Saturday, July 15, 2006

Banana Fritters (Page 817)

  • Date: Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 10pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Mike, Vigleik, Shihchi, and Marco
  • Dining Companion: Jessie
  • Recipe Rating: C+
I picked this recipe for dessert when I had some friends over before I left for Germany. It was disappointing. It seemed to me that deep-fried bananas couldn't be bad, especially with rum-based dipping sauce. They just weren't good though. The corn flake coating really needed to be sweeter, and the dipping sauce could have been much thicker. As it was, it seemed very un-dessert-like. The corn flake coating got nice and crispy, but didn't contribute a lot of flavor. And the dipping sauce was so strongly flavored like rum that the sweetness of it didn't come through too well. Texturally I liked the dessert a lot (Mike did and excellent job with the deep-frying!) but flavorwise it was just really off. Definitely not a recipe I would make again without major adjustments.

After 25 hours of traveling, I arrived back in Boston late last night. Sometimes I wonder what we could accomplish if we didn't have set ideas about what we can and cannot do. If you had told me 2 years ago that today I would be sitting here, having just returned from traveling overseas alone, to a conference where I barely knew anyone, and gave a talk in front of many of the big shots in my field, I probably would have laughed. It would have seemed impossible partly because it would have seemed like an unlikely set of circumstances. But mainly I would have thought, "I could never do that." And the truth is, a few weeks ago I thought about not going. At the very least I thought about asking not to speak. I even wrote an email to the administrators with that content. And even though almost everyone I asked about it supported my decision not to give a talk there, I never sent the email. Part of me thought that they wouldn't choose me to speak, so it wouldn't matter if I sent it or not. But I think I was also curious whether I would be able to do it if they chose me.

The thing that surprises me the most is not that I did it: that I went there, and met people, and gave a talk, but rather that I had fun doing it. Of course I was nervous, and at moments quite stressed, but I really had a good time this past week. I never would have predicted that. From now on I am sure that giving conference talks will seem like much less of a big deal (probably some of you reading this, who are older, are wondering why it was a big deal to me at all!) because now I know I can do it. Who knew!?!?

Here's a picture I took standing outside the conference site in Germany...

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