Friday, June 7, 2013
I know I've talked a lot about my time as an architecture student here on the blog, and my discussions have usually revolved around me ranting about how little sleep I've gotten, or how much work I have left to do on a project. While those sentiments were always true (sadly), I feel like I need to clarify that I actually really enjoyed my time that I spent in that architecture studio, and the architecture computer lab. Sure, not getting enough sleep during the semester and falling behind on work for other classes was always stressful/annoying/inevitable, but I never really minded spending hours and hours on end working on my projects (ok, maybe I did mind every now and then). The studio became like a second home, and even in my last semester, when I was finished with all my studio work, I still found myself studying for my very last set of finals in the architecture computer lab. The studio space offered such a nice environment to work in, and I probably have all the friends I made within my major to thank for that. Without each other, I'm sure staying up until 5 am on most nights would have been much less enjoyable! The architecture department was full of crazy characters, and I'm so happy to have been able to meet them all.
I became close friends with two of these crazy characters. They were always speaking in some weird code; they were always finishing each other's sentences, and making each other laugh constantly, and they were always together. I'll admit, in the beginning I found it a bit strange (ok, I actually found it really weird), but after getting to know them, they seemed totally normal (or maybe I was just getting weirder and weirder as I spent more time in studio.....). I later learned that they were almost always talking to each other in Arrested Development quotes. If I were a normal person that actually watched television, I would have known this easily, but since I'm a television/movie deprived individual, I of course had no idea that this show existed. They were always telling me that I had to start watching, and I agreed that I would, eventually.
A few weeks ago, my Facebook newsfeed began blowing up with people posting pictures of themselves in front of a banana stand. Um, what? I had literally no idea why this was showing up everywhere I was clicking on Facebook, but I assumed it was just some funny Improv Everywhere kind of thing and left the matter at that. Fast forward to last week, when I finally decided to start watching Arrested Development (mainly because it was showing up all over my Facebook newsfeed again, and I didn't understand why). As soon as I heard Lucille Bluth say, "Look what the homosexuals have done to me," I was cracking up hysterically, and was sold on the show. And then, a few moments later, Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand showed up, and it all made sense. I realized what I had been missing out on, the thing that seemed to be uniting what seemed like every single person I was friends with...Arrested Development. The comparison a friend of mine made comparing our architecture criticism seminar professor to Lucille Bluth suddenly made sense. Zoe and Hannah's weird code that I didn't understand, made sense. The banana stand, made sense. I actually knew who Steve Holt was when he was mentioned in someone's Facebook status. This whole Arrested Development phenomena was starting to make sense.
All this talk about frozen bananas on the show made me want to make my own. I've always loved chocolate covered fruit, and frozen bananas are definitely one of my favorite summer time treats. They also couldn't be any simpler to make! My version that I've listed below is a bit different from the Bluth bananas, but I'm sure that they are just as good. I chose to make little frozen banana halves, because I personally have always found an entire frozen banana to be a bit much to eat all at once. Half a banana is the perfect size for me, but if you want to make whole frozen bananas, that will work just fine too! The technique is very straightforward, and can be adapted in a number of ways to suit your taste. I used dark chocolate because it's my favorite, but if you like milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate better, go right ahead and use your favorite chocolate. For toppings, I just used what I had on hand, so I crushed up some pretzels, chopped up some salted pistachios, and poured out some sprinkles and coconut flakes. I think salted peanuts, crushed Oreos, or M&M's would also be great choices. This recipe is so easy that you can really have Bluth-inspired frozen bananas in less than an hour and a half. Enjoy!
3 medium bananas, peeled and cut in half
12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
assorted toppings (crushed pretzels, cookies, nuts, coconut, sprinkles, whatever you like!)
6 popsicle sticks
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Insert a popsicle stick about halfway into each cut-end of the bananas, and arrange them on the baking sheet. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
Once the bananas have been frozen, it's time to prepare the chocolate. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add the teaspoon of oil, and stir to combine (this helps keep the chocolate glossy and at a smooth consistency). Dip each frozen banana into the melted chocolate (I find that this is easiest if the melted chocolate is transferred to a tall drinking glass), submerging the banana completely, and lightly tapping off any excess chocolate. Immediately sprinkle on the toppings of your choice, as the chocolate will set fairly quickly, since the bananas are so cold. Once the bananas have been dipped and sprinkled, place them back on the baking sheet and refrigerate them for a few minutes, just to ensure that they are perfectly set. After that, they're good to go. Enjoy!
Makes 6 frozen banana pops