Friday, October 29, 2010

Grannie’s Best Banana Bread Butter

Top o’the morning, Jammers! I am ready for us to be DONE with this unseasonable heat spell…bring on the cool weather. I am ready to open the windows for a while and finally shut down the AC for the year. We were almost 90 degrees today and it’s the last week of October, for the love of Pete! BTW, does anyone know who the heck Pete is and why everyone loves him so much???

I mentioned in my last post that our City Council was going to vote on moving trick-or-treating to Saturday. On Monday morning they decided to withdraw the proposition and I know lots of folks are very happy about it. Halloween is Sunday…period! It’s my son’s birthday and he has his costume all ready, is yours? What kind of scary creature are you going to be? Will you be handing out tricks or treats? We love Halloween, it’s one of our favorite holidays around here. I wish I knew someone that owned their own hearse…I would gladly chauffer my son and his friends around, for the night, in it. Most folks I knew in the business were corporate owned so that possibility is out. Oh yeah, BTW, in case you didn’t know, I went to school and graduated with honors in Funeral Services. I was a Funeral Director and Embalmer. I stopped short of my internship and boards and decided the business, as it stood, was not for me. School was wonderful and the experiences I had working in funeral homes were positive and enlightening. I did enjoy it (mostly) but there are some other ethical issues I have when it comes to the current costs and financial side of funerals. I feel a bit differently than the traditional old fashioned funeral professionals and I am opposed to the corporate hard core sales tactics that are required and most funeral homes around here are corporate run. Maybe one day, I will find a like minded person to work for or I could open my own…maybe if I hit the lottery! Anyway, I am happy doing what I do, customer service. I make more than I would have starting out at any of the funeral establishments around here and the hours are so much better. I get to be home with my family and do not miss out on any planned events, unlike a funeral professional who is on call 24/7/365. Death waits on nothing or noone! Christmas morning would not be fun if I got a call to go on a run. I LOVE what I do and my job and schedule could not be more perfect. Wow, boy did I get off on a tangent huh! This is supposed to be about canning…wait, I guess you could say preserving is preserving. pH levels are always the key, no matter what you’re preserving, fruit or….Ok, bad humor, I know. Moving on…..

Last Saturday was banana day. I posted the recipe for the bananas foster version I did. The other one I did that day was a recipe I found on the Kraft website and I pretty much followed it exactly. It is for a banana nut bread butter. I ended up with leftover bananas, when all were finished, and made a loaf of banana nut bread and posted that recipe on my other blog (the link can be found over on the right side of the this blog). I talked about how special banana nut bread is to me and I’ll share with you, here too. I have always loved banana bread and even requested it as my birthday cake one year for a childhood birthday party, My friends made fun of me for not having a real cake that year, but it didn’t matter, I had my favorite…my Grannie Winchester’s banana bread. Her sister, Aunt Etta (pronounced Aint Etter) was known for making the best in the family, but I always thought Grannie’s was best, no matter what the rest said. This loaf made me think of Grannie and all the times we shared in her kitchen…I miss her so much! I know she would have loved this recipe just the same so I am calling this one Grannie’s Best Banana Bread Butter. 

Grannie’s Best Banana Bread Butter

3 cups prepared fruit (about 10 fully ripe medium bananas)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fruit protector
1 box powdered pectin
½ teaspoon butter
4 cups sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups diced walnuts, lightly toasted
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat canner and prepare jars and lids. Mash bananas thoroughly. Measure exactly 3 cups prepared fruit into 8 qt. pot. Add lemon juice and fruit protector and stir until well blended. Stir in pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugars and stir until well blended. Add walnuts and spices and mix well. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

To prevent the butter from separating in the jars, allow it to cool 5 minutes before filling the jars. Gently stir every minute, or so, to distribute the fruit. Ladle into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth and add the lids and rings, turning the rings until just finger-tight. Place the jars in the preheated canner and bring canner to a full rolling boil. Process jars for 10 minutes (adjusting according to your altitude, if necessary) then remove canner from heat. Let canner sit for 5 minutes, then, carefully remove hot jars from water with a jar lifter and place them on a towel on the counter and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours. Check the seals before storing and use within 12 months.

Makes about 7 half pint jars.

I tried spreading the butter on a piece of the banana nut bread (talk about a double whammie) and it was delectable! Yummy but very rich. Once the butter is refrigerated, it is very thick, similar to a pecan pie filling consistency. It is very pretty in the jars and looks just like banana nut bread. This would also make a great sundae topping or great as the filling for the recipes for pie-in-a-jar that I am seeing pop up all over the web. The pie crusts are pressed into the small jars and then the filling in put in and the whole jar is then baked in the oven and the tops are put on to store the pies. The idea is very cute and attractive, maybe I will get around to trying it someday. Do a search on the web for pie-in-a-jar and adapt it for this, as the filling.

Have a safe but fun Halloween, everyone! Check back in a few days for the spicy ancho apple butter I made. Till then, you know what to do…Be Blessed and Be Sweet!


Erin J. said...

Could I eliminate the nuts and still be good?

Suzanne said...

You could try it or a better idea would be to check my previous post on Mojo Bananas Foster Jam and add a bit of the nutmeg to that one.

michelle said...

Is there a specific reason for the 12 month use? Just wondering because I always thought properly canned items were good for longer periods of time?