gravity's rainbow french toast

~nh, inspired by thomas pynchon

"With a clattering of chairs, upended shell cases, benches, and ottomans, Pirate's mob gather at the shores of the great refectory table, a southern island well across a tropic or two from chill Corydon Throsp's mediaeval fantasies, crowded now over the swirling dark grain of its walnut uplands with banana omelets, banana sandwiches, banana casseroles, mashed bananas molded into the shape of a British lion rampant, blended with eggs into batter for French toast [emph. added], squeezed out a pastry nozzle across the quivering creamy reaches of a banana blancmange to spell out the words C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre (attributed to a French observer during the Charge of the Light Brigade) which Pirate has appropriated as his motto ... tall cruets of pale banana syrup to pour oozing over banana waffles, a giant glazed crock where diced bananas have been fermenting since the summer with wild honey and muscat raisins, up out of which, this winter morning, one now dips foam mugsfull of banana mead ... banana croissants and banana kreplach, and banana oatmeal and banana jam and banana bread, and bananas flamed in ancient brandy Pirate brought back last year from a cellar in the Pyrenees also containing a clandestine radio transmitter ..."

--Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon, p. 10 - 11

The above is so far all I've read of this 800-page tome, but it has been enough to inspire a Sunday-morning ritual here at the Barn, Third South:

per person:

  • one banana, as close as possible to ripe on the brown side of the spectrum
  • one egg
  • sploosh (~1 T?) milk

Mash one half of the banana up in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well). If you have a masher, that's the best, otherwise use a fork or your fingers. Switch to a fork and whisk in the egg, and then the milk -- not enough to make it runny, but enough to make the batter last for three normal-sized pieces of bread.

Prepare as normal french toast (1/2 T butter in the pan, melted; dunk both sides of the bread in the batter and fry on each side until golden brown), and layer in between the other half of the banana, sliced up, with butter beneath and liberally sprinkled powdered sugar above.