batter.

Heat up a couple inches of oil in a wok until a bit of batter sizzles and rises when dropped in. While it's heating, spoon the batter into a zipping plastic bag, seal, and snip the corner. When the oil is hot, squeeze the batter into the wok, circling the batter around to make connected loops. Alternatively, you could spoon the batter into a funnel over the hot oil, thus making your cake genuinely funnel. When golden at the edges, flip, let sizzle for a few seconds, then scoop out and set on paper towels or on a rack over a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

Makes 4 funnel cakes.

 We topped ours with fruit salad and drank milk, so it's totally part of a balanced breakfast. Or Dinner. Or whenever you decide to get down with your bad self. But don't worry- these won't make you too bad. Bananas and eggs are the main ingredients, after all- good, healthy potassium and protein. And, you can mound justifying fruit on top, too.
The bananas were very flavorful in the final soft, fluffy, crunchy product. Incredibly yummy.

Deep Fried Fudge Pop Pies.

Pie Crust Dough
Ice Cream Pop
Oil in a Wok
Just a touch of insanity
The ability to work fast

Roll the pie crust 1/8 inch thin. Gently pull the stick out of the popsicle. Lay pop on the pie crust and cut out a portion large enough to fold around the pop. Fold and pinch the edges securely. Don't use egg to seal. Make sure there are not holes or gaps in the dough.
Use a scrap of dough to test the heat of the wok. When it's hot enough, drop in the pop pie and watch it attentively. When the edges are golden, flip. Let sizzle for a few minute until done then remove and drain on paper towels or rack over a plate. Enjoy immediately.

The D.F.F.P.P.s were incredible. The dough cooked up to a tantalizing gold that crackled on the tongue, giving way to cold and melting chocolaty, oozy goodness. Hot and cold, crispy and creamy danced in the mouth and- yes- dribbled down the chin. I did say oozy. One bite and the pie dripped its decadent filling on whatever it could. The mess was worth it though, and possibly added to the fun. There we were, standing in the kitchen, rolling ice cream pops in pie crust and deep frying them. Chocolate coated grins added to the childish feeling welling up in our hearts. Perhaps that feeling of being a kid again was more of a neurological condition brought on by the sudden spike in blood sugar. Perhaps. I did, after all, find myself saying "yolo" at one point during the feasting, so it very well could have been sugar-shock. Still, it was worth it.

But what if I'm compelled to make these again next year?

Why don't I mind?
I'm smitten with these. That's why. Please, nobody intervene.
Yes, Lent will be spent in detoxing. Don't worry, Mother. Don't worry, blue jeans.

To conclude, I'd like to add a public service announcement. Tomorrow begins my Lenten Daily Way posts. You'll notice at the top of this page there is a second tab. On Wednesday, and every day in Lent thereafter, visit that tab to read a section from St. Josemaria's The Way. I know this is a food and life blog, and so it may be a tad out of place here, but this is one of the things I'm doing this Lent. I hope you'll join me.

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