Monday, April 21, 2014
Ageism. There's no denying it exists. Even in the banana world.
When you're a young banana with a brightly colored and blemish-free peel, everyone wants a piece of you. You fly off store shelves to top a sundae or a bowl of cereal, or to be enjoyed on your own, because people think you're that good, just as you are.
But inevitably, time has its way with you. You mush a little in the middle. Your peel shows symptoms of bruising and wear (evidence of an adventurous life, you say), but people stop paying you any mind.
What's a person to do with an overripe banana? Send it Florida with a retirement package and a pair of those huge, super-tinted sunglasses that fit over regular glasses?
You make banana jam.
I came across this recipe a few months back, and while bananas usually get eaten early and often at my house, I let a few linger. I wanted to make this jam. Here's the simple recipe:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 overripe bananas, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
The sugars and lime go into a saucepan and are brought to a boil. Toss in the sliced overripe bananas, reduce the temperature to medium-low and let cook until the concoction thickens a bit. The recipe said 45 minutes, my jam thickened closer to 30.
The bananas can be mashed with a spoon as the jam cooks. And the jam will continue to thicken as it cools.
But warm banana-lime jam on a toasted English muffin? That's the kind of true banana potential that only a wise and mature banana can fulfill.
Shannon Bryan is a feature writer for the Portland Press Herald and content producer for MaineToday Media's entertainment website, www.mainetoday.com.
And here's a well-known truth: Shannon can't cook. She's also ostroconophobic (in Maine?!?), but in a foodie place like southern Maine, she's determined to learn how to cook, eat, and order with the best of them. Read about her culinary crusade:
Pans on fire
She's also an investigator into all that's strange and entertaining to do around here. Those findings are gathered here:
Out Going: Things to do in southern Maine