2012/05/17

Have a banana (FFwD: Double Chocolate Banana Tart)

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"

"No"

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.

Peace out.

48 comments:

  1. Ooooh--peanut butter. I like where your heads at, though I have to tell you, the chocolate crust was delightful. Not that you care, since you didn't eat any. haha. The crust tasted a lot like the cocoa sables. Like, exactly like the cocoa sables. Mmmmm.

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  2. Well I'm sure you can imagine how much this post delighted me! I didn't get around to this one but did manage to add some peanut butter to my choclate as you did here. And a story. Thank god for certain recipes and foods that plop me right in front of my grandmother again. The idea!

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  3. Baking a cake is such a nice way to remember your grandmother!

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  4. I love that you made this your own! I'm just getting ready to slice the bananas to put on top of mine.

    Oddly enough, I have 2 banana tarts to make this week - the one for Baked Sunday Mornings is for Peanut Butter & Bananas.

    Lovely tribute to your grandmother.xoxo

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  5. Lovely story about your grandmother. Hubby and I loved this one, I took Dorie's
    suggestion of the nutella and it turned out great.

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  6. I am sure grandma would have been proud of this post! Lovely! I completely - and I mean completely - changed up this one. Ahem. Glad to see someone else made a few changes too!

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  7. LOL - good on Grandma! I like the look of your tart - the chocolate version was delicious but very rich - a small piece was heaps.

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  8. Homemade peanut butter sounds great! Also, your grandma seems like a wonderful woman.

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  9. I think peanut butter would be a great addition, in fact, the longer I think about it the better it sounds. Ok...I'm making another chocolate tart this week, and my family would love it with peanut butter. I love to think about my grandmas too...and it is amazing how lots of these foodie things trigger fond memories...loved reading yours.

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  10. Because of my allergy to peanuts, that wouldn't be à great idea, but the hazelnuts Dorie advised sounded great to me. Great story, loved it.

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  11. What a cute memory of your grandmother, Cher. And I love your tweaks to this recipe :)

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  12. This tart can accept many variations. Sweet memory of your grandmother!

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  13. Lovely story! I also like the new look of your blog!

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  14. No bananas for Grandma! Way to go Grandma! We can't let the youngsters force us into doing or eating things we don't want to do! I'm practicing as my time is just around the corner and I've got a couple of boys who were born thinking they know more than their mother:) Peanut butter sounds delicious with this. I went the nutella route. I was able to post my link today! Still can't leave comments on most wordpress sites though:( Thanks for helping me out when I can't post.

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  15. Peanut butter sounds amazing in this! I am in the Elvis club because a toasted peanut butter and banana sandwich is pretty much my favorite snack food so I love your idea!

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  16. Isn't it funny the memories food can trigger. There are certain foods which remind me of certain times or places or people. How lovely that bananas remind you of your grandma.

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  17. Cher, you wrote such a wonderful story again...I am always amazed at your story telling skills and I always enjoy reading the stories that you tell and I always say/write that. But it is true every time. Love that you actually made peanut butter yourself - will have to try that one of these days. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  18. Nice memories of your grandmother. I loved this but I am a chocoholic!! Love your version…peanut butter sounds heavenly! Glad it was a hit with your family! Have a great weekend!

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  19. I love memories of earlier times when our grandmothers were still around! My mother's mother was a baker and I think I got my sweet tooth from her, she would have loved your banana chocolate tart;-)

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  20. Chocolate and peanut butter, perfection. I could have left the bananas out too. Love the story of your Grandma. Mine would have been 112 this Aug. and left us at 97 too. Some of my fondest childhood memories include her.

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  21. Love your twist with the peanut butter. Elvis would be proud!

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  22. What a wonderful and funny memory! I suppose I should have written about how my sister avoided bananas her whole life, claiming some sort of "allergy" -- she'd exclaim that they made her throat itch. I love how cooking makes all of us remember these amazing stories. Peanut butter -- a divine idea. Happy BDay to runner girl!

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  23. Yep. It's certainly interesting how that streak comes out! What a terrific story. Peanut Butter. Elvis would be proud-oh, and it sounds great. Your tart looks fantastic!

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  24. Aww, what a fun memory about your grandma! I love when recipes remind us of things like that. :)

    Your tart looks great! Peanut butter was a great idea!

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  25. what a cute story & special P+B tart! :)

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  26. My firely Italian grandmother lived next door. She was only 4' 11" though her passport said, 5' 2". You couldn't argue with her either. I wish is banana's I had to eat... it was meatballs. She told me when I was 9 that I was too skinny and would never have children if I didn't eat another meatball... grandmas are the best and this tart is a perfect remembrance for yours.

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  27. I love this memory! I'm sure your family was more than happy to polish off your portion as well. I'm sure the PB made it even more delicious.

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  28. What a sweet story and memory of your grandmother. Your tart is so beautiful and I am also glad that it was the recipe for her birthday. I don't think she would say no to a slice of your wonderful tart. Hope you have a great weekend.

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  29. You made an Elvis tart! Lol. Love the story about your grandma. Makes me think of a certain 92 yr old in our family with perhaps a more pronounced stubborn streak. :). Hope you have a great week.

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  30. My granny is also that fierce, I loved your story! Peanut butter is EXACTLY what this thing needed, well done!

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  31. Peanut butter sounds good! I loved your story!

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  32. Ahhh, p'nut butter; now you are talking! That had to be a scrumptious tart!!

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  33. Oh, Cher, this hit a little too close to home. Now, I am not yet 112, nor 97, not hardly eligible for social security, bbbbut, life being what it is, my kids do tend to want to "dote" and "look after" me. And, that's nice, I guess, for them. Not for me. So I walk a fine line between being appreciative for their love and concern and reminding myself that I am "ferociously independent" (my daughter's words, not mine) and that I want to stay that way! P-nut butter, homemade, of course. Nice addition. Weren't you the one that made your own almond milk? I still am trying to get over that one.

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  34. Cher, I'm sure if your grandma is still alive (97+15 = 112!)and had seen your tart, she would've probably relented and eaten those bananas. Btw, I especially like the middle banana, standing upright....it's so Cher! You don't know what you're missing without the chocolate crust but then again, I probably don't know what I'M missing without that lovely peanut butter filling!

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  35. I loved the chocolate shell, but it was a bit of a chocolate overload. The peanut butter idea sounds perfect!

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  36. Now I want peanut butter in mine too! I guess I'll just have to put a spoonful on the plate and dig in!

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  37. Though I did like this tart, the next time the crust will be plain. You made the right call. The chocolate shell was a little too much. I'm going to add the peanut butter too. Brilliant idea. Have a great weekend.

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  38. What a lovely sweet post-I almost felt like I was at the table watching your grandmother, thank you for sharing that moment. And I love the peanut butter addition-great idea

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  39. mmmmmmmm...I love the idea of peanut butter. My grandmother use to say the same thing. Funny!

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  40. Cher...your version looks great..especially with the peanut butter and I think it would taste good too with the plain classic crust. This tart is versatile. I am sure you all enjoyed it very much. I gave this a skip but will make this when my Piggies come back for their hols :) Have a nice day !

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  41. The peanut butter had to be done.....pure genius. Loved your banana story. My own grandmother who lived with Nana and my Dad (his mom) had a sweet tooth. I inherited it. We brought her those horrible wonderful orange peeps one Halloween and she sat on Nana 's new leather sofa and made a hellacious mess.....thankfully only on her hands....as she plowed thru the orange sugar marshmallows. I'll never forget that moment :)

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  42. Hi, Cher! I've nominated you for a brand new award! Please check out my blog to "pick it up": http://www.createamazingmeals.com/2012/05/brand-new-award-food-stories-award-for.html I love your stories~! xoxo

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  43. We've been moving house and looking at all the great things you've made has made me realise how long it's taking and how much I've missed out on!!!
    I honestly don't know how you do it week after week Cher! Fiestiness and determination obviously runs in your family!!!

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  44. My grandma went senile quite a long time before she died, but only when she became dangerous to herself did we put her in a home. The day we told her she said "you bastards" - probably the strongest words ever to have come out of her mouth, and the most lucid moment she'd had in ten years. I love how the elderly stick to their guns, and plan to be a feisty old duck myself :)

    The pie looks great!

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  45. Nice memory and an interesting version of this weeks recipe!

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  46. Nice memory and an interesting version of this weeks recipe!

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  47. What a great story, I love memories like that! I also love the idea of homemade peanut butter in this tart, that sounds pretty amazing!

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  48. Your grandma sounds like an incredible woman, it's so great that she retained her independence. Great idea to add peanut butter to the tart, sorry this wasn't your favorite combination.

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