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  • FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver V3240 Vertical Vacuum Sealer, White
    FoodSaver
    I just started using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer to seal foods and I can't believe I waited so long to get one. (Check out my first project: Sweet & Sour Green Bean Freezer Pickles!)
    For example: In the past I would take the time to pick beautiful berries, then would bring them home and stick them in a zippered baggie in the freezer. My berries would have ice crystals and taste freezer burnt after just a few short months. 
    Then I had a light-bulb moment: "Air is the enemy" of freshness. 
    When vacuum-sealed my berries last 3 to 4 times longer! I have similar results with other fruits, veggies and even meats & cheeses.
    The FoodSaver has been a fantastic discovery. ~ Brook
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    • Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa 10 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer - Made in Finland
      Mehu-Liisa Products

      Some day I will replace my ancient graniteware Steam Juice Extractor with this gorgeous Mehu-Liisa brand Steam Juicer. My old Steam Juicer leaks steam, meaning I have to refill the water often, and it doesn't have anywhere close to the capacity of this one from Mehu-Liisa.
      If you want to experience the magic of a Steam Juicer, check out this 10 quart Mehu-Liisa. It will last you a lifetime and save you countless hours in the kitchen, whether your juicing fruit for  Plum Jelly or Apricot Nectar, not to mention it minimizes the mess of juicing large amounts of veggies!  ~ Brook

    • Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz (Pack of 12)
      Ball
      What's the one jar size I always keep a couple extra cases of? 
      The Ball 4 ounce jar.
      It's basically 1/2 cup, and just the right size for gift-giving and for experimenting with small batches. Perfect for things like my famous Pear Honey.
      People can't help but say "That is so darn cute!" when they seem them. 
      ~ Brook

    • Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
      Presto
      Looking for an affordable, easy-to-use pressure canner, backed up by great customer service? Look no further than the Presto 23 quart Pressure Canner/Cooker. It's the one I recommend to all my students. ~ Brook

     

    Dilly Pickled Onion Slices on Punk Domestics

    • Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Orange) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
      ThermoWorks
      Do you have a great instant-read thermometer, or are you still buying the 20 dollar ones that only last a year or two? This was one of my best kitchen purchases.
      Can't imagine cooking jam (or meat or candy) without it! 
      Take your jams to 220º and you'll have a perfect gel set every time. Also available in other colors, but why wouldn't you want orange? It's only the BEST COLOR EVER. ~ Brook

     

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    • The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      The Home Preserving Bible (Living Free Guides)
      by Carole Cancler
      If you're looking for a book that covers every preserving topic imaginable, this is the book for you. It doesn't have a flashy cover or glossy pictures, but it's full of great info. One of my very favorite resources. ~ Brook

    • OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper
      OXO

      Last August my friend Kelli asked me if I wanted some fresh corn from her grandpa's garden. I said "Sure....I'd love to make a few jars of Sweet Corn Relish!"
      She showed up 6 hours later with 158 ears. Wasn't sure if I loved her or hated her for it.
      After a long hot day spent cutting kernels off all those cobs with a small paring knife, I decided I'd never be without a Corn Stripper again. ~ Brook

     

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    I have attempted to share safe preserving methods however you alone are responsible for your health & safety in your own kitchen or location. Be aware of current safety recommendations. Please see "Full Disclaimer" page for suggested preserving resources.

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    « Rhubarb~Grapefruit Preserves | Main | Pineapple~Rum Preserves with Dates & Vanilla »
    Wednesday
    May182011

    Monkey Butter (a version of Banana Jam)

    This is a really fun recipe. The Pina Colada fans in your life will go crazy for it. You may certainly use canned pineapple, and sweetened flaked coconut, but I prefer it with fresh pineapple and natural unsweetened coconut. No matter which route you go, with these 5 basic ingredients combined you just can't go wrong.

    Makes ~ 2-3 pints, or ~ 5 half pints

    • 2 lbs medium-size perfectly ripe bananas (about 5, with no brown spots)
    • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or 20 oz. can)
    • 1/4 cup of flaked coconut, any kind (natural or sweetened)
    • 3 cups of white sugar 
    • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice 

    > First prepare the canning jars and keep hot until ready to use; prepare lids according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

    1.) Peel and slice bananas, then put banana slices, along with remaining ingredients in a large preserving pan.

    2.) Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then reduce to a simmer for the next 10 minutes.

    3.) Cook until thick, which may take as few as 10 minutes; but it may take as many as 20 minutes or more. (Water content varies in bananas and pineapple.)

    4.) While the mixture is simmering, use a potato masher, or large sturdy slotted spoon, to periodically mash the fruit down, between bouts of stirring to prevent any preserves from sticking.

    5.) Ladle jam into clean hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.

    6.) Using a chopstick or plastic knife, pop any air bubbles you might see in the Monkey Butter.

    7.) Wipe rims spotlessly clean and place a sealing lid on top the jar. Next, screw a band onto the jar until it's "finger-tight".

    8.) Process jars in a Boiling Water Bath for 10 minutes (half pints) and 15 minutes (pints).

    > If jars lid seals it will easily keep for one year in a cool, dark place. If jar doesn't seal, place it in your refrigerator and eat within 3 months, or within one month of opening.

     

    ~~~~~

     

    Monkey Butter is amazing on toast, but if you really want to get creative, use it as a crepe filling with - do I dare say it - Nutella. There goes my diet.

    Might as well tell you now that it's lovely on pancakes, waffles and muffins too.

    Add a couple spoonfuls to your morning yogurt smoothie.

    Spoon it over ice cream, making a Banana "Jam" Split.

    You can always just do like I do > grab a spoon and scoop out a dollop and pop it in your mouth. You'll wonder why it took you so long to discover how tasty preserved bananas can be.

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