The banana industry in Queensland has not yet recovered from the cyclonic weather of early in the year, and bananas are still extra-ordinarily expensive. Not so long ago we wasted bananas in this state – bought too many because they were cheap, and were left with too many to cook with (there are, after all, only so many banana cakes, breads, pancakes, pies that a family can eat), and many of us were guilty of throwing them out. They were the Good Old Banana Days.
In anticipation of the return of those sweet days, I have vowed to waste no more bananas. I am, therefore, busily collecting recipes for preserved bananas. I am yet to find a home-version of banana vinegar, but will keep looking. There is banana wine, perhaps? Banana chutney is on the list, of course too. But, for my grandsons, to put on the pikelets they love, I am going to try banana jam. How good will that be on my almost-famous Coconut-Pineapple pikelets? Tropical enough for you?
The recipes are from Canning, preserving and pickling, by Marion Harris Neil, (c1914)
12 large bananas, 4 lemons, 6 oranges, Sugar.
Large, coarse bananas, not too ripe, should be used, and the little slices should remain whole and present an inviting appearance. Cut the bananas, after peeling them, into rather thin, round slices. To each pound of sliced bananas add three-fourths pound of sugar, the strained juice and pulp of the oranges and lemons. Boil slowly for three-fourths of an hour. Seal in small glasses.
Another Method: Six pounds of bananas, two pounds of juicy pears, two lemons, four and one-half pounds of sugar. Cut the bananas up in small, equal sized pieces, and weigh. Put in the preserving pan the grated rinds and strained juice of the lemons, peeled pears cut up rather small, and one pound of the sugar. When boiling, put in gradually the bananas and the remaining sugar. Stir the mixture gently till it boils. Boil fast for one hour. Skim well, and pour into glasses or jars and seal.
Bananas, Lemons, Sugar.
Peel, and slice in rounds, ripe but firm bananas, and to every pound of the prepared fruit allow the grated rind and the strained juice of one lemon, and one pound of lump sugar. Put all into an earthenware jar, cover and leave until the sugar is dissolved. Then pour into a preserving pan and bring gradually to the boil, stirring occasionally. Then boil rapidly, stirring all the time until it is thick. Pour into jelly glasses and seal.
Quotation for the Day.
I'm going to buy some green bananas because by the time I get home they'll be ripe.