The Best Banana Pudding I’ve Ever Had
So, I was going to visit a clinic in Los Angeles. The clinic housed a wonderful group called Real Medicine. Real Medicine (www.realmedicinefoundation.org ) is a great group that “provides humanitarian support to people living in disaster and poverty stricken areas, focusing on the person as a whole by providing medical/physical, emotional, economic, and social support.” They’re a wonderful organization. We’d worked with them before, renting a new space in East L.A. that could be used for enrichment classes and yoga, as a resource for providing essential items like clothes, and, best of all, providing a nice place for folks in the neighborhood to get together.
This year, they had another spot, near Leimert Park in Los Angeles, where they wanted to redo their common room. Sounded good to me.
In the months leading up to Big Sunday, I go to many places to check out potential projects. Actually, I plan to go to many places, but I usually end up compressing all the visits into a couple of weeks. On that particular day I had been in downtown L.A. looking at one nonprofit that needed a hand, then set out to see the second one. The second spot was a school. I had the address…at home. But I remembered that it was on a small side street near downtown. Easy. The principal had told me that it was “under the freeway”. No problem. Except that there are a whole lot of freeways in Los Angeles, so I never quite found the school. (Note to self: Next time I go looking for a school, bring the address.)(Note to the reader: A week later I brought the address and found the school. It was a great school with a great principal, and it turned out to be a wonderful project.) In any case, since I never got to the school that day, I got to the clinic early.
I hate arriving early. Actually, it’s not really a problem since I almost never do. (I’m still working on getting there on time.) But I hate when other people arrive early for me. For starters, chances are I’m not ready. But why would I be? They’re early! So, on this rare occasion when I was early, I decided to be polite and drive around the neighborhood.
I love driving around new neighborhoods. No matter where you are, you always find something new. (Caveat emptor: While looking for something new keep your eyes on the road.)(Personal note: And don’t text.) Anyway, a few blocks down the road I came across a place that just looked…good. Really good. It was called M’Dears Bakery and Bistro. (The word “bakery” is always an enticement.) So, I went it. Actually, I made a huge U-turn, parked, and went in.
If you’ve been driving around a lot, and looking for a school whose address you don’t know under a freeway, you can work up a pretty hearty appetite. Well, maybe not like doing a triathalon, but you can still get hungry. And I was. And, as it happens, the first thing you see when you walk into M’Dears is a big case of desserts. Cobblers, coconut cake, devil’s food cake, and banana pudding. There were probably others, but these are the ones I remember. On account of the fact that these are the ones that I got. Well, not right then and there! I only bought two – or three – of them, and brought them home for the family. The other two – or three – there are all kinds of cobblers – I brought home the next time I visited. Which was the next week. Despite the fact that I neither live, work, nor happened to be anywhere near there. But that banana pudding was a huge hit in my house; it was calling my name and I had to go back.
One time – not the time I took my son there for breakfast, but another time – okay, by now I’ve been there a bunch — they were just making the banana pudding. It wasn’t going to be ready for twenty minutes, and I didn’t have time to wait. What to do? Try the carrot cake! (How’d I missed that before?)
Let me tell – you can’t go wrong. Now, I’m into healthy eating as much as the next guy (well, maybe not quite as much as him, but more than it would seem from reading this) and I don’t always eat like this. But I do think if one is doing a good deed, one is entitled to reward oneself. And if that means eating something not 100%…healthy…that’s okay.
Oh, by the way: On Big Sunday we did go to Real Medicine and redid their common room for them. Paint, furniture, the works. The folks at Real Medicine are always terrific, our volunteers had a great time, and, for sure, I was glad to help. But that banana pudding up the street was something else.
The facts: M’Dears Bakery and Bistro: 7717 South Western Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90047-2439 – (323) 759-2020 (No website – how’s that for old fashioned? – but they do have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Angeles-CA/MDears-Bakery-and-Bistro/261882704371 .
Real Medicine Foundation: www.realmedicinefoundation.org. 1-800-450-7484.