Thursday May 10, 2012 | 04:30 PM

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? 

Not exactly.

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:

Banana-Lime Jam
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.


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