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Sunday, August 19, 2007 

Yes...They'll have no bananas

they'll have no bananas today.
Hurricane Dean has delivered a potentially fatal blow to a once-vibrant banana industry on three small eastern Caribbean islands, authorities said Saturday.

In St. Lucia and Martinique, two adjacent islands that caught the brunt of Dean's 100 mph winds on Friday, authorities said the entire harvest was ruined by flooding or toppled trees. The storm also battered the banana industry in nearby Dominica.

"From what we have seen, farmers may have to start all over again as the last of the banana industry may have been wiped out," said Stephenson King, the acting prime minister of St. Lucia. - AP

speaking of bananas....

Macadamia Banana Cream Pie

1 cup chopped unsalted macadamia or cashew nuts
1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 egg white

Custard Filling
3 egg yolks
5 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 bananas
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia or cashew nuts

Prehat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare the crust: Combine the nuts, coconut, and brown sugar in a medium-size bowl.

Beat the egg white until stiff, and gently fold it into the nut mixture.

Press the mixture evenly into an 8-inch pie plate, making sure the sides are thickish (the crust will shrink while baking). Bake until the crust is lightly browned, 7 minutes.

Remove the pie plate from the oven and let it cool on a rack. (The crust will tighten as it cools.)

Prepare the custard: Beat the egg yolks in a heavy medium-size saucepan. Add the cornstarch and sugar, and mix well. Then stir in the milk, salt, and butter.

Cook the egg mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is bubbling and thick, 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled custard.

Peel and slice 1 of the bananas, and arrange it evenly on the bottom of the reserved crust. Spoon the filling into the crust, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for another 2 hours.

When you are ready to serve the pie, sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the top. Then peel and slice the remaining banana, and arrange the slices in a circle on top of the pie, with a few slices placed decoratively in the center. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

From: The New Basics Cookbook

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Oh no bananas? I have a feeling this is going to be an awful hurricane season.

Hey - I've been gone for a bit and come back and look at your new digs. Very nice!

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