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October 6, 2013

TRIED ’N’ TRUE: Mother used paw-paws; today we use bananas

When we were young (there’s five of us), we couldn’t afford bananas very often. But we went to the woods to gather paw-paws. If you don’t know what paw-paws are, they taste like bananas.

Mother would make banana pie using paw-paws. When I married Gene, his mother made a real banana pie. I didn’t understand what those black specks were. Paw-paws didn’t have any. Mom also made all kinds of fritters. But paw-paws were our favorite. The trees are gone now, except for two in the river bottom. I use bananas these days.

Banana Fritters

3 or 4 firm bananas

1⁄4 cup light rum or 1 teaspoon rum flavoring

1 tablespoon lemon juice,  need more

2 tablespoons sugar

• Combine rum, juices and sugar.

• Peel bananas, cut them crosswise into 1-inch slices.

• Drop into juice mixture. Let marinate for about one hour, turning them occasionally.

Batter:

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

3⁄4 cup milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon butter, melted, cooled

• Combine egg, butter and milk. Stir in dry ingredients until well blended.

• Fill heavy skillet or deep fryer with oil to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Heat 375 degrees.

• Drain banana slices and pat dry with towels.

• Coat with batter and drop gently into the hot oil.

• Fry for three to five minutes, turning over until browned, and drain on paper towels.

Note: To save time, prepare biscuit mix as directed instead of batter above.

Jackie Lindley is a great-grandmother and retired Clark County, Ill., farmer. Send comments and recipes to her at 20472 E. 500th Road, West Union, IL 62477.

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