Foodiness – n., A conjuction of “food” and “happiness”; see happiness.

I’ve been feeling a little down the past two days.  On any other Tuesday night, the normal solution would be grabbing a Clif bar, filling up the Nalgene, and heading to the Chapel Hill community center for Tuesday night climbing.  But today the downness came in conjuction with enough fatigue that I really didn’t relish the thought of flogging my core and forearms for two and half hours on 50 feet of overhanging plywood and plastic.

Rice and beans was on the docket for some night this week, and tonight seemed as good as any.  The can of Trader Joe’s Cuban black beans suggested white rice and fried bananas as suitable accompaniment, to which my mind shrugged and said “Yeah, whatever” as they slumped into the saucepan.  A baked sweet potato would have to do.

Enter my housemate Buz.  He was puttering around, heating chili, when he mentioned “By the way,  if you want any, I’ve got an overstock of bananas…”

I excused myself to go find a recipe for fried bananas.

Understand, I’ve tried to make fried bananas at least twice before, but it’s never worked.  I could never determine my failing, but the resultant confection was always gooey, never crisp.

Enter the missing element: breading.  Hah!

Slice your bananas in half across the middle and then into ~3/8 inch lengthwise strips.  Dredge the slices in a mixture of flour and cinnamon, and let rest.  Bring about twice as much butter as you think you need to a sizzle in a heavy frying pan.  Add your strips of banana.  Cook on both sides until crispy brown.  The key here is to get a toasted, crunchy shell with a soft, gooey banana center.  If you really hit it, you caramelize the banana’s sugar in the outer layer.  But be careful – you’re flirting with the burn zone to accomplish this.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Consume with relish.

If you have a sweet potato baking in the oven, now would be the perfect time to let it get in on the fun in that hot, buttery, cinnamony frying pan you just cleared…

So, tonight’s supper: hopped-up black beans, jasmine rice, a diced fresh Roma tomato, fried bananas, and half a buttery sweet potato.  Oh, oh, YES!

And, now I know an answer to being down other than raw endorphins.  Get thee to a cookery!  Go!