Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bunches and Bushels

Thursday I accompanied my mom to our favorite local produce store. You can find so many fresh, local products there, but you can also find great deals on everyday needs, like fruits and veggies. This store, Dunkins Market, is the same place we go to purchase seeds for the garden (I think everybody in our community does!)
Each time I am there, I always look for marked down fruit, because seriously ripe (but not bad) fruit makes the very best preserves, jams and jellies, but it is also cheaper. I made a huge score this trip. I bought a 40 lb box of bananas and a bushel of apples for $15 total. What a great deal! So now, I have can all this fruit. I began working on it, and will finish it up today.
So, what do you do with 40 lb. of bananas? Well, I am going to tell you! Most of them will be canned into banana butter. This stuff is delicious, and can be put into oatmeal, on a peanut butter sandwich, slathered on toast, put into batter for banana bread, spooned on ice cream, whatever you can imagine. Here is the recipe:

Banana Butter
3 cups mashed bananas (I use the marked down spotted ones)
3 cups sugar (this is less than most recipes)
2 T lemon juice
Bring to a slow boil and cook for 5 mins. Can in clean jars (if you need more help with how to can, just let me know!) Process in a hot water bath for 10 mins.

Besides canning them, I will also freeze small chunks so that I can throw them into a blender with some milk and chocolate syrup and have some chunky monkey shakes. It is a healthy alternative to the ice cream I love so very much. It comes out thick like ice cream and is oh so good!
As for all the apples, there are not nearly as many of them, so I hope I can grab another bushel soon. But, I am doing these three different ways. First, I will can about 3 quarts of apple pie filling. The rest will go into a huge batch of apple sauce, which half of will be made into apple butter. Im not certain on the recipes yet, but I will post them once I have decided.
Yes, it's going to be a long day of canning -- which is almost becoming a lost art in the world of convience. I was talking to a friend yesterday, and she was like -- I don't even know how. Well, my grandmother was a canner, my mom is a canner, I am one and I am teaching my girls how to as well.


jill said...

Could you share a yield for the banana butter recipe? Do you put it up in jelly jars,pints or quarts?
Thanks in advance.

Gina said...

Jill, I put them in whatever I have. The last batch was 7 jelly jars and 2 quarts. I just wash more than I think I need, so I am prepared.

Homemaker05 said...

Oh, I so wish I knew how to can!!! I have a couple friends that know how. I have expressed wanting them to teach me, but there hasn't been a good time. Perhaps if I get all the ingredients I need (i.e. marked down produce or something) I can call and say "HELP", and get her to come over and teach me! :) If you know of any good resources I would be interested!

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