Before the Food Network, times were simpler. The people who knew about cuisine—I mean REALLY knew about cuisine—were people who were professionals, or people who were really wealthy and lived in New York City or Paris. Sure, everyone had an “I can’t believe I ate escargot—DID YOU KNOW IT IS SNAILS” story from that time they went to a fancy French restaurant when someone in the family retired or got out of jail or whatnot.
But NOW, thanks to the foodie revolution, your mother—who consistently fed you nothing but canned vegetables and painfully dry pot roasts your entire life—is talking about eating arugula salads topped with goat cheese and walnuts. Your friends, who were once happy to frequent Chili’s and Whataburger in your college town of Stephenville, Texas, are now dining at farm-to-table restaurants in Dallas, paying $45 a plate for food grown in the dirty alley behind the restaurant.
The obvious answer to the question, “What should I get my foodie friend for Christmas this year?” would be first, “A smack in the head” and then, “A gift certificate to that douchey restaurant she likes.” Sure, pick up that gift certificate. They’ll love it. But don’t you want to give something more SIGNIFICANT? Sure, you do.
Though a departure from our standard, the content below is a repost from EscapingToday.com. Though I’m clearly not without bias, the recipe below renders what I consider to be quite honestly the best banana pudding I’ve ever had in my life.
This is something special. Texas Monthly wrote about this stuff. A wildly successful business was built around this recipe. Octogenarians raved about this pudding. Without further ado:
MY THERAPY BEGINS by Tammy Hill
Taylor Belle came into the kitchen this afternoon and asked what I was doing. I told her that I was making banana pudding and she said “oh ok” and started to walk back out. She stopped and turned excitedly when I went on to say that the banana pudding was for us. It has been a long time since I have made banana pudding around here. Too long.
Mama’s Dessert Kitchen made a lot of different desserts, but we were best known for our banana pudding. Texas Monthly magazine said that it might be the best they had ever tasted! Wow. I couldn’t stop grinning for months after that! Men used to say that they wanted to marry me so they could have my banana pudding all the time. Those were the days! Heh.
There seems to be two types of banana pudding lovers – those who like the old fashioned cooked pudding and those who like the type I make. Both are really good. Even my own brother told me that my banana pudding was pretty good, but Grandma’s was still better. How does anyone compete with grandmothers?
I have found that desserts, like life, are best when they are kept simple. This is a simple recipe. I hope you enjoy.
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ½ cups cold water
- 1 (3 ½ oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
- vanilla wafers
In a large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and the cold water. I find it easiest to use a hand mixer for this. Add the instant pudding and beat until well blended, making sure there are no lumps. Chill in the refrigerator for about five minutes. While waiting, use a stand mixer to whip the heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy. Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture. When finished, you will want to be sure to take a moment to lick the pudding off the spatula – it’s that good!
Next comes the assembly of the banana pudding. You can use a large trifle bowl, but all sorts of containers work well. Depending on the type of event you are making desserts for, you can be creative and make individual portions using martini glasses, mason jars, small dessert bowls, etc., to fit your mood. Simply spoon in a little of the pudding, place vanilla wafers along the sides of the bowl and on top of the pudding, and add sliced bananas to cover the pudding and wafers. Repeat layering twice, ending with the pudding mixture. Top with crumbled vanilla wafers and that’s it!
Even though no one has died, I have no doubts that I will need a lot more dessert therapy. I am feeling a heavenly chocolate pie recipe in the near future!