A blogpost a day keeps the boredom away, dear reader. But three posts in a row chases the audience off your page! Overtaken by emotion, and pressed onward by my indignation at the callous, heartless leadership of Europe, I posted two texts yesterday, and promised a third: this cookblog post. Now, I am a man of honour, and must keep my promises. But to compensate, I’ll make this a short one. Today I will merely tell you how to make the simplest, easiest, quickest and most marvellous little side dish that goes with just about any meal.
What is so special about a side dish? And why should you know how to prepare them? Well, if you have any sort of experience with hosting dinners, you may have noticed that guests are often most impressed with, and most pleased by, a great variety of different dishes on the table. Give them a marvellous roast, which took you three hours to prepare to perfection, and they will be grateful and satisfied. BUT: give them that same roast, PLUS three different sauces (each of which costs you 5 minutes at most to whip up) and they will applaud you, worship you and sing your praises socially as if you were Coco Carême himself! It is how the human diner works. Choice gratifies. And it takes surprisingly little to increase choice. This tenet is at the heart of Please through Ease, half my culinary motto.
So to work without more ado. Get one fairly ripe banana for each diner. Peel, and cut into ½ cm slices. Spread the slices randomly on a plate (no higher than two layers, I suggest). Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Now take a spoon and the jar of your favourite honey. Drip threads of honey all over the banana. Let this calmly sit for at least half an hour. Serve next to the main course. You’ll be surprised how pleasant it is to alternate the fork between the roast – for instance – and this cool, sweet, fruity mouthful.
Of course, you can decorate the cinnamon banana with all sorts of things (like the dry raisins in the picture above). Also, you can mix the banana with slices of apple for extra effect. Neither, however, is necessary in my view.
Finally: note that children LOVE this stuff. In fact: if you promise them one bite of the side dish for every bite of the spinach, you will never wage another spinach war on your dinner table!