I have created a fan page on Facebook. The link is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jammin-From-The-Hearth/110986352295641 . You can visit this page and hit the “Like” button and this will be where I send out notices that the blog has been updated, for those of you that do not want to subscribe directly. I started getting friend requests for my personal Facebook page but that is reserved for friends and family only. Sorry, hope I didn’t offend anyone, but I thought a fan page would be the solution so everyone, known and unknown, can stay updated and share there.
So, I put-up a new jam on Monday and I know you have all been waiting to hear about it (yes, I did get emails asking for it to hurry up and be posted). Are you ready…drum roll, please…Banana-Rum Jam. Now, before I get to the recipe part I want to share in something I did a bit differently. The pot I use as my canner is really tall (it’s the pot that came with the turkey fryer) and my round cake rack sits perfectly in the bottom. The downside to that tall pot is that I basically have to stand on a chair to lift the jars in and out while it sits on the stove…I know, I know, it’s dangerous. This time I thought I would try my large spaghetti pot that is part of my cookware set which is not nearly as tall but it’s almost as big around. Turns out my cake rack would not sit down inside of it though, so I remembered that I had read that you can tie some old jar rings together (I used bread ties to do it with) and use that as a rack.
It did sit in my pot nicely and when I put my empty jars into it to simmer I noticed that they did not sit perfectly flat on the rack. I adjusted to water level to make sure I could get 2 or 3 inches of water over the top and the pot was just tall enough. Well, I went ahead and made the jam and then I removed the hot jars from the water to fill them. Now, I was not using the science side of my brain (think water displacement here…actually water and vinegar displacement) and when I started to load the filled jars into the pot (I didn’t have to stand on a chair this time which was nice…not to mention much safer) the water rose to the top and by my 3rd jar the water overflowed everywhere. So now here I stand with a pyrex measuring cup trying to remove some of the hot water, so I could continue adding the jars, and it turned into a messy nightmare, quick! By the time it was loaded I had to have the water level right at the top of the pot, to make sure there was enough to cover the jars properly BUT the jars would not sit upright. It took long wooden spoons in each hand trying to upright the jars and not burn myself too badly. Over half of them were cock-eyed but mostly upright to I put the lid on and cranked the stove to high. Remember, you have to bring it to a full boil before you start the processing time…well when it finally starting boiling, it was spitting and sputtering from under the lid and water was coming out all sides (vinegar water due to the white residue I mentioned in another post) and I ended up with the WHOLE stove top covered in hot water AND, as I was so mildly informed this morning, it had also leaked down into the stove top (under the burners) and was an inch or so deep in there! EEEKK! Anyway, I guess I will be wishing for that “real” canning pot with the nice lift out rack that I saw at Walmart the other day, as a Christmas present…it was under $20.
So on to the jam recipe. This one was requested by many and my first time of tasting a banana jam. Let me tell you, I LOVE it! It reminds me of one of my favorite all-time desserts, Bananas Foster. This would be great warmed over a good vanilla bean ice cream. I also thought about one of my favorite sandwiches from childhood…banana and peanut butter, which is the first thing I did with it. Oh my…it was delicious! Now, bananas are associated with fertility, potency and prosperity and are most often associated with a masculine energy as opposed to feminine energy. A good internet search will show that women in Hawaii were once forbidden to eat bananas, by law! Go figure. I am naming this one my Forbidden Banana Rum Jam.
Forbidden Banana Rum Jam
3 ¾ cups peeled and diced ripe bananas (about 9 medium)
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Fruit Fresh (or you can use antioxidant crystals or ascorbic acid crystals)
5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 3oz pouch liquid pectin
1 ½ teaspoons rum extract
I love this jam! The texture is nice and it is perfectly sweetened. I won’t change a thing next time. I would like to maybe try one variation to it just for some variety and substitute some brown sugar for some of the granulated sugar (I will research how to do this) for a true New Orleans flavor reminiscent of one of my favorite restaurants there, Antoine’s.
Ok…I am headed to dig out the vapor rub. Mabert would always smear some on our chests (actually she would then cover that with a warm washcloth tied around our necks) and a dabble under the nose to help clear the stuffiness. I’m also gonna brew a cup of hot tea with honey.
Make sure to vote in the poll, to the right at the top, for which jam I should make next week. I am going to do another basic peach (they are on sale this week) but I want to do something else too…what shall it be? You decide!
Till then...Be Blessed and Be Sweet!