Monday, 5 September 2011

Yes, we have no bananas...I wish...

Flaming bananas...and I don't mean as in flambed....

The house is full of fruit awaiting processing with all the urgency that accompanies tropical conditions and ripe produce.
If it wasn't ripe when it came through the door it jolly well is by the time it's been there half an hour...or so it seems.
And it has to be used.

I've managed to palm off the plantains to the pig.....the 'quadrata' - .a sort of stumpy plantain - is,  for the moment,  quiescent, but the hands of bananas are being delivered to the kitchen with a speed and regularity which amounts to sadism....

I have made banana tortillas and banana tortilla mix for the freezer, I have made black bean and banana bake - which sounds foul but which is surprisingly good....and put more mix  in the freezer....I have made banoffee to the astonishment of Costa Rican guests....Banana bread and cake lurk, frozen, to be produced as an alternative to Turkish cake and the whole house resounds to the glop and gurgle of the airlocks as yet more banana wine shambles to be born.

And yet they come...

As if life was not complicated enough without the passion be liquidised, strained and frozen for future fruit drinks and for caramel passion fruit flan....

And the dry the skins for Chinese recipes

And the lemon freeze the juice for future drinks...

And the Sevilles...snatched from Danilo to make marmelade..

And the make lime pickle....

And the pink guava. to be cooked and strained, before make jelly in the future

And the be pureed and strained for drinks and to be sweetened for 'pretend' apple sauce with pork...

Not to speak of the purchases..

The pithaya for drinks...

The mamon chino as the local version of lichee...

The an avocado shaped medlar...

Strawberries..for jamming.

And, unlike Europe, instead of making jam direct I am freezing the fruit or its extract as Costa Rica has a shortage of glass jars and little tradition of preserving.
Not for nothing do I think of it as the land of the plastic bag.

Sauces, jams, name it, it comes in a plastic bag, so, for preserving you come up against a huge barrier...
What to put it in?

I throw out nothing in glass..but still short of material I went to the recycling centre and had a huge row with the women running it who wanted more for an empty jam jar than the jar and contents would have originally cost - my Spanish may be basic but it was quite up to expressing my views on exploitative green actiion.

Oh, and here comes the sweetcorn to be cooked and scraped for the freezer...

And the jocote is nearly ripe...

And the oranges are just ripening again.....
And, sod me...the blasted lemons are ready...


  1. Oh, what I wouldn't give for that bounty!

    I freeze the bananas whole, peeled, and they stay fairly well.

    Fruit and sugar boiled down into preserves, let it cool, and freeze in ziploc/plastic bags. It defrosts faster, and then you can snip a corner of the bag and squeeze it in a jar (when and if one becomes available.)

    Perhaps you can put the word out you'll pay for jars? Keeps them out of the recycling center, and saves you a little sum?

  2. Wow, so much stuff to preserve and NO GLASS to put it in? What a nightmare! Could you get a box of jars sent over from the US? They are big into canning (which I suppose is the same thing).

  3. It all sounds very exotic to me on these chilly and windy Scottish shores.
    Banoffee is a wondrous creation, but a little goes a long way!
    Banana ice cream? Weren't you going to buy the cuisinart? And lovely fresh lemonade with your lemons... that sounds wonderful.

  4. Wot? No banoffee pie? You can send those my way by the crate load if you like...

  5. ADoC, thanks for the tips...I have put out the word about glass jars via the lady who mucks us out once a week and she looked at me pityingly...who would have unhygienic glass which needs washing when you can have a nice throwaway plastic bag...Costa Rica has a way to go on real 'green' practices...

    Sarah, I could indeed...but the postage from the U.S. costs more arms and legs than the goddess Kali.

    Craig, yes, we did get one and I hadn't thought of making them into ice cream....shows how boggled I have become under the rain of bananas.
    Lemonade..yes, but the lemon mandarins are even better.

    I shouldn't grumble, it is wonderful to have all this in the garden...I could just do without it all coming at once...but it could be worse, at least the green mangos aren't shouting to be turned into mango chutney...yet!

    Steve, I think a container load is the smallest unit of export...if the contents survive the attentions of the dockers at Limon...

  6. Oh, my heart goes out to you - up to the elbows preserving plums, pears and apples here. I've had to move onto bottling once I'd filled the freezer...far more fiddly and time-consuming.

    Yes, it is wonderful to have bounty - once all the processing is finished!

  7. Tomatoes here. Pounds and pounds of them. Sause, and soup, and ketchup and dried. All in the freezer. And basil, made into pesto ice cubes. And soon the apples start. The bears got the grapes (whew!)
    I take bananas, freeze them in slices, then put them in the cuisinart, makes a great ice cream with nothing else needed.

  8. Pueblo girl..yes, I'm always delighted to have it.....later!

    Zuleme, it used to be tomatoes in, with blight problems the crop is manageable!
    The basil is in olive oil,,,and I took Craig's tip and made banana ice cream which makes them vanish as if by magic!

  9. This post officially does not exist by the way Fly Rica. Did you know that? I’ve just re-checked my dashboard and…nope, it ain’t there. That makes it a ‘phantom post’, so I just turned the lights out and read it anyway, and what a bunch of bananas it turned out to be. Your skin must be turning a bright yellow by now! And what the hell is ‘cake lurk’ anyway?! Is it a cake that hides behind cupboards and sofas? Sounds a bit dodgy to me.

    You’ve got to be the biggest fruit nut I’ve ever known. Do you own a fridge and freezer company too? And where do dry tangerine skins get used in Chinese cookery? Tangerine Chow Mein with Sweet & Sour Mamon Chino Balls? And what is a jocote and a lemon mandarin? And are you quite sure you’re not just making all these names up for a laugh, cos I’ve never ever seen any of this stuff in Tesco’s Fly??!

    Tried making Limoncello? Tesco’s do.

  10. It was partly the abundance of wonderful fruit that made us fall for CR - lucky woman. I shall visit armed with a couple of boxes of Kilner jars and we shall jam together

  11. Bish Bosh Bash, a cake lurk is to a cake walk what a stalker is to a stroller...

    Dried tangerine skins figure in stew recipes...and is super when using beef...and I use them in beef stews with red wine too.

    Limoncello...yes, thanks to a recipe passed on by the Old Biddy...

    I'll put another phantom post up with pics of the fruit you can stick your hand in its side...

    Lulu LaBonne, it is super to have so much available...just frustrating to be short of Kilner jars.
    The jam pan awaits you, madame...

  12. Arrgh - I have un-lurked boxes full of jars from my Skudder House clean-out, and I am nowhere near as dedicated as you at putting bounty up. Maybe all of us with surplus jars could set up a smuggling ring for you...

  13. Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden, I reckon if I could make contact with the narcotrafficers who seem to cross borders with impunity they'd deliver them....for a price!

    Knowing my luck I'd end up in jug for illegally importing glass!

  14. Such exotic bounty too, Fly. I was drooling as I read. In France we were drowning in raspberries and blackcurrants, then plums and apples. Now, back in the UK it's damsons, but at least I have jars. I can't imagine anything more frustrating for a committed jam-maker than a shortage of jars. My sympathies.

  15. Perpetua, I do miss the raspberries and the mulberries...

    As for the jars, you're right. The frustration is almost palpable!

  16. Maybe too late and you probably know anyway but I dumped a bag of Seville oranges in the freezer as they came from the supermarket and made marmalade (recipe that cooks the oranges before cutting them) perfectly six months later. So probably works with all citrus fruit as a delaying tactic.