The Final Countdown

by Sarah on May 24, 2011 · 23 comments

If you follow me on twitter, you know that yesterday was the beginning of the end…when it comes to the school year, that is. [I’m not talking about the whole “Rapture” craziness that I didn’t even know was ‘supposed’ to happen until it was almost here–and over. Clearly I need to spend less time watching old episodes of Ally McBeal and more time watching the news.] Only four more days with the kids…and two without.

Yes, my little chickadees, we have entered…THE FINAL COUNTDOWN. And if hearing that doesn’t automatically put you in mind of one G.O.B Bluth and his show of “Illusions,” well, you’re going to want to click here
…and then watch at least the first season of Arrested Development. If you don’t have time for that right now–and unless you are like me and (soon to be) fun-employed, you probably don’t…well, add it to your Instant Queue on Netflix and then try to follow the remaining ‘logic’* in this post…or just skip to the end. Where I show you how to make deep-fried bananas!!!!
*logic is a term I use loosely…it’s really just the associative connections in my brain you have to try to untangleOK, just kidding. The world didn’t end, remember? I haven’t jumped into the deep end of crazy–yet—and there has been no deep-frying in The Smart Kitchen, but you’ll want to eat those little babies anyway. I promise.

So…back to the beginning….so we can get to the end. Thinking about THE FINAL COUNTDOWN of course made me think about Arrested Development. And you can’t think about Arrested Development without wanting to run up the person closest to you and reminding them that “there’s always money in the banana stand.”*
*Season One: Episode Two: Top Banana…still my favorite.

Of course, then I wanted a frozen banana. But I’ve already made those once, and I’m a sucker for novelty. Then I remembered yet another Arrested Development food association…the Cornballer!
“Hey, the Cornballer. I thought those were only legal in Mexico.”
“In fact, the Cornballer [isn’t] legal anywhere…but George, Sr. continue[s] to market it in Mexico, anyways.”
The Cornballer makes deep-fried balls of corn dough. Which, if you are from the South, can only make you think of one thing: hush puppies.*
*Not the shoes. Which I always confuse with Buster Browns. Of course since we’re talking about Arrested Development…perhaps I should say Buster Bluths?

And then I thought, as I often do…how can I combine these two ideas into one? Thus making the ultimate, banana-and-cornbread, final countdown treat? The result, as usual, was even better than I thought it could be…and I call them: Hush Monkeys!They say that hush puppies got their name from hunters and fisherman who’d use fried dough to keep the “puppies” quiet during dinner…and later were used by runaway slaves to keep guard dogs at bay. So if hush puppies are what you use to keep puppies quiet…well Hush Monkeys are what you use to keep loud monkeys quiet.

You’ll need to cook up 1/2 cup corn grits or polenta (1/2 cup dry with 1 cup boiling water to make 1 cup cooked grits), and allow that to cool. Then combine in a bowl with one medium, ripe banana.
Add in 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup, and about 2 teaspoons peanut butter.
Mix that all up really well until you have a nice batter.

Put the batter into mini-muffin cups (make sure you’ve sprayed or otherwise greased them).
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or so.
I would check every 5 minutes, but they do take a lot longer than you’d think for mini-muffins since there is so much liquid/moisture in them.
They aren’t little balls like most hush puppies…
…but they DO so look like fried bananas.And they are SO soft and gooey inside.Even if they ARE different..…they’ll keep the little monkeys happy so you can get some work done. *
*That was my attempt to somehow tie this all back to the last week of school. Did it work? I think…A for effort, but an F in effectiveness.

Hush Monkeys
(Makes 16 mini-muffins)

1 cup cooked, cooled corn grits [1/2 cup dry cooked in 1 cup boiling water]
1 medium banana
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 heaping teaspoons peanut butter

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until a thick batter is formed. Pour batter into greased mini-muffin cups and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until set.


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