You Want Some Cheese with that Whine?

by on December 27th, 2014
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Here’s something you don’t figure on when you’re unemployed: what the rest of the world thinks of as a 3-day weekend is just another 3 days to you. You’re off every day and frankly, it’s not something to celebrate. Plus you spend the day wondering what all these people are doing in the market during YOUR shopping time (oh yeah, it’s one of those days.) The truth is, having a 3-day weekend loses much of its joy for the unintended leisure class. You feel a little left out, as though the worker world is having a party but nobody invited you. Take Labor Day for example. Here’s a holiday that just screams DAY OFF FOR WORKERS! But not for you, madam un-worker. Yet rather than fan the embers of melancholy smoldering inside, I extinguish that whine with some cheese. To be specific, a really cheesy movie. And what is le grand fromage of cheesy cinema? THE ELVIS MOVIE!! You just can’t feel sorry for yourself watching one of Mr. Presley’s lactose-filled little gems. Come on…I DARE you to slip on sackcloth during “Speedway”, “Roustabout” or “Tickle Me”. How about “Girl Happy”? Guaranteed to inspire giggles. Why just the fact that a song and dance about a mollusk were created for this cinematic tour de force makes me laugh out loud, leap off the couch and DO THE CLAM– it’s better than Prozac! True, a funny movie from the Marx Brothers or Mel Brooks might do the trick. But you just can’t beat the schlock-factor of a cheese-dripping Elvis flick. It’s gouda-galore! Take the King, put him in boat, a racecar, a tent, on a beach (several beaches), add in pretty girl in capri pants and kitten heels, a smarmy rival for her affections, and the Jordanaires (who conveniently show up at the first chord of a ditty) and BINGO – cheese-a-palooza! So the next time you feel the blahs creeping in, raise the corner of your upper lip, start up your wiggle and pop in an Elvis movie. You’ll thank me — thank me very much!

All that ‘Clamming’ makes me a little peckish. Rather than include a cheese-themed recipe (there is enough cholesterol in the movie), I thought it far more appropriate to create something the King himself would have enjoyed. This one might do the trick.

Hunk-a Hunk-a Burnin’ Loaf (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

Makes 1 loaf (10-12 slices)

This is a peanut butter quick bread with a little banana inside and on top. And if you really want to go crazy, feel free to fry up a slice in butter. Elvis would!

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 1 egg, well beaten 1 cup shaken buttermilk 1/2 a ripe banana, mashed (about 1/4 cup) 1/3 cup peanut butter chips 2 TBSP roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped 2 TBSP banana chips, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, cream the brown sugar and peanut butter together. Add in the banana and beaten egg and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet (it will be a little dry – don’t worry, the buttermilk will loosen it up to a more batter-like consistency). Add in the buttermilk and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the peanut butter chips. Pour the batter into greased loaf pan. Mix the chopped peanuts and banana chips together, and sprinkle top of loaf.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean. Remove from pan and cook on rack. Calories: 210/slice for 12 slices, 250/slice for 10 slices.

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