There could not have been a more perfect recipe for this French Friday.
Friday, May 18th is my grandmother's birthday. If she were still alive she would be 112 today.
But she left us at the amazing age of 97. It doesn't seem like almost fifteen years have passed. I can still hear her voice in my head saying "mercy sakes" or "the idea" almost as clear as if I had been sitting at her kitchen table playing cards just yesterday.
Grandma Baker was one of those people who was just special. I am not sure exactly what it was that made everyone love her, but they did.
She was mild-mannered and steady in her demeanor. She was a mother to ten children, so I am sure she must of had nerves of steel; but you wouldn't know it right off the bat.
I could write a book about Grandma, but the story that is stuck in my head today is what I affectionately have deemed the "banana story".
As I noted, Grandma was a very mild-mannered woman. However, she was also fiercely independent and had a bit of a stubborn streak - which definitely came out in spades as she moved into her 90's. And when she had an opinion about something, well, that was just the way it was going to be.
In the natural way of things, the older she grew, the more people wanted to dote on her and look after her. As a parent ages, I suppose there is a point when the roles reverse and the child is the one providing direction. One on such occasion, my Aunt - who is a force of nature to be reckoned with, a whirlwhind your might say - was desperately trying to get Grandma to eat a banana. I can't remember why. But I do remember that Grandma was having none of it...
"Have a banana."
"I don't want a banana"
"Have a banana"
Grandma won. She did not want that banana. This tiny, frail elderly woman had made up her mind and she would not be moved.
I vividly recall sitting at the dining room table watching the exchange and just bursting out into laughter. I think that was the first time I had ever seen my grandmother exhibit this display of defiance and judging by the look on my aunt's face - I don't think she was used to this side of her either.
To this day, I can't look at a banana without thinking of that episode. And it always brings a smile to my face.
Double chocolate banana tart - here's the scoop:
1) I used a plain crust - the chocolate crust would have just been over load;
2) I added a layer of homemade peanut butter - because I could. The peeps loved this. I am not a huge chocolate/ banana person (perhaps I have a bit of my Grandma in me), so I pretty much passed on this one.
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Some posted versions of the tart recipe can be found here (this one sports Nutella & looks amazing) or here or here or here. Head on over to see everyone else's delightful creations.
Next Friday is The Runner Girl's 18th birthday - I wonder how "almost boursin" goes with cake? I guess we'll find out.