You’d be amazed what you can do with a frozen banana

Humans are wonderful creatures, almost any issue you have, someone else will have had it before you – and now thanks to the internet, you can find these people and read blog posts about how they dealt with it, you can message them on twitter and talk to them about it. Sometimes we forget just how amazing this is.

This is amazing, even when we’re talking about the rather bizarre problem of what to do with frozen bananas.

We are all familiar with the concept of testers, these are wonderfully honest people that go though your applications and find all the bugs, niggles and irks for you to fix. They can be frustrating people but oh-so-useful. I am lucky enough have my own panel of testers -  dedicated, hard working people that, for the sake of friendship and honour, allow me to try out new recipes on them. I love each and every one of them. The "mmmm, that’s not bad" from them is the highest accolade a cook can have, it’s like an addiction – alas this is something I have given up for the moment…

My good friend Ben is currently taking part in a very worthwhile challenge – Lay off the Cake – he and his colleague are competing to see who can lose the most weight. Out of respect and in support of this I have refrained from baking fat laden goodies when I know he will be around – it’s been surprisingly hard – but last week I discovered something rather wonderful…

For reasons too mundane to go into here I had shoved some rather ripe bananas into my freezer before going away for the weekend. The natural consequence of this is that last Monday found me googling (Yes, Googling….) the phrase "Frozen banana recipes". What I found was rather remarkable.

How To Make Creamy Ice Cream with Just One Ingredient! – from

It turns out that if you blend a Frozen Banana and nothing else it turns into something with the texture and taste of ice cream.

I know… that’s the exact expression of incredulity I had.

After this expedition into the crazier side of the internet I met up with Katherine “The Sorceress” Robinson and told her this tale. She also instantly screwed her face into the classic ‘You can’t make ice cream from frozen bananas’ expression but we thought it was worth a try. Home we went and – as all good scientists must do before an experiment – made tea.

With the comforting wafts and warmth of Yorkshire Tea to bolster us we went for it. The first thing we learnt – pealing a frozen banana is not an easy task.


Eventually the chopped frozen banana was in the plastic prison of my Kenwood Mini Chopper, lid in place. We shared the by-now familiar expression of ‘You can’t make ice cream from frozen bananas’ and pressed the button…


We got chopped banana. We were significantly underwhelmed.

But we had gone too far to give up now. After the effort that went into peeling the thing it was personal. So, more blending… This time we got finer chopped banana. The cause was lost, we were just making a mess now. We silently vowed to never believe anything the harpy that is the internet said ever again. That purveyor of broken promises and dreams was dead to us.

Without any hope in my heart I gave it just one final blast of the blender and the magic happened. Suddenly. Peacefully. The chopped banana collapsed in on itself and turned creamy with barely a sigh as it let go if it’s solid form and relaxed into creamy goodness.


We had ice cream.

Teaspoons. Tasting. Raised eyebrows. Incredulity. This was ice cream! This was Fat-Free ice cream. This was Ice Cream with all the nutritional merits of a banana and nothing else. In that one taste we forgave the internet and let it back into our hearts.

Then the best bit. Ben arrived. Once again I got to do something I love – feed something yummy to someone who loves their food and suddenly, all was right with the world once more.


The Lure of the ‘New Shiny’ – Satisfying Gadget Lust

Everyone has an array of guilty pleasures that they indulge in as and when. Something that makes them feel alive. Sends the tingles down to the very tips of their fingers.

An act that not only makes you feel every so slightly, but also deliciously wicked –  makes your toes wiggle, hidden in your sensible shoes under your desk just thinking about it.

I’m about to indulge in one of my (oh so very few) weaknesses – the one I internally refer to as ‘new-shiny’.

Yes, I admit it. I’m sitting here doing the refresh-tracking-page dance in-between metaphorically running my fingers though lines of code trying to debug a particularly bizarre error.

Any moment now… either today or tomorrow my new shiny will arrive on my desk. And it’s been a long wait, almost 3 weeks! I don’t know how I’ve been this patient – but now it’s almost here I can’t wait!

It doesn’t matter that I’ve been derided from all sides for ordering this particular gaget – James Marshall has been particularly scathing, but then this is the man who has a blackberry – a device that I have no love for for No Reason.

@amykate I still think you are beyond crazy for parting with ANY money for that device. It’s a pile of plastic, unreliable, cr*p. 🙁less than a minute ago via web

So what am I waiting for with such bated breath – possible caused by the garlic in last night’s meal?

An aPed – yes, a tablet PC that runs Android. No, not an iPad which, at their cheapest, are currently retailing at £429, something for less than a quater of that price that will give me the functionality I want.

Was this a sensible decision? Should I have used this money to pay off my mortgage instead? Oh yes, there are, I’m sure, infinite options of more sensible things to do – but can you, a fellow geek – blame me for giving into the lure of the Shiny?

Might just go and check in at reception again and see if anything’s turned up….

A News Junkie’s Election Resources

My name is Amy and I’m a recovering News Junkie.

I do well these days, I only check the BBC news website 3 or 4 times a day but there have been periods in my life where I would live on news sites, devouring the soap opera / action movie / documentory that is our wonderful world.

Today is the General Election. If you are eligable and you haven’t voted – go vote now. Chris Alexander has explained this more eloquently than I could in his post this morning “Today is the General Election. There’s no excuse not to vote

For those of you that have voted and are ready to sit back and watch the drama unfold, I would like to share with you my current news-junkie-fix set up.

1. BBCBBC News Live Election Results Page –  This looks like it’s shaping up to be a very useful page, this will be on my laptop screen tonight

2. News Now – News Now’s Election Page

I have been addicted to this site since that September a few years ago when all the news websites went down, this site remained avalibale in patches and bought in feeds from hundreds of different websites from all over the world. It agrigates news stories from hundreds of sources – If you want to get all the news about anything, this is the place to go.

3. Twitter and TweetTabs

I get lots of my breaking news and most certainly interesting commentary from Twitter these days. I will be using TweetTabs (made by the every talented dtsn – to keep an eye on the hashtags. Here’s my set up –

If you want to find your local constituency’s hash tag, check the list on this website

What ever you’re doing, I hope you enjoy your election night.  Please share your favourite resources in the comments!

Final Thought When something exciting happens in the tech world – a new product lauch etc – there is ALWAYS a life blogging feed from someone, seems weird to not be going to EnGadget for live blogging of the election!


Live Blogging from the Farmer Guardian – a different take no doubt