Advertisements
Home

Snow in Houston Means Banana Harvest Time!

Leave a comment

I was holding off until it got cold before harvesting!( code for “round tuit”)!

https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/round_tuit

Well the snowfall in Houston last night convinced me it must be time to harvest, albeit – at least a day late!

Three bunches of the Manzano variety and two bunches of the Burro(chunky banana). Brought a few hands into the house to ripen and the rest are stored in the garage for the time being!

Early this morning. Just putting a little chill on the bananas.

The harvest.

Fingers crossed I will have enough ripening to make some banana jam!

TTFN

Bishop

Advertisements

Banana Bonanza

9 Comments

2016 – the banana plants have been going bananas! Literally. Yes Plants not trees. The past two winters here in Houston have been mild resulting in the banana bonanza. I pulled up some info from the Texas A&M Horticulture website;

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut/fact-sheets/banana/

Here is the intro to growing the bananas;

“Banana

Julian W. Sauls Extension Horticulturist

Broad, long, graceful leaves and rapid growth-commonly reaching full size in just a few weeks-make banana a favorite plant for providing a tropical look to pool and patio areas. The development of bananas following a frost-free winter is a source of both pride and amazement to those unfamiliar with banana culture.

Banana is a tropical herbaceous plant consisting of an underground corm and a trunk (pseudostem) comprised of concentric layers of leaf sheaths. At 10 to 15 months after the emergence of a new plant, its true stem rapidly grows up through the center and emerges as a terminal inflorescence which bears fruit.

The flowers appear in groups (hands) along the stem and are covered by purplish bracts which roll back and shed as the fruit stem develops. The first hands to appear contain female flowers which will develop into bananas (usually seedless in edible types). The number of hands of female flowers varies from a few to more than 10, after which numerous hands of sterile flowers appear and shed in succession, followed by numerous hands of male flowers which also shed. Generally, a bract rolls up and sheds to expose a new hand of flowers almost daily.”

Ok – enough of the technical talk. The bonanza is a bit like your neighbor that is overwhelmed with zucchini – you hide when you see them coming. Yes, I gave away a lot of bananas. Once you cut the stalk off the ripening process speeds up. They are great in smoothies but one smoothie a day doesn’t take much of a bite out of the bounty. Eating fresh is a good idea too, but………you get the idea. The freezer is well stocked with both the Burro and Manzano bananas so now what?

Jam, yeah jam! Never heard of banana jam…..Google it! Yes Virginia, people do make banana jam!

Food.com, Yee Haw!

Banana  Jam by Chef GreanEyes on April 2nd 2009

4 cups of ripe bananas……no problem here!

6 ½ tbsp.  of lemon juice

6 cups of sugar – again no problem, I buy 25 pound bags to feed to the bees during lean times

3 ounces of pectin –

¾ cup of unsalted butter – I cut that back to a little less than ½ cup

Now the tough part…..it takes time and multiple steps to make the jam.

  1. Combine bananas, 3 cups sugar, lemon juice and let stand for an hour
  2. Add remaining sugar and cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved
  3. Bring to a boil for two minutes
  4. Remove from heat and skim foam
  5. Bring back to a boil – boil 1 minute
  6. Remove from heat and skim foam, yes, again
  7. Add butter and bring to boil AGAIN
  8. Add pectin and stir constantly
  9. Boil for  1 minute
  10. Remove from heat and skim once again.
  11. Allow to cool for 7 minutes
  12. Add to sterilized canning jars
  13. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes
  14. Let sit for 24 hours

Then enjoy!

IMG_1826

On the stalk and very ripe.

IMG_1828

Boil and skim 1, 2 or 3…..

FullSizeRender3

Some of the skimmed foam, no, it didn’t go to waste.

 

Based on what is on the “plant” in my garden, I have more neighbors to overwhelm, more freezer space to occupy and maybe a few more batches of this jam. The first batch was with the Burro bananas, the next will be with the Manazano…..taste test comparisons sometime soon!

 

TTFN

Bishop

Going Bananas

5 Comments

I am a lucky guy. Both varieties are producing bananas. The smaller bananas now have 3 stalks unfolding. The larger variety has two big bunches. I cut some of the green ones over the weekend and put them in bags with apples to speed up the ripening process. It is amazing how quickly they ripen. Both of my varieties are from Mexico.

The thicker banana is called a” Burro” banana. It is a very creamy textured and sweet banana. It is great in smoothies, adding a lot of thickness to the drink. The smaller is a “Manzano” banana, considered a dessert banana. It does have a hint of apple flavor, hence the “apple” banana translation.

Manazano banana development photos below. Scroll to see captions.

 

The Burro banana is longer and very plump.

Now I need to get busy and thin the plants  out so the fruit will fully mature.

The squirrels have found my tomatoes……….grrrrrrr……… but so far………They have left bananas alone!

TTFN

Bishop

 

%d bloggers like this: