I’m going bananas.

I hope all you Americans had a lovely Thanksgiving, and also that you remembered not only our troops who couldn’t be home for the holiday but also remembered the real Americans, the Native Americans, that were treated so poorly & unfairly by our original settlers (& their ancestors). And not to be a total wet blanket, I hope you enjoyed your families (& food, too). I had an absolutely lovely day & ate (& drank) way more than any human my size possibly should. Thanks to my cousin Tommy & his girlfriend Dawn for an amazing day- I hope you enjoy the goodies I left with you as much as we enjoyed all that food & excellent company!

So am I going bananas? Not really. Well, kinda. I guess I’m sorta going bananas. Between the holidays, blogging & getting myself together “in real life” I’m kinda pulled in a million directions lately. And truth be told, it’d be nice if this horrendous cold/flu/whatever it is I have went away for good, & took the lingering cough/malaise with it. Not only all that- but where has the time gone?! I feel like Sleeping Beauty; as if I fell asleep in July, after canning fresh fruit & veggies & sweating my ass off… & woke up to Thanksgiving being over & the temperature dipping down to the 30’s at night. Strange. But my saving grace in life is staying busy, enjoying the little things & the sad truth that food rules my life; put those together & no matter what happens you’ve got a broad who’s cookin’ something up. So this blog will never see a lull in posts, hah.

And of course, I like to try unique things. And banana jam sounded pretty unique. Not only that, but bananas are good for ya (thanks, Wikipedia!):

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and potassium.

Along with other fruits and vegetables, consumption of bananas may be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and in women, breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma.

This particular recipe was something I stumbled on coincidentally after realizing my bananas had once again turned dark brown & spotty. My mind started to click through recipe ideas. See, I hate throwing good food or fruit away, especially when it still has delicious potential. Yet I didn’t feel like banana bread, I couldn’t even fathom banana ice cream & I was too tired for making muffins, so luckily this recipe found its way onto my laptop screen one dark, chilly, quite frozen evening at about 11 p.m. However, I didn’t actually open it to use it until the next day. In case you’re wondering, that’s Pepperidge Farm cinnamon swirl bread, toasted, accompanying it. But I guarantee you it will be equally stellar on whole wheat or white toast, pancakes, or vanilla ice cream. Or now that I think about it, bran muffins, too… or a spoonful on top of oatmeal.


BANANA BROWN SUGAR BUTTER/JAM (adapted very slightly from Neo-Homesteading)

Makes 1 8-oz. jar

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, the riper the better
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a small pot combine banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, lime juice and butter.
  2. Whisk over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the the banana has softened. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Using the whisk thoroughly smoosh the banana.
  3. Once the mixture is smooth-ish, you are simply thickening without burning. The mixture will bubble 3-4 minutes over medium heat and it should be about ready at this stage. Refrigerate and use within one to two weeks.

Note: I did indeed say this recipe makes ONE 8-ounce jar. You may halve it to make a 4-ounce jar, or double it, but being I’ve done neither I can’t vouch.

AMAZEBALLS. Super rich, buttery & caramel-y ’cause of the brown sugar. Holy crap. If you like bananas, this is a must-make for you. The only downside? Banana can’t be canned safely (unless you’ve got a pressure canner), so it has to be eaten pretty quick. But if you make a small batch, 4-8 ounces, that should be fine. Especially for a brunch date or something, where more than just one person will be having it. Maybe for a Christmas morning brunch, maybe even for an afternoon tea. Speaking of Christmas, it seems it’ll be here before we know it! Jeez, seriously, is it just me or does it seem like just last week it was June?

This has a very home-y flavor, sweet & kinda rustic. Reminds me of a fall morning, a fireplace going at a nice blaze & old family photos.

t…

That photo is so important to me because it’s the only photo that I have of my great-grandmother as a young woman. She’s all the way on the right, holding my grandmother in her lap, and the woman next to her is my great-great-grandmother. I’m lucky to have pictures like this, and I know that. This time of year especially it’s important to remember family & the generations before you, even if it’s only by doing a holiday tradition that’s been passed down through the years. As my Christmas tree goes up this week, & I start to put up my lights & garlands, I’m struck by that. How each generation of my family has done the same thing before me. I can trace parts of my family back to the 1100’s & that’s the one thing that can humanize them & make them relatable to me when they’re just names/dates on paper- that they all celebrated Christmas, albeit in very different ways, & loved their families. So time goes on and the generations go on… and at some point, we’re all just special, cherished photographs on a wall.

Well that was fucking cheerful. Sorry. Have some banana jam & you’ll cheer right up. Anyway, like I said- I personally can’t believe it’s almost December, let alone almost 2012, can you?

..

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18 comments

  1. McCupcake's Mom

    What a beautiful post my ‘Cupcake’ girl…your awesome recipes aside, you’re so right about family & traditions..it’s the traditions in our family that keep those no longer physically here with us still a part of us,just in a different way..You know how seriously my family took the holidays, all the German traditions my father got from his father, and I from him..I’m so glad you are keeping the traditions going, that it’s important to you to keep the ‘torch lit’ and their spirits alive..All those past generations are smiling down on you and saying, “What a smart cookie that little girl is”…and the beat (and our family..) goes on…The jam was amazing and so are you..I’m a proud mom…XXX

  2. Mackenzie

    I have the same lingering cough that just REFUSES to go away! But on the upside, I am definitely going to try making this banana “butter”, it looks amazing!!

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