(This is a Queensland recipe, which may account for something.)

Take what's left of your prize-winning casabanana after you've tried every which way to make it edible and given up in disgust. Use your best hand saw and cut it into 10mm slices.

Get our your claw hammer and 1" firmer chisel and remove the skin. Chuck that out into your wood shavings and off-cut box. Remove the pulp and seeds. Dice up the remains of the slices into 10mm cubes. Dump the whole shebang into an appropriate sized saucepan, cover with water and boil until seeds are free - stirring occasionally with a long flat-bladed screwdriver.

Remove seeds with a pair of long-nosed pliers. Chuck in a couple of handfuls of sugar, about equal to what is left in the saucepan, and boil until soft. Stir occasionally with the blunt end of your carpenters pencil and squash any bugs or other large bits as you go. (Oh damn, I forgot to put the lemon juice in).

"Nuke" a large lemon or 2 small ones for a minute in the microwave - on low, or the "boss" complains. Squeeze out the juice and add to the mix until it tastes tangy enough for you (I think casabanana needs a drop of acid with it anyway, then at least you can taste the lemon).

Boil until set point is reached. Dust out the dead cockies and spiders from a couple of old screw top bottles, the type with the pop disc lids, and fill with boiling water to heat the bottles, then empty.

Ladle out the jam, fill it within ½" (10mm) of the top and screw on the lids (check for cockie poo first). Your welding gloves will stop you getting your hands burnt here.

Allow to cool, look for a tap washer to fix or a lawn to mow. By then the tops should have popped and if you're lucky "The Boss" will have cleaned up the bench, stove top, and your tools, and have a cup of coffee waiting for you when you finish. Mine did!

Will keep for at least a year or more, if it doesn't, don't complain to me, I'm only a builder's labourer.

Bill Hancock

DATE: August 1999

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