Monday

Easy Banana Cream Pie

I usually keep bananas on hand just to snack on and as one of my staple food items.  Besides just eating them, bananas can also be added to fresh fruit salad, cereal, yogurt, on a sandwich with peanut butter and added to ice cream.  
When they start getting a little too ripe I use them in homemade Banana Nut Bread or Banana Cream Pie.  
(I have the best Banana Nut Bread recipe ever, and will post that at a later date!)

I love easy recipes that taste fabulous and look as if you spent a lot of time on preparation! And this is one of those recipes. It also comes in handy for last minute company or if you need to take a dessert to a dinner party, book club or church pot luck.

Because the bananas are completely covered in this dessert, it will last for 2 or 3 days stored covered in the refrigerator.

Cool Banana History:

Bananas are thought to have originated in Malaysia around 4,000 years ago. From there, they spread throughout the Philippines and India, where in 327 B.C. Alexander the Great's army recorded them being grown.
Bananas were introduced to Africa by Arabian traders and discovered there in 1482 A.D. by Portuguese explorers who took them to the Americas, the place where the majority of bananas are now produced.
Bananas in different stages of ripeness 

Bananas were not brought to the United States for sale in markets until the latter part of the 19th century and were initially only enjoyed by people in the seacoast towns where the banana schooners docked; because of the fruit's fragility, they were unable to be transported far.
Since the development of refrigeration and rapid transport in the 20th century, bananas have become widely available. Today, bananas grow in most tropical and subtropical regions with the main commercial producers including Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil.

Banana Cream Pie recipe

The Ingredients, there’s only a few:

2 ¾ cups cold milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) Jell-O Banana Instant Pudding or organic pudding
1 ½ cups whipped topping, thawed
3 to 5 bananas
One 9 inch pie crust; your choice: regular, gluten free or graham cracker
 
Simple ingredients for a delicious dessert

Easy Directions:

If using a regular crust, bake according to recipe or package instructions and until golden brown. If I’m pinched for time I use Marie Callender’s frozen deep dish pie crust, it’s really good and a time saver.  the pie crust is made with shortening, and while it doesn't taste as good as homemade, it's still flaky and tender and cooks up great.
Bake the pie crust

You can also use a graham cracker crust or a Gluten free pie crust.  Another favorite crust of mine is Whole Foods Gluten Free Pie Crust. 
After baking the pie crust, set it aside to cool.
 
Mix the banana pudding
Beat milk and pudding mixes together with whisk or on low with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
Let pudding stand for 3 minutes.  
Add whipped topping to pudding

Stir in whipped topping. 
Add a layer of sliced bananas to the pie crust

Slice enough bananas to cover bottom the cooled pie crust in a single layer.  
Pour half the filling mixture over the bananas.  Add another layer of sliced bananas.  
Add layer of pudding onto the bottom layer of bananas, add another layers of  bananas and top with pudding
Cover bananas with remaining filling.  Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. 
Chill before serving

To serve, add a dollop of whipped topping to each slice and garish with 2 to 3 banana slices.  Because banana turn brown quickly when sliced it is best not to cover the pie with bananas.  Wait until ready to serve. 

PRINT THIS RECIPE

That’s it!
And wait till you taste it.  If you like bananas, you’re going to love this Banana Cream Pie!

Elizabeth 


More On Bananas




Other Recipes









Wednesday

Canning Green Beans

It’s great to preserve some of your garden's bounty to use during the cold winter months.  There is nothing like pulling a jar of preserves from the pantry shelf while the snow’s falling and the wind’s howling and getting a little whiff that takes you right back to summer.

For the best green beans, pick fresh tender pods first thing in the morning. Growing and picking from your own garden is always best, but purchasing from a local farm market will be just as good.
You will need about 1 pound of green beans for each pint jar and 2 pounds of beans for each quart jar.

Please Note: 
When canning green beans you must process them in a pressure canner.  There is a higher risk of botulism when canning low acid foods, such as green beans.  Pressure canning is the only recognized safe option. 

Check the directions that came with your pressure canner to determine how many jars your canner will hold.  I like to can my green beans in wide mouth pints jars. They’re easier to fill and easy to remove when cooking.  My canner will hold 12 regular mouth pint jars or 10 wide mouth pint jars. 

Thursday

Restoration of Original Chicken Coop

Tobacco Barn July 2014, exterior repairs finished
Restoring The Original Farm Coop
Our little farm was once a much bigger property with a white clapboard farm house, a hand well pump and many outbuildings and barns.  The original old farmhouse burnt down in the 1950’s and the property set neglected for many years. 

In 1967 the property was divided up and sold at auction.  A builder bought the current property and built a custom brick ranch on the exact spot where the old white clapboard farm house used to be.

The new house overlooked a large pond and pastures. He also built a large pole barn and raised cattle.
After 25 years, the builder divided up the property a little more and sold more land and then sold the house too.

Saturday

Sauerkraut In Mason Jars


Homemade Sauerkraut In Mason Jars

Cabbage History
Cabbage is one of the oldest vegetables and is believed to have been grown in gardens for 3000 years. 

The Roman writers Cato and Columella are the first to mention preserving cabbages and turnips with salt. 
It is believed to have been introduced to Europe in its present form 1,000 years later by Genghis Khan after invading China.

Sauerkraut (sour rout) is chopped cabbage that is salted and then fermented in its own juice. The word, which in German means "sour cabbage," was first mentioned in American English in 1776.  
The dish has long been associated with German communities in the United States.

Monday

Canning Rabbit Meat

Canning Rabbit 
Rabbit is quickly becoming the new white meat.  Prices in stores vary greatly but I have seen prices range between $10.00 to $18.00 per pound!
Rabbits are efficient meat producers meaning they provide good meat without high cost or much waste.  Also efficient in that rabbits, using the same amount of food and water that a cow needs to produce a pound of meat, can produce six pounds of rabbit meat.

Rabbit meat is mild flavored, tender, high in protein, low in fat, low in cholesterol, low in sodium and low in saturated fatty acids. 
And, comparing it to beef, pork, lamb, turkey, veal and chicken, rabbit has the highest percentage of protein, the lowest percentage of fat and has the fewest calories per pound, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Thursday

How To Make Grape Juice

Ripe grapes in Michigan
Homemade Grape Juice
A few years ago my daughter's mother-in-law Julie gave us 2 cases of grapes.  I decided to come up with something to do with all those grapes besides just eating them and making grape jelly, so I made grape juice.

Recently I have been getting grapes from our neighbor’s vines for free but I noticed this spring they removed all their vines and the trellis they were hanging on.  My heart sank. 

To have our own supply I have planted 5 grape vines in the last 3 years. Three are doing very well; two are struggling, but hopefully we will have our own grape harvest.

Wednesday

Lemon Ice Box Pie


An old-timey favorite, simple to make and simply delicious. This is a great summer dessert to share at BBQs and gatherings.    

Fluffy and creamy smooth with a refreshing hint of lemon and the tropics, this will become one of your summer time favorites.

Lemon Ice Box Pie is considered by many to be a southern dish, but I can remember my mother making the most wonderful Lemon pies when I was little in central Ohio.  

Ice boxes date back to the days of ice harvesting which ran from the mid-19th century to the 1930s, or until refrigerators were introduced into the home. The Ice box had hollow walls and were packed with blocks of ice to keep food cold. It is most likely this pie recipe was created around that time.