I got home from work yesterday and grabbed the bananas out of the basket when I happened to glance in the mirror above the table... and something made me think back to my college days when a friend said, "You realize that you will have to be frumpy your entire life if you are going to be an elementary school teacher, right?" Now, I didn't see some super-stylish model staring back at me, but I did see one non-frumpy woman.
Sure, we have all seen those ladies who roll up to the local elementary school with their homemade dresses from some fabric with little chalkboards and crayons in the print. Or is that just me that has seen that? Well, I have. But I would say that that really is not a requirement for being a teacher. Trust me. I personally have three qualifications that must happen with my wardrobe before I walk out the door. It must be --
Yes, I am going to be working with children, but I need to look like I care about what I look like, even if the people I spend my time with are not going to notice. Actually, they do notice. Eight-year-olds notice if you take time to put together your outfit or not. And they are quick to comment, either way. Children are honest like that.
With the amount of wandering around the classroom/sitting criss-cross-applesauce (remember "Indian Style"?)/kneeling next to desks to help with math that I do during the day, I must have something that allows me to move accordingly. Plus, I just might want to join in a game of dodge-ball, and I need to be prepared :)
For the first year or two of teaching I allowed the top two qualifications to define my wardrobe. I looked good, but I didn't always look like me. Now I make sure whatever I walk out the door wearing is something that I would find myself whether or not I am in my classroom.
As you can tell, not only do I do budget cooking, but I do budget shopping in all areas. Pants -- $24.99. Top -- $11.99. Sandals (Forever 21) -- $13.00. Bracelet (which is actually a necklace wrapped around my wrist) -- sitting in my jewelry box since forever.
And yes, those curls are mine. No scrunching needed ;)
So, what did this non-frumpy teacher do when she got home? She made banana pudding parfait!
This is my last banana post.
What can I say? We love us some bananas!
From this point on I will go back to the norm -- cooking what I feel like cooking. But trust me, there will be more banana stuff coming out of my kitchen, and when that happens I will let you know!
Until then, try this. If you try only one of my recipes I found this year, try THIS ONE! The homemade pudding is to die for. I know I say all the time, "This was so good!" (because, honestly, I wouldn't try a recipe that didn't sound like it would be awesome, right?), but trust me on this one -- THIS WAS SO GOOD! ;)
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- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 bananas, plus more for garnish
- 12 shortbread or other vanilla-flavored cookies (4 to 5 ounces total), crumbled, plus more for garnish
- Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
- Have ready a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Very gradually (a few tablespoons at a time), whisk in milk, taking care to dissolve cornstarch; whisk in egg yolks.
- Whisking constantly, cook mixture over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters. Reduce heat to low; whisking constantly, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Stir butter and vanilla into hot pudding. Let pudding cool slightly; meanwhile, slice bananas.
- In six 8-ounce glasses, alternately layer warm pudding with cookies and bananas, ending with pudding and covering bananas as completely as you can to prevent discoloration. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour, and covered with plastic wrap, up to 2 days.