It is a fact that dispatches from this table have become few and far between. I could give all sorts of excuses - say sheep bit off my fingers, Columbian druglords held me hostage, gremlins stole my good ideas, I had a month-long nap. Yet, I suspect that none of these explanations would satisfy the likes of you, you hungry readers. And really, what are you hungry for? (Feel free to leave comments)!
Well, how about this: BANANA DREAMBOATS! I know, I know. It sounds more like some sexual connotations got mixed up with a male stripper than a recipe but, trust me, it is JUST what you need this summer. Some of you, most likely many of you (seeing as I wouldn't shut up about this during a certain period of my life), have heard of the banana dreamboat, some of you have been lucky enough to experience it. It is my mission to make sure everyone gets that chance.
So next time you're going camping - whether hiking a remote backcountry trail, pulling your RV into a mosquito-riden provincial park or even just throwing logs into the backyard fire pit, it doesn't matter - bring along some tin foil and prepare to drift away.
Modified from a similar campfire delicacy introduced to my sister by her friend Holly
Warning: The following pictures may depict graphic and/or stringy material. Viewer discretion is advised. Thank you to Steve, Pamela and Cody for their superb modelling.
Peanut butter (smooth, sweet Kraft is preferable here)
Chocolate (whatever floats your boat)
The first and perhaps most important step is to peel one section of your banana peel back BUT not all the way. It must remain attached to the rest of the peel still surrounding the banana. The best way to do this is by grasping the stem and pulling forward so you peel a section from the inner curve of the banana peel.
Next, using a spoon, scoop out a layer of banana. How much you remove depends on how much you like peanut butter. Eat what you remove. But don't eat all of the banana.
Next, spread peanut butter over the remaining banana. Doesn't my last instruction make sense now?
Break your chocolate into rough chunks or crisp squares, whatever you prefer, and press into the peanut butter, single-file-style.
Tear marshmallows in half then squish the halves on top of your chocolate layer until the banana boat is full.
Take the peel you stripped but did not separate from remaining peel and put it back in place. If necessary, press down firmly to keep the contents inside. You have essentially just stuffed a banana with dreams. Wrap tightly in tin foil and place on the waning but still glowing embers of a campfire.
This is the trickiest part. It is hard to gauge how long your banana dreamboat will take to cook. If you leave it too long the banana will turn to a slimy mush and everything will coalesce into a rather unappetizing slop. If you don't leave it long enough the flavours won't mingle and meld into the heavenly concoction you desire. You want your chocolate melting, your marshmallows molten but perhaps still slightly toothsome in the centre, and your banana warmed through. Of course, you only have one shot to get this right. Once you unwrap, there's no going back. Here's my advice: use a not-too-hot fire (more coals than flames), and flip often. It usually only takes 3 or 4 minutes. Practice, practice, practice. In time you'll make the banana dreamboat of your, er, dreams. And remember, sometimes even professionals like me make duds. If at first you don't succeed, try again!
Alright, when you decide your dreamboat is ready remove it from the fire. (Ha! I guess this part can be tricky too). Open the tin foil package, preferably on a plate (this can get messy folks), and strip away the peel that holds it all in place. Eat with a spoon by the glow of an evening campfire. Seriously, make sure it's dark when you eat this. It may taste delicious but it looks awful.
There you have it. Your life has just been enriched. Go forth, share the word, make this the summer of your banana dreamboat dreams.
I think you know you can make as many as you want or are prepared to make. I find one dreamboat per person per camping trip plenty though.