Yes, We Have Some Bananas

Unlike the fruit shortage that prompted the popular song, aboard Outrider, a supply of bananas saves the day—and the dinner. "People & Food" from our June 2012 issue.

Bananas in Sweet Rum Sauce

Lynda Morris Childress

Turning 50 is quite a milestone for anyone. My 50th birthday was looming, and to help commemorate it, one of my sisters, Gill, flew in from Paris, halfway around the world, to join us in La Paz, Mexico, aboard Outrider, our Westsail 42. On the day, we sipped delicious French champagne from Gill in the cockpit, watched the sunset, then enjoyed an excellent dinner out with several cruising friends. Live mariachi music capped off a perfect birthday.

After the celebration, however, we were ready for some rest and relaxation, so we left Marina Palmira for the roughly 20-mile sail on the Golfo de California to the islands of Partida and Espiritu Santo. We spent a week in the beautiful, calm anchorages of Caleta Partida, Ensenada Grande, and El Cardonal, not once experiencing the coromuel winds that can sometimes blow through La Paz from the south, usually starting up in the evening. These winds, if strong enough, can wreak havoc on the anchorages on the west side of the islands, making for uncomfortable nights at anchor. But we got lucky that week.

Most days were spent hiking, snorkeling, swimming, and fishing. In the evenings, we enjoyed leisurely dinners in the cockpit: steaks, chicken, or freshly caught fish, cooked to perfection on the barbecue and served with a green salad or a vegetable dish. Of course, good wine was served, either hearty red or crisp, chilled white. Life aboard was sublime—until one evening, when my husband, Jeff, asked, “What’s for dessert?” Oops! I knew that I’d forgotten to provision for desserts, but I’d been hoping that nobody would notice.

As luck would have it, I had a few bananas aboard as well as a bottle of dark rum stashed safely in the galley. Gill came to the rescue by whipping up a quick and tasty treat: bananas in rum sauce. It was a perfect ending to what might otherwise have been a not-so-perfect evening. A few days later, our wonderful island sojourn ended, and we reluctantly returned to the marina. We tied up to the dock and sat in the cockpit to watch the sunset just as the dreaded coromuel kicked in and blasted by on its way out to the islands. The wind gods had smiled on us. It'd been a great week aboard Outrider. The only thing missing was my other sister!

Bananas in Sweet Rum Sauce
4 bananas (firm, but ripe)
4 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup dark rum, or apple or pineapple juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

Peel bananas and halve lengthwise. Melt butter in a large skillet over moderate heat until it bubbles slightly, then sauté bananas for 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and add brown sugar and rum or juice. Return skillet to heat and continue to sauté until sugar begins to melt, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook over moderate heat, stirring and shaking skillet occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Place bananas on serving plates, pour sauce over bananas, and serve with optional ice cream or whipped cream. Serves four.

Can Be Prepared: At Anchor, Under Way
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Degree of Difficulty: Easy

For more recipes to cook on a boat, click here.