A little fire to bring in the holidays: Can Christmas come too soon?


Blue flames on Bananas Foster.


G. went hunting this weekend, so I spent Saturday evening with my friend S. We went to Chicago’s Holiday Lights parade, then to see the latest Harry Potter movie, and then we made Bananas Foster.

It was really fun and got me in the holiday mood, but part of me resents feeling like Christmas so early. By the time the holiday actually rolls around, I’ll probably be tired of it.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer balloon in Chicago's Holiday Lights parade.This year, I saw Christmas decorations in Target before Halloween. And, in Chicago, the holiday parade is traditionally the Saturday before Thanksgiving. So, we haven’t even been thankful yet, and there’s Santa coming down the street. Is it too much to ask to be allowed to celebrate one holiday before being rushed onto the next one? It’s like always looking forward and never focusing fully on this moment, right here, right now.

Plus, I’m tired of feeling coerced into buying ever more and bigger gifts.

But, the Bananas Foster felt rightly festive for a night with a good friend. I haven’t made it in years, and I forgot how easy and fun it is.

Bananas Foster over ice cream.I got the recipe about 15 years ago when I was in New Orleans for a conference. I decided one day to skip the sessions where people were presenting their research and take a cooking class. That was probably a sign I wasn’t meant to be a professor.

Here’s the recipe. It serves six, so don’t be afraid to cut it in half if there’s only one or two of you.

Bananas Foster

5 large bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup rum
½ cup banana liqueur
6 cups vanilla ice cream
Slice the bananas in three slices lengthwise, then cut in halves. Melt the butter in a frying ban, add brown sugar and cook over low heat until it turns into a paste. Add the vanilla and banana liqueur and stir well. Cook for three minutes. Add banana slices and cook over medium heat, basting with sugar and butter mixture, for about five minutes.

Heat the rum (I do about 30 seconds in the microwave), ignite it and pour over the bananas. When the flames go out, stir it well to blend the sauce, then serve over ice cream.

One response to “A little fire to bring in the holidays: Can Christmas come too soon?

  1. You are preaching to the choir. I hate it every year how Christmas comes so early. I know folks are soooo excited and looking forward to it and half way or all of the way done with their shopping by now, but seriously? What’s the rush? It’ll come fast enough. What ever happened to enjoying the here and now? Don’t play Christmas carols on my radio station, stop assaulting my peripheral vision with candy canes up and down the aisle and for Heaven’s sake, turn off your Christmas lights hanging on your shrubs at least until Thanksgiving Day.


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