February 16, 2024

For years, Banana Fritters was the only Jamaican recipe I knew how to make.I can’t even recall when my mother taught me how to make them. What I do remember though, is almost burning down the house when I was making some one day after school. So, I feel like sharing “my recipe” with you is an opportunity for redemption!

I must’ve been about 12 or 13 years old, and I’m  not sure why I was home alone. All I remember is that I was craving some banana fritters and decided to make a batch while I waited for everyone else to get home. Problem was that I was watching TV at the same time … in another room! Beyond my better judgement, I placed a frying pan with oil on the stove to heat up while I raced to the family room to continue watching Love Connection.

I could smell the oil heating up, but I didn’t budge. I was waiting till after the commercial to find out how the show’s date went … probably disastrous, which is why I couldn’t peel myself away from the TV. When I finally turned my head to go back to the fritters I saw smoke bellowing out of the kitchen! I ran in to  find a black frying pan with a flickering flame on the handle … and a large black “swoosh” of soot that went from the backsplash to the middle of the ceiling in front of the stove.

Well, the kitchen not only had to be cleaned, it had to be re-wallpapered, too. And, of course, for years I was forbidden to cook anything more than toast when no one was at home. What was worse was that, every time soot was found in an unexpected place, I had to live through being reminded that I almost burned down the house.

Today, I still love banana fritters, but I wonder about two things: What would’ve happened if I went into the kitchen five minutes earlier when the fire was raging (I consider myself lucky) and … whatever happened to Chuck Woolery?

  • 1 ⅔ cup mashed overripe Bananas (about 3-5 medium bananas)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose Flour
  • 4-5 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tbsp granulated Sugar
  1. Mash bananas with sugar and spices; stir flour into banana mixture
  2. Heat 1 or 2 Tbsp cooking oil on High and, using a serving spoon, spoon batter into pan
  3. Fry fritters until crisp and brown on both sides; you may have to add more cooking oil.
  4. When you press them if no batter oozes out they’re done.
  5. Remove fritters from pan and place on paper towel.
  6. Sprinkle with white sugar and eat warm.

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Growing up my mother taught me and my sisters how to cook and bake, but the Jamaican dishes were always her territory. So now, years later, Iike you I'm learning how to cook like a Jamaican! From time to time I also share my own recipes that feature modern twists on traditional Jamaican dishes and ingredients.


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