Good morning Jammers! Wow, what a stormy day we had, here in the South, yesterday. We sure needed the rain, though…both gardens are loving the water, I’m sure. I don’t remember if I mentioned it but I made a homemade organic garden spray to keep the critters, insects and bugs from munching on my leaves. It is working great! My baby leaves were getting chewed but I started using this spray once a week and nothing has touched them since. It’s my own combination of jalapeños and garlic pureed and steeped in a bit of water, rubbing alcohol and dish detergent. I am impressed with the formula I created!
About 10 days ago I decided to have a banana day. I picked up the half priced, taped, extra ripe, ready to use bananas at the grocery store for .29 cents a pound.
I made another batch of my Mojo Bananas Foster Jam…………………………………..……..see (http://jamminfromthehearth.blogspot.com/2010/10/mojo-bananas-foster-jam.html), this time leaving out the butter, increasing the pectin to one and a half pouches of liquid pectin and decreasing the rum extract to 1 teaspoon, in hopes my nephew with extreme food allergies may be able to enjoy it.
I also made a new one, especially for him, that is a plain banana jam. It came out so finger lickin’ good…I know you’ve heard this before, but…I think I have a new favorite jam! Both batches that day came out so good and are wonderful all by themselves. Yes, I admit, you can catch me in the fridge with nothing but a jar and a spoon with both of these. Actually…I’ll be right back!
Mmmmmm, now where was I? Oh yeah, in honor of my nephew who is 5 years old and has severe multiple food allergies AND in honor of his awesome parents that devote so much to making sure he is healthy and happy, please research and show support for http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/. I never knew what some families have to go through just to make sure their child lives to see their next birthday. My heart goes out to these families! It sickens me to no end to hear someone mock or belittle a child with food allergies. I know of another family that lost their young daughter a few years ago over peanuts. Please show your support by simply being informed and most of all, tolerant. It’s the kharmetic (is that a word? if not, it should be) thing to do. You know…”do unto others"…that Golden Rule that is the basis for most religions and/or ethical societies? You never know what position you will be in some day and how would YOU want to be treated by others? Be a good example for others, especially our impressionable young ones. They are simply mirrors of their environment…be what you want them to be. These kids with food allergies deserve as normal of a childhood as they can get. I hope my nephew is able to enjoy some of the jam I am making for him. The only question is in the pectin, but I know his Mom will research and contact the company, if needed, before giving him any. My fingers are crossed…If not then I will be making him some wonderful peach jam when they come in season without any added pectin. I’ll call this one, for him, my Ape For Bananas Jam.
Ape For Bananas Jam
10 medium bananas
6 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1 teaspoon Fruit Fresh ascorbic acid crystals
5 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 3oz pouches liquid pectin
Preheat canner and prepare jars and lids. Thoroughly mash bananas until smooth, I used a hand emulsifier and got beautiful results. Combine mashed bananas, lemon juice and Fruit Fresh in a large, deep, pot and then add sugar.
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin and boil for 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat and quickly skim off any foam from the top. Ladle the jam 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, 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 8 half pint jars (I did 4 half pints and 2 pints)
This is a shot of both banana batches that day. I will be giving away limited ones of this for sure…it is a new fridge staple!
Oh yeah, I made my first chocolate cheesecake last week for a dear friend’s birthday. Maybe I’m not cut out to make cheesecakes…it wasn’t bad BUT it was awful dense and seemed to get better after 2 days in the fridge as opposed to just 24 hours. Oh well, C'est la vie!
Check back soon for the next post…I picked up some beautiful mangoes at the Farmers Market. BTW, the Farmers Market (our main one downtown) has been in the news recently in regards to price savings of roughly 50% over all grocery stores since there is no middle-man. I am a believer and have been going at least every other week. They are open 7 days a week and the prices are great. There is a HUGE variety of things and it is so much fresher than the grocery store selection. Look out for your local markets and see what I mean.
Till next time, Be Blessed and Be Sweet!