We’re planning some home renovations, not much, but there are a few things that need to be done, so this past week has been filled with trades people visiting our home; measuring, discussing, delivering, quoting. Renovating seems like a great idea and I’m generally a very organised person, but I can already feel a little OCD stress as not only the physical process begins, but the mental one of things not being in their place – losing a little of the usual order of things – I’m sure my aura is whizzing out of kilter too and I’m already dreaming (day dreaming that is as my sleep is taking a knock) of peace, calm and order returning to our humble abode. But that won’t happen for a few weeks at least.
Are you one of those super chilled out people where nothing phases you and you take everything in your stride? I wish I was, but I have to admit that I’m not. Just writing this now my pulse quickens and I feel a mild tension bordering on panic in my inner core. Oh dear! Perhaps my friend is right and although we often joke about our OCD tendencies, I clearly do prefer things in their place and the apple cart the right way up. Take this for example: how a seemingly minor decision (to a complete home-renovating-novice like me) can have rather annoying and expensive consequences.
Last year we saw a fridge we desperately liked – a beautiful french double door stainless steel ice making beast – and wonder of wonders, it fitted into the space taken up by our existing pantry if we removed the doors and shelves, because as luck would have it, they no longer make fridges to fit into the existing built-in fridge space in our kitchen. Our plan was then to remove the current smaller fridge and utilise that space for a pantry, by installing special shelves/baskets/drawers to make optimal use of the space. Simple right? Well, we finally bought the fridge the other day and it arrived and I realised how ridiculous I am for feeling the way I do about a fridge, but hey – we’ve all had that one thing we really want, haven’t we?
Anyway, in order for my lovely husband to remove the shelves, doors, hinges and prepare the alcove by sanding and painting, I had to empty the pantry out, thinking it might only take a few days to get new shelving installed in the “new” pantry area. I now have an enormous amount of food, boxes, bottles, spices and jars standing on the dining table, coffee table, any surface in the house really!!! It’s making me crazy. I feel a sense of panic every time I see it and yesterday we had a quote to install the new shelving and it will take minimum TWO WEEKS!!! AAARRRGGGGHHH!! Breathe…breathe…breathe…
Deep breaths in and deep slow breaths out. Do you get where I’m coming from?
Next week the painters arrive to do some internal work on the ceilings (high vaulted ceilings so impossible to do ourselves) and the internal contents of the house (I keep writing “the house” in a way that could mean I’m trying to distance myself from it?) will be plastic wrapped and all the pantry items were supposed to be packed into their new home before then. Painting will take 4 days. It’s school holidays now and my hubby is at home with our little one while I continue working through this time, so at least I’ll escape for a few hours a day, but he is an absolute Saint, remaining up beat and positive while I seem to have turned into some kind of gremlin, spewing concern and disaster! Not good.
So while I can still see the kitchen before being covered in plastic wrap, and I have the ability to locate my ingredients from their temporary home on the table, I decided to do something calming like bake a pudding. This extremely easy pudding to be precise – also a tasty way of using very ripe bananas and bringing in one of my favourite ingredients; lemons.
I’ve only made them as individual portions so can’t give a baking time if you’d prefer to make a single bowl, but it will definitely take a little longer to bake, just keep checking it so it doesn’t overcook.
50 g unsalted butter
¾ cup castor sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
½ cup mashed banana
¼ cup plain flour
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Icing sugar to decorate
Whipped or double cream to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease 6 ¾-cup capacity or 4 1-cup capacity ovenproof dishes and place them in a large roasting pan.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a small bowl, using an electric mixer, until well combined. Beat in the yolks, one at a time, until also combined.
- Add milk, banana, flour and juice. Beat on a low speed until the mixture just comes together. Transfer to a larger bowl.
- Beat the egg whites in a clean small bowl until firm peaks form. Gently fold half of the egg whites into the banana mixture, until just combined. Repeat with the second half.
- Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared cups/bowls/dishes.
- Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the dishes.
- Cook in the centre of the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until the sponge topping is cooked and feels firm to the touch. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven, not forgetting about the boiling hot water! Remove the dishes from the roasting pan and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Serve warm with a dusting of sifted icing sugar and topped with a blob of cream.