Okay, here's that finished baby blanket.
The shower was a lot of fun, with lots of sweets. Like so many sweets, it could make your head explode. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I had a good time catching up with college friends on Saturday, talking about babies and our families and such, and then on Monday night, one of the friends' sister had a baby. And then, you know, the owner of this blanket is still on the way. And my step-sister is pregnant. See what I mean about the babies?? They're everywhere.
This is the Tiramisu blanket, a very popular pattern, except I adapt it so as not to have to weave in the ribbon. I think life is easier if mom can just throw a blanket in the wash (although, delicate cycle please). I don't like pink but my friend is very girly, so I embellished with a happy flower. It looks nice I think.
And now, to yellow deserts! I made this banana pudding a couple weeks ago and it was so huge and I just couldn't figure out how I'd eat it all. I brought some to work, I sent visitors home with plastic containers of it, I tried to give some to my neighbor. In the end, not a drop was wasted, but I think my waistline suffered the most for that.
We made banana pudding a lot when I was growing up. Although I think most of the time we cheated and bought a box of instant pudding and then slapped all the pieces together. It really doesn't take long when you do it that way, and obviously still tastes good. But really, making the pudding from scratch just takes a jiff, despite involving a few more ingredients. And it's even better - like, lick-the-pot good.
So last summer I had some banana pudding from a restaurant, but I can't remember the name. They brought in a huge tray to the magazine I was working for, and it was probably better than any other banana pudding I'd had, and it was clear the reason I enjoyed it so much was the liberal use of whipped cream. So when I was hunting for a recipe to make this from scratch, I chose this one because it involves folding that whipped cream right into the pudding before putting everything together. You just gained a pound reading that sentence, didn't you.
adapted from recipe found here, which was adapted from recipe found here
For whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I always use Mexican vanilla)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot milk
3 large egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (yup, Mexican)
1 (12-ounce) box Nilla wafers
5 medium size ripe bananas, peeled and thinly sliced
Mix sugar, flour, and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually stir in the hot milk with a whisk. Cook the mixture over moderate heat while stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Slowly stir approximately 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks to bring them up to temp. Next add the yolks to the hot mixture and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is fully thickened to a custard-like consistency and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
While you let pudding cool to room temp, whip all ingredients for whipped cream to stiff peaks. Then fold 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the pudding (oops, in re-reading this, just discovered I folded in 1/2 the whipped cream, rather than 1/2 cup! So just do whatever you like). Line a glass bowl or casserole dish with Nilla wafers, doing your best to get them up the sides. Alternately layer banana slices, pudding, and vanilla wafers, and end up with pudding on top, then spread remaining whipped cream over the top of all of it. Chill as long as you can stand it, then serve.
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