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August 25, 2001: Banana: Bane of the brulee

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We went out for dinner last night to celebrate our one-month anniversary. Okay, so it was a few days off, and the reason was not so much the anniversary as the fact that after I wrote that entry on food for the Top Five collab, I was having some mild cravings, but the point is, we went out to a very nice restaurant and had a lovely romantic dinner, and having a one-month anniversary made a darn good excuse for the occasion.

We started with the 'compacted cheese plate', which sounds somehow more medically uncomfortable than it actually is. Richard loves it for the slabs of soft and tangy cheeses, and graciously allowed me to eat his share of the pralined walnuts. I snickered about how the two lonely slices of kiwi on the plate allowed them to call this a 'fruit and cheese sampler'.

Fast forward through the salad of baby romaine and parmesan croutons, skip by the salmon with caramel glaze and the filet mignon with perfectly cooked spears of asparagus, and we come to the best part of the meal - dessert.

Despite giving the menu a cursory glance, as usual, I remained a purist and chose my favorite - creme brulee. Richard succumbed to the lure of the special and got some sort of layered cake and cream concoction topped with a thick chocolate ganache and soaked in orange liquor. He liked it just fine until I let him have a bite of mine, at which point he decided that he really out to have opted for the creme brulee instead. I simply pointed out that this actually meant that I shouldn't have let him have a bite of my dessert in the first place, but he didn't see it in quite the same light.

Anyway, after all that glorious food, neither of us could finish more than half of our dessert (this after I packed up half the salmon from my own dinner), so we had them box those up as well, for breakfast. Yes, I said breakfast. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to eat cake and creme brulee for breakfast. All part of the plus of being adult, see, and getting to eat whatever you want for any meal. So there. But where was I?

The waiter returned with only one box, and we headed off. Upon reaching the car, I pried the box open, curious as to how they had managed to do this - a cake, a box, and a splotch of pudding, as it were. To my utter horror, they had committed a terrible sin!

See, his cake came with a few carefully placed slices of banana, and the waiter plopped those into the box too, which would have been perfectly okay had it only been the cake, but the nasty little things were *in* my creme brulee!!

I very quickly removed the offending fruit pieces and tucked them behind the cake slice, so as to protect my precious dessert from any further contamination and then realized, from the look on my husband's face, that I must then explain to Richard the true evils of the banana.

When we were younger, my mom used to put bananas in our lunch bag occasionally, and I hated it - hated it to the point that should I even *suspect* the presence of a banana, I would extract it as soon as I left the house and find some means of disposing of it. Bananas have this unique and disgusting ability to infect any food in their presence with not only their smell, but their taste. Bearing in mind that I'm an odd person and don't like most fruits, and only eat bananas when I'm in the mood for them (a circumstance which occurs possibly three or four times a year), it was always rather revolting to be faced with an entire lunch that not only reeked of the horrid little yellow offender, but tasted like it as well. As you can see, it's scarred me for life. No, really. So it was because of this that I felt the need to rescue my poor creme brulee from Richard's slimy little banana slice.

Richard graced me with 'The Look' - you know, the one that says 'she's nuts but I married her so I guess I have to humor her' - and nodded, murmuring something like 'yes dear', probably figuring that I was all done and soon it would get back to what passes for normal around here. But of course that was before I got started on the whole reason why prunes (excuse me - dried plums - and exactly when it is that we decided that the word 'prune' is bad? Hello?) are even more evil than bananas. Should one of *those* disgusting little shriveled-up things have touched my creme brulee, I might just as well have thrown the whole thing away. Ick!

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