Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Han's Coconut Banana Bread Pudding or The Yummiest Way to Eat yourself into Morbid Obesity Oblivion

A birthday ring I love, from Matty, thanks Laura for pointing him in the right direction...
The picture does not do it justice
My friend Han is from Vietnam and she has quite a life story, although I don't know much of it. What I do know is that she is a fierce cook. And that whole French influence on Vietnamese cooking is evident even in the snacks she brings for her son's preschool. One memorable snack involved tender, flaky and round, apple-shaped pastries (complete with clove "stems") filled with the most delectable homemade applesauce, delicately spiced and thickened with agar agar. Delicious.

For my birthday, Han made me the most scrumptious bread pudding. Perfectly sweet, eggy, soft carb-rich pudding, redolent with coconut milk, coconut shavings and bananas. Han is so meticulous, the bananas could not have been sliced any thiner and she fanned them out on the surface of the pudding beautifully.

I have asked her for the recipe and am hoping to get it but I think I may just have to get a lesson...

FOOD IS LOVE

And then yesterday as I was sitting attempting to read a novel while my boys exercised their soccer obsession, the two Ahmeds, Rasha and my friend and neighbor Ece and I all spoke about food. Not all at once, but over the course of a couple hours. Ahmed and Ahmed and Rasha are kids and they just happen to very frequently be hanging around my stoop. And I love talking to them about what they like to eat, especially since what they eat is so different from what I eat. Although I try to point out similarities it's tricky because I have found that my Palestinian friends pronunciations of Middle Eastern dishes is much closer to the Lebanese pronunciation
(Lebanese cuisine being the source of much of my experience with Middle Eastern food thanks to Matty's family) than my Egyptian friends pronunciations, which makes sense. And then my neighbor Ece, who hails from Turkey was eating a sandwich that looked interesting, so as I was congratulating her for getting into the Bilingual/ Multicultural Ed. program, (I helped her edit her essay, which was very interesting) I asked her about Turkish food. She and her husband are working on a documentary of sorts about Turkish food and memories...Oh, and her sandwich was filled with feta, parsley and walnuts.

I realized for the hundredth time last night, how much I love talking and learning about food. And I thought to myself that I would love to document this. How wonderful it would be to write a book about the families living here and how/what they eat. How would I do it? What would it be like? Interviews, photographs recipes, potlucks, memories, maps... Any ideas?


Post Scrip- This post, after a bit of espresso, has brought to mind two things...1. How did Han, who doesn't know me that terribly well (mostly due to language difficulties), know that bread pudding would be a perfect gift for me...Am I that transparent, yes, of course I am.

And 2. I am reminded of one of the elderly Italian men who followed me around Florence one day and finally caught up with me to tell me that he thought I was " Beautiful, not so skinny like most Italian women. YOU LOOK LIKE YOU EAT PASTA." Thanks, OLD Italian man (the young ones were never interested in me. Just my skinny, long haired, stylish and GORGEOUS friend Brooke), just what I needed to hear after gaining 5 pounds in a week and dealing with a major break-up.

8 comments:

Jen said...

You should totally write a book about food, Kel! It would be awesome.

Happy belated birthday. And the AHa shirt is fabulous. :o)

Denise said...

You crack me up!! You probably looked deliciohso to that lil ole Italian man!! And I would definitely buy a book you wrote about food and what you have learned, noticed from so many friends - but I enjoy your writing so much that I would buy ANY book you wrote Kelly!

Kelita said...

Aw. Thanks for the love!

Rachel T. said...

Hi Kelly,

Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE? It documents Kingsolver's attempt to eat sustainably, with her family, for a year..but it's soo much more than that! It's a yummy memoir, so she incorporates family experiences with food. It's filled with recipes too. Personally I love to read "food memoirs"--and I think you should write one! ;-)

Kelita said...

I did read that book and LOVED it. It was such an inspirational account of her family's adventures. Although I don't know if I am up for that amount of effort. I think we can all do a bit more to eat better and more sustainably. It is a great story!

Kelita said...

Hi Rachel!

Lauroral said...

I was just polishing up my resume and wrote my Outside Interests section. I was trying to capture all of the things food means to me in a way that would show how it adds depth to me in so many ways. I wrote: organic gardening, community food equity and exploring different cultures. I kinda feel like that is your book, Kel. I mean, that is MY idea of YOUR book. But, it is such an interesting mix of folks with so little money, in the middle of a culture of plenty and a valley with all those organic farms, and the diversity of families... You've told me so many times about the scents wafting as you walk home or sit on your stoop.

Kelita said...

Well said. Now, if I had a "room of one's own".

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