Inspiration strikes at the strangest moments. Like Newton under the apple tree, you might be daydreaming about “The Golden Girls” episode where Dorothy’s friend has a lesbian crush on Rose and BOOM–you’ve invented gravity!
Such was the case for me, last week, while grading student work in my Gotham Food Writing class: I had the sudden, inexplicable urge to stick a banana in a hot dog bun, schmear it with peanut butter, drizzle on honey and call it “The Elvis Dog.” This was a great moment in human history.
The Elvis sandwich, as many of you may know, is white bread topped with peanut butter, banana, honey and sometimes–depending on how faithful you are to the original–bacon. I first ate this sandwich (sans bacon) at the museum cafeteria at Emory University and I fell in love. There was something magical about that combination of banana, peanut butter and honey; creamy, salty, fruity sweet–it just worked.
Fast forward to me, at my desk, craving a snack in the late afternoon. I didn’t have bread, but I had hot dog buns (I used them for sausages when I made the Best Beans of Your Life again, recently); I had peanut butter, I had honey and, most importantly, bananas.
My first move was to saute the bun itself in butter:
This made the bread toasty and, more importantly, less healthy–totally in the spirit of cooking like the King.
Then I slathered it with Peanut Butter (creamy Jif), placed a whole banana inside so it looked like a hot dog and drizzled it with honey (in a pattern that made it look like mustard). One bite and I was in my own personal Graceland:
[I also sprinkled on some cinnamon, in case you’re wondering what that powdered stuff is on the plate.]
Is this the most sophisticated food on earth? YES! And did I invent it? DOUBLE YES!
This is the kind of thing, if I were on TV, that’d require me to say in a chipper morning show voice: “And you know, this is a great thing to make with your kids.” But I don’t have kids (at least none that I know of) so I leave it to you to decide if this is or isn’t kid appropriate.
Regardless, the innovation here is breathtaking: an Elvis sandwich is one thing, but on a toasted hot dog bun? This is the stuff of greatness. I submit my work to you humbly and ask only, when you build statues in my honor, that you think of me not as a deity, but, as always, your faithful servant.