Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Countdown & Home-canned Ketchup with Odd Ingredient

Well there are only 3 days until Christmas and I am sure everyone is busy either finishing up shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning, cooking or all of the above in various combination's. I know that I am trying to get this list under control. I have had the shopping done for a while, but need to wrap. The Baking ~ Done. The Cleaning ~ Never done. The Cooking, well that's today's story.

Yesterday evening, while I was away on business, my family was gifted with 2 large boxes of food. When I got home at around midnight I found 15 lb tomatoes, 12 bunches of bananas, 10 bell peppers, 8 lbs fingerling potatoes, 6 lbs mushrooms, 5 bunches green onions, 4 bags spinach, 3 heads of lettuce, 2 winter squash, 1 bunch asparagus,  and a pomegranate (Nope, NO Partridge in a Pear Tree) on my kitchen counter. Thank you, Lord for this Abundant Blessing.....

I know, I know, some of you are wondering by now (especially if you have been reading my post for a while)...She is always getting gifted with fresh fruit and veggies. Yes, I do. Almost weekly. It is a wonderful blessing of which I am very thankful for. It really helps with the food bill. The most rewarding part though is that we get to gift it to others as well, either as fresh fruit and veggies that I can't use or preserve before going bad or through home-canned items.

Needless to say though, that this is a lot of food and it needs to be worked up within the next 24 hours. So tonight after work, we got busy. Now my kitchen is thrashed, but we have 5 quarts potatoes canned, 4 pints mushrooms canned, 7 quarts stewed tomatoes canned, and the bell peppers, spinach, and green onions are all blanched, cut and into the dehydrator. That just leaves the bananas, plus the few odd pieces which we will incorporate into our lunch and dinners over the next few days.

Bananas, Bananas, Bananas....I get these gifted a lot. Now I'm not complaining mind you, but I am well stocked in Banana Jams, Butters and Preserves, plus I have given lots of those items away as gifts this year. So I am in need of something new to do with all these bananas.

By the way, I do have a freezer full (for smoothies and banana bread) and a bunch dehydrated (for instant snacks) for those of you who are thinking about those solutions. Thus, I am still in need of a NEW way to preserve them.

 I usually get a pretty good supply every couple of weeks and if they are in decent shape I pass them out to family and neighbors. Because of my knowing this and the fact that I didn't want more sugary items, I had already been doing some research on other ways to use them. Guess what I found?.......Banana Ketchup.  Yes, you read that correctly, Banana Ketchup.

I curled my nose up at it too. Just like you are doing right now as you are reading this. But hey, I am desperate here. Unless I go into business making and selling Banana Jam (that's an idea!) I have to try different things. Right? So I said to myself, "The bananas were free. You have the ingredients. It wouldn't really cost hardly anything but time. Why not give it a shot and see how it turns out." So I did. I was pleasantly surprised and so was My Knight.

I wouldn't tell him what I was concocting until I had a finished product. But you should of seen his reaction when he came into the kitchen and saw mashed bananas and chopped onions in the same pot. He gave me this incredibly strange look and said, "I don't even want to know, do I?" My reply was, "Nope, you don't. Not until it is finished."

After I had a finished product, I asked My Knight to come taste it. Boy, was he shocked.

He has concluded that this would be an excellent sauce for grilled chicken, burgers and steaks. There you have it. It past the test. Whoosh, am I glad. Because the Knight is real finicky, if it passes his taste test, I know it is good and will get used.

His conclusion is that it tastes more like a BBQ Sauce than Ketchup. Okay, I can live with that. So, I guess I have found a NEW way to use up all the bananas now. Guess what everyone on my list will be getting this time next year for gifts????

Banana Ketchup AKA Banana BBQ Sauce basic recipe from food.com
Banana Ketchup aka BBQ Sauce
5 or 6 ripe bananas, mashed equaling 2 cups
2 medium onions, very finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
1 dash ground cloves
water, as needed
1 teaspoon red food coloring, to make it look more like commercial ketchup (opt)

My additions 
In the first batch I added:

2 to 4 tablespoons of Red Hot Buffalo Sandwich Sauce, I just emptied the bottle into it.

In the second batch I added:
2 to 4 tablespoons of commercial ketchup, I didn't measure, just gave it a few good squeezes.

Peel and mash the bananas or you can puree them in the blender. Chop the onions very fine. Place all ingredients into a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Cook on med-high until onions are softened, stirring frequently to keep from sticking to bottom. Wait for the mixture to cool off a bit, then run through a food processor or blender to get a more smooth ketchup-like consistency. You will want to do this in small batches to get the onions pureed into a nice smoothness. If it gets too thick, add a little water. If it cools down too much, reheat to the simmering point and pack into sterile jars with 1/2 inch head space. Place on lid and ring. Process in BWB for 5 to 10 minutes.

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

DebDoo said...

Wow, that is very interesting! I might want to give that a try!

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