But, despite our plans, the trip started out poorly. First, we left home late (my fault – I’m not a morning person) so we weren’t going to get to the park when it opened. Second, it was pouring rain. Not exactly roller coaster weather. But we went out for our specially planned donut breakfast anyway and crossed our fingers the weather would clear up. Then we hit traffic. Road construction. Standstill for two hours. At that point we were trying to decide if we should move the amusement park trip to Sunday instead because we were running out of time. When we made it through the traffic, we were already three hours behind schedule.
Clearly this trip was not meant to be. A few exits short of our hotel, someone ran out of gas and ended up sideways in the emergency lane. Someone else panicked and swerved, cutting off a truck who swerved into our lane. Everyone hit the brakes, but we slid on the wet road and that was the end of Carly the Corolla.
Thankfully, no one was injured, but we did spend the next six hours trying to make it the last 5 miles to our hotel. First waiting on the side of the freeway while we called police, insurance companies, tow trucks, and parents. Then waiting in a randomly selected shopping center parking lot while we called junk yards to see who would give us the best price for sad old Carly.
The highlight of the affair was when the junk yard tow truck driver showed up, over an hour late, and shirtless. And let’s just say, he was no model. He pulled a uniform shirt out of his truck and put it on, but left it unbuttoned.
One of the first things he said to us was “I’m so glad you guys are here in this shopping center. I need to buy a hamster.”
He hooked up the car, handed us the cash, and left us in the parking lot with all our belongings in a shopping cart.
After that it was just a short cab ride to our hotel where we arrived sad, exhausted, and hungry. We did manage to salvage a little of the vacation from that point on. We walked to a shopping center for dinner that night and we made it to King’s Island the next day. It rained most of the day but that kept the lines down and we rode all the most exciting roller coasters in the park, including one where you lay down and go head first upside down. We ate all the best food in the place and then Andy’s sister and her husband were kind enough to come pick us up and take us home.
Plus we arrived home to this banana pudding. I made the pudding before we left so it was easy to throw together and very good. I’ll definitely make it again. My only complaint was that it was very thick after setting for the two days we were gone. Even with whisking it had a few chunks. I might use a little less cornstarch next time or eat it more immediately after making it.
I’m retyping the recipe because I changed the ratios to serve just the two of us and I substituted graham crackers for the Vanilla wafers since we had extras from our camping trip. I also eliminated the need for two pans by microwaving the milk. You can find the original recipe here.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons banana rum (optional but highly recommended)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 bananas
- 3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
First, make the pudding. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan (on the counter, no heat). Set aside.
Microwave the milk until it boils. Whisk a little at a time into the egg mixture in the saucepan. Add the banana rum.
Place the saucepan over medium to medium high heat and cook, stirring continuously until the pudding thickens and turns thick and glossy – about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.
Press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to three days.
To make the cookie crumble, heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, and set aside. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl, and add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Spread the crumbs on the baking sheet. Toast in the oven until brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To serve, I layered mine in stemless wine glasses Alternate layers of banana, cookie crumble, and pudding. It’s small consolation for a totaled car, but it is delicious.