Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fruit Escapade

After a lousy begining of the week, I'm actually feeling pretty positive today. That's because I can see a light at the end of the tunnel! Things are finally (slowly) starting to calm down at job #1, and Monday is the last class for the quarter, meaning I'll have almost 2 classless weeks to catch my breath.

I'm still gonna have to work this Saturday, and then spend the rest of the weekend writing a final exam. Plus, from what I can tell, after finishing up class after 8:00 Monday night, I'm supposed to somehow get the exams graded and final grades totted up and submitted by 5 pm Tuesday, all while working an 8 to 5 job.

But that's next week. I wanted to share a little story from last week.

I am proud to announce that I brought Miss Chef a new food she'd never had before! It started with an innocent tree I walk by every time Rosie and I stroll around the pond in our neighborhood common area. This summer, for the first time since we lived here, it fruited. I kept looking at the round green fruits everytime I went by, and when they finally started to yellow up, I plucked one and brought it home.

At first Miss Chef decided it looked and smelled like a plum, so we thought maybe it was an ornamental. But then as they ripened more, I plucked another one, and Saturday morning I finally got around to checking in the Audubon field guide. Answer: persimmon!

(Ok, how many of you knew that from the picture?)

I had heard of persimmons, but imagined them looking more like pomegranates. When we tasted one, we decided it has a texture like a date, and a flavor something between a date and a fig. The ones we picked are pretty full of fairly large seeds; they're not something you'd eat like a plum (or a fig, for that matter).

Miss Chef was so excited at our discovery that she insisted we go right away to the pond and harvest them. So we leashed up the dog, grabbed a container and headed out.

One little problem: the tree in question grows up from the bottom of the steep pond bank, and leans over the water. And guess which side has 99% of the fruit on it?

Miss Chef climbed down, and up, into the tree, trying to reach what she could. I stayed on the bank, leash in one hand, trying to pull branches down toward me and gather a few. Let me just state, for the record, that it's rather difficult to pluck fruit while holding back a dog who's fascinated by the noise and movement of the occasional persimmon hitting the water.

Unfortunately, persimmon season is just beginning, so we only got about a dozen fruits. We did gather a few onlookers and questioners, including two pre-adolescent girls who started picking the low-hanging unripe fruits and tossing them in the water to coax the ducks over. I finally had to stop them; I couldn't stand the thought of all that fruit being wasted before it was ripe!

After a little research, I'm pretty sure these are the hachiya variety, which is usually used as pulp. Miss Chef hasn't had any free time since Saturday morning to explore the possibilities, but there are plenty of recipes on the web for cakes and breads and such things...even found a sorbet recipe tonight which might interest her.

Whenever I get a chance to walk Rosie before dusk, I stop and pick two or three that have ripened up. I'm hoping this weekend we might have enough fruit and time to do something with them. No promises! But now that there's a light at the end of my tunnel, maybe I'll be able to report on a new taste sensation around here.

So..anyone got any suggestions or advice?


  1. What a find! I wonder who planted it there and what was their thoughts behind the planting of such an uncommon fruit tree. I've always wanted to taste a persimmon. The sorbet sounds lovely!


    word verification: wingnut

    Those two girls were wingnuts for tossing that fruit into the pond. lol!

  2. Persimmon! Very cool. I've never tried one before but now I will. Thanks,

  3. "Unfortunately, persimmon season is just beginning, so we only got about a dozen fruits."

    I have to disagree! Wouldn't "Hooray, persimmon season is just beginning, so we got about a dozen fruits with many many more on the way" be more accurate?

    I LOVE that the persimmon tree captured your attention and that you actually investigated, tasted, and are planning a use for this unexpected treasure. Thank you so much for sharing your persimmon adventures with us. Let us know how it turns out.

    As for you schedule... why are you working two jobs again? And when was it exactly that you lost your mind?


  4. last time I saw a persimmon tree/bush was at Myrtle Beach, SC. The one fruit I bit into was fairly tart. I'm looking forward to seeing how y'all use them.

  5. Dear Alix, being the optimist today! Persimmon, huh? I always thought that was an imaginary fruit in a Magical Kingdom - you mean it's real??!!! Yes, definitely let us know how you use it!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

    WV - regueuse - some kind of Jamaican dance?


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