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So there may come a time in your life where you throw your hair to the wind, let your caution down and go off to Costa Rica for a few months. During this time of learning, self discovery, and guavas, it may occur to you that you need to make a pie. In a fit of desperation and hero worship you will reach out to your delightful, clever, beautiful sister to make you a banana cream pie recipe, and because shes made of the light and rainbows that fairy tales are sewn together with, she will type one up for you. And you will grovel and hum and tell all your Costa Rican peeps about her glory and objective attractiveness and nearly otherworldly ability to sell sweaters.

SO. WE BEGIN.

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CRUST
15 graham crackers crushed (if you have a food processor, do it in there. If you do not have a food processor, and, instead, have a toddler, put the graham crackers in a bag and let them smash it all to bits. If you do not even have a toddler, then I suppose you could roll over them with a rolling pin and cry to yourself about it. Or a blender. I guess. But the blender only works if you first HULK SMASH the crackers into WEE BITTY BABY PIECES otherwise the blender cannot handle that shit, will make whirrling noises, start smoking, and explode.)

6 tablespoons of melted butter (I do mean melted this time. No chunks. Just delicious golden joy. Vegetable oil? Will not work. Butter substitutes? Will not work. Butttteeeer.)

1/4 cup white granulated sugar.

GLAZE
1/4 cup whatever tart preserves they have over there in Costa Rica. Apricot would be ideal, but I don't know their agricultural systems. I don't judge.
2 tablespoons of water.

FILLING
2 cups milk (whatever variety is available to you, as so long as it comes from a cow. I do not have recipes formulated for the lipid content of other animal lactation. Do not ask me to do this thing, I will be up to 4 am researching goat's milk, this is a bad road.)

3 large egg yolks (separated and everything. Again, to separate a white from the yolk, just crack that into you hand and let the white slip away like a mischievous lover in the night (like said lover, it might be more than a bit clingy) into a bowl. Or the trash. And then take the wholesome, beautiful, glorified yolk and toss it into another bowl. Oh the cruel wheels of fate.)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch (or tapioca starch. Whateva.)

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (the recipe calls for freshly grated but WHO ON EARTH GRATES NUTMEG I mean, certainly people do, and I would imagine it tastes delicious, but we don't have time for this noise. We are movers. We are shakers. We have to get this party started, because it don't until we walk in.)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons light rum (or golden rum, but not spiced rum. If you do not have this available, you should buy some, and then ask me what to do with it. The answer may surprise you. (the answer is cake.))

1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled (you know my feelings on heavy cream. You know them. Go accost a cow if you need to. I will wait.)

3 ripe bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 ounces chocolate curls (or, you know, get a chocolate bar and a vegetable peeler and make babies. Follow your instincts. Do what feels good. Make chocolate shavings. No one cares as long as it's chocolate on pie.)



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CRUST
MAKE THIS WHILE THE FILLING IS CHILLING.

Take those smashed up little tiny bits of graham cracker (which is really more like dust at this point. Or it should be. Don't just crush the crackers. Ask it out with a flash mob. Date in a whirlwind of romance and song montages. Make them love you. Leave them. Hurt them. SMASH THEM.) and combine them with melted butter that is melted and butter and the sugar. Combine until wet, and it you reach in there and take a handful, it should feel like you could make the sort of sandcastle that people write memoirs about.

Put it in your pie pan either by pressing it down with you hands (it will stick) or using a metal spoon to kind of spread it about. get it up the sides. Fear not, for it will be delicious. Put it in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. If you cook it longer it will burn and I will judge you. If you, for whatever reason, stop being able to tell time, when you start smelling it, basically it's done.

CRUMB CRUSTS ARE THE EASIEST OF ALL THE THINGS. When you SUDDENLY NEED TO MAKE DESSERT crumb crusts are your friends. You can just make it rain. You can bring the ruckus.

GLAZE
Combine the preserves and water, put them in the microwave until they're melty and spreadable (a minute? Usually?) spread it over the crumb crust. Consider yourself damn fancy.

FILLING
YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY WANT TO DO THIS BEFORE THE CRUST BECAUsE IT NEEDS TO CHILL. THAT SUCKS UP TIME. YO.
This is where we kick it up in the air sometimes, saying HEY YO I've never actually heard that whole song.

In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the milk, the egg yolks, tapioca and vanilla. Let them get to know each other. Smooth them into this part before we heat it up.

In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, flour, corn/tapiocastarch, salt and nutmeg. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups of milk and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. I ain't joking. You do not leave that stove. You whisk. You whisk some more. You continue whisking. That will burn at the slightest provocation. It's like a teenager with self esteem issues. It just wants to burn.

Add the butter and stir over moderate heat until thick and smooth, ahh yeah. Just like that. It should take 2 to 3 minutes. You may want to eat it. Resist. Resist.

Remove from the heat and whisk about half into the egg mixture. This slowly brings the eggs up to the right temperature, because if you do it too quickly you basically have scrambled egg pie. Which is known in some countries as a "quiche" and it is not good with bananas. Whisk that all up.

Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderately high heat (this is not high heat. Do not do that to yourself. Cooking this over high heat ends in tear and murder), stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Put it in a blender if you have it. If it weren't for the tapioca you could strain it. But you can't strain tapioca. It is fish eggs. (it is not actually fish eggs.)

Add 2 tablespoons of the rum. Or more. Rum and bananas is just a good life choice.

Press a piece of wax paper on the custard; refrigerate until chilled. 30 minutes? 30 minutes. Make the crust now. Because you listened to me.


In a bowl, hopefully with a mixer, or a Noelle, because she is like a mixer in that she can't be stopped, but you don't have a Noelle, because she's mine. But. Yes. With a mixer (hopefully) beat the cream with the granulated sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of rum. If you MUST you can get pre-whipped cream and add rum. But I will judge you. I will judge all of the you.

Arrange the bananas in overlapping layers on the crust and pour the custard on top. Tap the pie on the counter so the custard settles. Otherwise you get air bubbles. Boo.

Spread the whipped cream on top.

Add more bananas on top. Go bananas. HAHAHAHA no one has ever thought of that pun before. I am magnificent.

Refrigerate until firm which is usually about 4 hours? Refrigerator pies are both great and terrible, because you don't need to watch them? But it takes longer for things to chill than cook. Which, clearly is a great metaphor about life and humanity and sex. But you're my sister, so you don't know what that is. Tom Hardy. TomHardyTomHardyTomHardyTomHardy.

Garnish with the chocolate shavings or curls, or chocolate dipped bananas that were first sauteed in rum. In any case: conquer with vision.

DEVOUR.
First of all: This is the Kickstarter to a comic my friend is doing, so if you like rhyming NSFW body-positive sequential art and has a lot of sailor puns (or if you don't and you just want to know how that even works) that has battling strippers who battle then I suggest giving that a look. And then money. Or if you want an email that is cursing you out with gratitude. Which I'm sure you do you effulgent glowing dickhole of stylish badass motherfuckery.

SECOND: TIRAMISU (IT WILL NEED TWO DAYS. TWO. NOT ONE. TWO. TWO DAYS):

YOU WILL BE MAKING: Espresso syrup, which you will be pouring over the ladyfingers which you will have in layers between the filling, because these are LADYfingers and they don't go lying on top of each other without protection.

Filling: which you will be smoothing between layers of ladyfingers. They are not all at the bottom. This is not a pie. This is a building. A building made of deliciousness. You don't toss some ladyfingers in there and then dump the filling on. You don't mix them together. We're going sedimentary old school on this glowing icon of paradise.

Finishing: which you will be putting on top of you delicious layers of espresso syruped ladyfingers and delicious, delicious filling because they are layered like a deep layered thing. A well built character, or an intriguing plot, or a compost pile (I'm sorry, it was just there and I went for it.)

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Let's talk about bread for a second here.

I love bread. I love the idea of bread. I love eating bread, making bread, talking about bread, writing long, rambling lyric essays about bread, relating bread to writing, and love, and existence and society as a whole. I have more feelings about bread than I have feelings about Tom Hardy. And I would hug every single atom of Tom Hardy individually if I could. I would hug every ounce of Tom Hardy that exists, but not in a weird serial killer goopey butchery kind of way. Which no one was thinking of until I mentioned it. I have a ludicrous amount of feelings about bread. If you get me drunk, I will try and drunk dial bread. For Valentines Day my dudefriendbro got me flours and I needed to have a lie down.

This is mostly the fault of Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street who, one fair day, decided to focus on bread and toasters, respectively, on a day where my house had no bread, which awakened a fierce craving in my tiny self, and, perhaps, if one of my had gone to the grocery store in a reasonable time frame I would have become a mechanic or something, but no. I sat there consumed with lust for the rest of the evening. Lifetime. Thing.

I will spare you my verbose and slightly disturbing breadfeels in exchange for making some bread, because making stuff you can shove into your face is a brilliant idea. Do not be frightened. We'll get through this together.

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There Are Few Things Better Than Mug Cake

Mug Cake, for the unaware, is cake that you make in a mug. It is basically the easiest of all cakes. The only thing easier than mug cake is to just have a magical cake fairy who flies down and gives you cake. But even then, it's a fairy, and faeries are dicks, so they probably are turning you into a cake. So we should make mug cake instead.

Now, not all mug cakes are created equal. Sure you're getting cake in about five minutes with very little effort on your part, but you want the best of all possible mug cakes, the epitome of mug cakes. The kind of mug cake that make the rest of your college dorm consider murdering you in your sleep because you taught them this cake and they are all going to be fat in a time in their lives when they cannot afford a new wardrobe.

This recipe is based off This One Here with some adjustments because baking, like fandom, is about never leaving anything alone ever.

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My problem with sugar cookies has always been that they're just...sort of...there. I mean, when I make sugar cookies, I get some orange and lemon zest up in there along with some quality vanilla, but still. All I can really say about their flavor is that they're sweet.

But I do like the texture of a good icebox sugar cookie. The way it's almost crisp on the outside, and then that crust shatters under your teeth so you can sink into the warm, soft innards of your prey. Cookie. Cookieprey. What to do...what to do...

How about brown sugar cookies? The brown sugar almost caramelizes and also I might sometimes just eat brown sugar plain. With a spoon. I like brown sugar. I don't like molasses. I don't like just plain sugar. Put them together and all of that just goes up in my mouth. And oh, hey, I have a jar of almond butter. Let's do something with that too. Since we're brave explorers of baking.

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Now, there are three subspecies of brownies: Fudgy, Chewy, and Cake-y. How you make each of these brownies changes only in the ratio of flour-to-fat, with the fudgier, gooier brownies chilling more on the lipid end of the scale, while cake-y brownies are all up in that gluten's business. The actual methodology should not change, in that underbaking brownies to make them gooier is nonsense and I scoff at that noise. Scoff! The answer to fudgier brownies does not lie in poor heating conditions, but rather, in the addition of more butter.

This recipe is for the first version, it is a fudgey, gooey masterpiece of a chocolately rich brownie of rich, sweet, mind-blowingness and no I will not say decadent because I am against the dessert industry' constant abuse of said adjective. They're snuggely brownies. They are brownies that want to spoon your tongue as you eat them. They are brownies that will embarrass you in public as they cling to your teeth like the over-affectionate, needy bastards they are. These brownies will make milk your homeboy. The memory of these brownies will crawl into your brain like a Yeerk and sit there for the rest of time quietly reminding you that they exist and you could be making them right now if you wanted to.

Assuming, of course, fudgy brownies are how you roll. If not. Uh. LOOK A ZEPPELIN.

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For Once I Will Not Kill You If You Don"t Sift The Flour.Collapse )
In the future, when I publish that novel I'm poking around on, and my main character space pilot from Space/A Space Farm Planet Farm Corn From Space is obsessed with his ma's cornbread, this is the cornbread I'm talking about. Not that box mix 100% nonsense, or anything with sour cream mixed in (sour cream is fine, I use it for things, like sour cream cheesecake, but when recipes depend on mayonnaise or sour cream or applesauce to help make their baked good moist/cool that's usually a good hint that it's not the best recipe. It, like many things, exists as a shortcut. It's when you take a shortcut through the woods that the wolves eat you. STICK TO THE PATH.) or your grandma's cornbread. Fuck your grandma.* This cornbread is baller. (I'm sorry to everyone's grandmother. Call her and tell her you love her. If she's alive. And if you do. Don't lie. ANYWAYS.)

Okay, so, I don't know how many of you have a local butcher, or similarly have the meat department at your local supermarket eating out of your hand, but if you can get it, then do your very best to get some turkey skin. Just the skin, no meat, no fat, just the skin. Chicken skin also works, and if you can't get either bacon/turkey bacon will serve you, but if it is in any way possible turkey skin would be ideal. You know the crunchy tasty crumbly bits off a perfectly roasted turkey? Yeah, we're putting that in baller cornbread. (Maillard reaction, GO!)

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So, wild rice is amazing. In this instance I'm talking I'm Northern Wild Rice, which grows in the Great Lakes region of America. Outside of MN in the US it's generally called "Minnesotan" or "Canadian" wild rice. I had absolutely no idea how to get it outside of the US. I barely know how to get it outside of MN. The other states are heathens. Heathens and blasphemers, I'm telling you. However! If you do somehow manage to find some, or you come to MN to stock up, which you should, this is the recipe you need to use.

The nice thing about wild rice, is that it takes for-fucking-ever to cook. The reason that's good is that it gives us time to let the kernels absorb more flavor. Don't get me wrong, wild rice is sort of ridiculously tasty all by itself, it's got an ideal texture in that it gives you something to chew on without actually being chewy, and it has it's own, unique flavor that doesn't overpower anything else on your plate. Like salmon. You should eat this with salmon. Salmon is fucking baller.

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Coffeecake Is Deliciously Simple To Make

Coffeecake is a very, very, very forgiving baked good. It doesn't require much more than the ingredients, a bowl, an oven and a spoon. Most of what you have to watch out for is the point where you add blueberries and baking it. Up at The Lodge I'll just sort of roll this out when I'm made of laziness and just want to mix stuff together and put it in a pan.

Note, however, that simple doesn't mean it is any less delicious. It's just a good recipe to have on hand when you need to have some sort of baked good ready and you're pressed for time. A surprise tea party short of schtick.


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