I took one look and said, “Uhhhh errr… hmmm….” The ingredients are terrifying, and I can completely understand why it’s unnerving. Ham and bananas? Mustard? Cheese sauce? (I don’t think my reaction would have been much more enthusiastic if I was actually a 1947 housewife, either. There isn’t even an exciting/silly name for the recipe! Why they didn’t name this something clever like “Tropical Ham Fest” or “Ham-nana Rolls,” I can’t understand.)
Buzz took one look and said, “We HAVE to make this! Look, there’s an anthromorphic banana carrying a pig! And a jar of mustard!”
How to make “HAM BANANA ROLLS”
6 thin slices boiled ham
6 firm bananas, peeled
Use all-yellow or slightly green-tipped bananas
Spread each slice of ham lightly with mustard. Wrap a slice of the prepared ham around each banana. Place in a buttered shallow baking pan and pour cheese sauce over bananas. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F.) 30 minutes, or until bananas are tender … easily pierced with a fork.
Serve hot with cheese sauce from the pan poured over each roll.
Looking over these ingredients, I started to rationalize. Surely the nice people at the United Fruit Company wouldn’t purposely poison us, would they? I mean, they want us to keep buying bananas, so they wouldn’t kill off customers.
Thankfully the initial steps of the recipe feel pretty normal. Mustard goes on ham every day.
Bananas get peeled every day.
Making a roux base for a cheese sauce… well, that’s not really “every day,” but it’s pretty common. (I really prefer cheddar, though. American cheese just makes Velveeta, and tastes like fake cheese instead of interesting cheese.)
Stuff didn’t start getting weird until mustardy-ham slices were wrapped around the bananas. The ham looked a little on the small side. (No surprise, I guess. Have you ever tried going to the deli and estimating how long a piece of ham you need to encapsulate a banana? I suppose asking the nice deli lady that question would make me her most memorable customer ever….)
I squished these into an 8×8 casserole dish because that was what was clean. The hamina-hamina-hambanana rolls were then covered with the cheese sauce (which tastes just like melted Velveeta).
And now that our ham banana rolls are thoroughly enrobed in cheese sauce, it’s time for them to bake. This might be a good time to find religion and start praying…
The cheese sauce bubbled up very weirdly, possibly because I’d chosen such a small casserole dish.
Shocking news of this day: this qualified for a “meh” rating rather than outright “disgusting.” (No one’s more surprised than I am!) Don’t get me wrong: nobody enjoyed this, and we’ll never make it again. But it actually wasn’t as bad as you’d expect from ham stuffed with a mustardy banana. If you got a bite with a good distribution of banana, ham, mustard, and cheese, the flavors almost worked. ALMOST. (If you got a bite with just banana and American cheese, well, barf.)
Thanks (I think) for the suggestion, Retro-rama mama!