There are those who believe that summer ends when school begins, even if school begins the third week of August. These people are wrong.
There are some who believe that summer ends September 23rd, the official first day of fall for 2007. My third grader, legalistic child that he is, belongs in this category. He is wrong.
There are some who believe that summer ends in February. They live in Australia.
But I believe most of us, at least those of us in this particular spot of the Northern Hemisphere, believe firmly in our hearts that summer ends the day after Labor Day. And we are correct.
That is why on Labor Day, it is important to serve Banana Pudding, before it's too late. Because after Labor Day, Banana Pudding is no longer allowed. It is a thing of summertime. Oh, sure, it can make an early appearance, along with potato salad, at Easter or Passover celebrations, but really it's to be brought out on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and any day in August where you're feeling that late summer malaise. Verily I say unto thee, Banana Pudding will cure what ails you.
Against my better judgment, I'm going to share my Banana Pudding recipe with you. Please do not take this as permission to make Banana Pudding off-season. I'm only sharing this now because I have the recipe out, and because some of you reading this may be from Australia, and therefore are at perfect rights to serve Banana Pudding in the upcoming weeks.
Note: This recipe is for chilled Banana Pudding, a very different creature from baked Banana Pudding. I like both, though I only make the former. Be forewarned, once your children have chilled Banana Pudding, they will be more than likely to turn their noses up at baked Banana Pudding. Baked Banana Pudding, while often delicious, is not as visually attractive to children. Also, it lacks copious amounts of Cool Whip in its makeup. This can be fatal when it comes to attracting a child's attention and securing his or her gustatory love.
Creamy Banana Pudding (Makes 8-10 servings)
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk 1.5 cups cold water 1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding mix 2 cups whipped cream 36 vanilla wafers 3 medium bananas, sliced and dipped in lemon juice
In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and water. Add pudding mix; beat well. Chill five minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon one cup pudding mixture into 2 1/2 quart glass serving bowl. Top with one-third each of the wafers, bananas and pudding. Repeat layering twice, ending with pudding. Chill thoroughly.
When you make this--next summer--you will be among the beloved. I especially recommend taking it to church suppers or neighborhood potlucks. You will be the most popular girl on your block. Trust me.
I'm a writer and a stay-at-home mom who keeps meaning to mop the floors because I think it would make me happy if I did. I love books and music and writing, spend entirely too much time in the dentist's chair (I bet I have more crowns than you do), and used to think I was sort of bohemian, but now I wonder. No tattoos. Minivan. That story.