Banana Flambe

I was just out lighting a fire, burning my burn-able’s. It was perhaps, the very first thing I did here, when we arrived at my one-room casita here in Vilca – make a fire pit. No one advised me to do it, I never read it anywhere. But there were rocks outside my door, huge ones, and dirt galore, so it seemed the natural thing to do to make a circle with them. I don’t even know if I knew why I was doing it! But it became the burn-able pit, and the “some-more’s fire pit” when my kids came to visit. Gosh, I miss my kids so much it hurts. I go through these waves of missing them, none more intense than this, since my first month here. And sitting out in the dark, with my dog by my side, and tonight, my kitty! For the first time, she got brave and joined the circle, turned on her back and wanted to play. And Tiko was so good for not attacking her. Yeay! Oh, yes, they WILL be friends. I felt like I had a little family. And when I heard the horse, Carmello, nicker over the fence, I told everyone I was giving them new names, my kids’ names, ha ha. Clare, Keith and Rachel! But still, my heart hurts. No, not my heart. My whole being.

Recipe of the Day: Banana Flambe

(Or Self-Pitying Flambe)


  • 2 bananas
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 4 T. panela (raw brown sugar)
  • 1/2 c.white rum or fruit-flavored brandy
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (canela) to help light the flame
Directions: Peel and halve the bananas lengthwise. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Brown the bananas fiVe 5minutes on each side. Add the sugar and cinnamon and pour in the  warmed brandy or rum. Cook for teo minutes. Flambe. Sprinkle with lemon or lime juice and serve at once.

How to Flambe:

  •  Heat the brandy or other 80-proof liquor in a saucepan, with high sides, just until bubbles begin to form around the edges (around 130 degrees F. or 54 degrees C.) before adding to the flambé pan (you will be able to see vapors rise from the liquid).
    Do not bring the liquor to a boil, as the liquor will burn off the alcohol, and it will not ignite. The boiling point of alcohol is 175 degrees F. (much lower than water). 
  • Add the liquor to the pan and light immediately. You don’t want the food to absorb the alcohol and retain a harsh flavor.
    Ignite with a long match.
    Always ignite the fumes at the edge of the pan and not the liquid itself. Never lean over the dish or pan as you light the fumes.
  • Let cook until flame disappears and all alcohol has burned off.
  • Serve the dish as soon as the flames disappear.


If you want the flames, but do not want the liquor in a dessert, soak sugar cubes in a flavored extract. Place the cubes around the perimeter of the dish and light.
Also be sure to practice flambing before your guests come as you want to make sure that these steps are performed flawlessly, if you want to impress your guests.

Word of the Day: fire – fuego

Travel Tip of the Day: Keep your fires contained and always put them completely out with dirt or sand, before leaving the area. (I can still hear my dad saying this.)

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