Friday, December 15, 2006

For the Constantly Inconstant

Yes, I’m still here. Unfortunately, so is The Rodent.

Or so I hear. His calling card is the scritchy-scratch and patter-patter-patter that I hear every day just behind the walls of the bookcase. The only thing that seems to keep him at bay is my singing, which I resort to whenever I’m at my desk. However, singing while writing (or thinking, for that matter) is damned challenging for this non-multi-tasker. My output is suffering. Plus, I’m getting hoarse. And did I mention that my footwear is now limited to boots? (Fetching, I assure you, especially when paired with flannel pajamas.)

Maybe he just wants a piece of pie. I could offer the remnants of last week’s – the pie that didn’t ever make it to the blog.


It was blueberry cherry, an inspired combination although frankly, Dear Reader, it sounds better than it actually tasted. You didn’t miss much.

Besides, this week’s entry will make you much happier: Butterscotch and Banana Cream. If The Rodent doesn’t vamoose, though, his Christmas treat will consist of sugarplums laced with rodenticide.

But Butterscotch and Banana Cream, you ask? Well, the Queen likes variety. In fact, she admits to becoming bored quite easily. This tidbit of information will perhaps lend insight into her professional endeavors: toe-dips (if not outright plunges) into the realms of public relations, freelance writing, academia, culinaria, and non-profit administration. The luster of newness wears off quickly, and by the time routine is established, the Queen is beginning to yawn.

Not that I’m proud of this. Luckily, I’ve realized there are certain things that one should stick with: A good husband. Old friends. Children. (most of the time) Antique jewelry. One’s teeth.

So these days my penchant for variety seems to express itself most frequently via food. New recipes -- tried once, often to acclaim, and then never revisited -- are the most obvious manifestation of this syndrome. But my fickleness is exposed at restaurants as well. Woe to the poor dining companion who is coerced into going “halfsies” with me at every eatery. But how dull to eat just one entrée, I cajole. How exciting to try two different items. How much more interesting to swap plates at the midway point of a meal. No? Really? You’re sure? No? Well, ummm, can I at least have a bite?

Thus the appeal of butterscotch and banana cream, a combination of two luscious flavors that will satisfy even the most capricious dessert eater.


Slices of banana, coated with a velvety butterscotch-flavored pudding, nestled inside a flaky crust. Butterscotch. Banana. Butterscotch. Banana. Two flavors, one pie, the spice of life and all that jazz.

Oh, and the problem with last week’s pie?


I fear that it’s because I used frozen blueberries. Old frozen blueberries, tough and chewy, suffering from exposure. They’d been in the freezer a while, the remnants of one of those passionate, brief flings – berry smoothies, perhaps, or muffins – that seemed to disappear as quickly as it came.

Butterscotch Banana Cream Pie
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts

One small warning: no matter what you do to prevent it, the bananas inside the pie will become brown and slimy by the next day. My advice? Make sure to have guests when you serve this. Eat it all up, be happy, and then say goodbye to the pie. Like any one-night stand, you won't want to see it hanging out in your kitchen the next morning.

9 or 10 inch prebaked pie shell

1/4 c. cornstarch
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 c. whole milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 T. butter
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. Scotch whiskey
3-4 bananas, sliced

whipped cream

Combine cornstarch and brown sugar in large saucepan. Slowly add milk, stirring to make a paste. Add the rest of the milk and the egg yolks and whisk until smooth. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (or almost) until mixture becomes thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until it melts. Add vanilla, Scotch, and bananas. Pour into prebaked pie shell and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream.



At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This week's pie sounds positively yummy.

As a kid, butterscotch was one of my favorite flavors. When we got those books of rolls of Life Savers at Christmas, I would trade three or four rolls of other flavors for one roll of butterscotch.

As an adult, I discovered Scotch without the butter. But that's another topic altogether.

As for the rodent, I would recommend against a rodenticide-flavored sugar plum. If the little critter meets his demise *inside* the wall, his... ummmm... "spirit" will haunt you for some time to come.

Don't ask me how I know.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger The Queen of Tarts said...

Update for all those concerned with The Rodent Problem: It's not a mouse. It's definitely bigger. I thought it looked like a chipmunk when it dashed across the floor but dismissed that idea pretty quickly since I've never seen a chipmunk anywhere around here. Somebody said flying squirrel, which is really too horrible to contemplate. Older son made the mistake of opening a closet door up here two nights ago. . .only to be confronted with The Rodent (although both creatures -- boy and Rodent -- scurried away pdq). Son described it as "chipmunk-like." So, Dear Friends, what does this mean?

At 4:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Robert said...

I think you should get a live trap and catch it, then take a picture so we can all see it.


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