We have a front door neighbor...okay, so they're kind of down the street, left at the intersection and up the hill neighbors...but I can still see them if I walk out the house and down the drive to get the mail, so technically they're within eyeshot neighbors, but neighbors nonetheless. Anway, we'll call these neighbors the Andreadis's. That's their last name, after all. I had met Christen Andreadis a few years ago while playing Welcome Wagon when they moved to our little area of the community. Then last year her husband Jason came over to ask some questions about the farmers market while I was pulling weeds out of the walkway. We talked a bit and then life went on.
This past spring that all changed when Daisy gave birth to two ewe lambs, Sunny and Flower. After several years of having an abundance of milk, she didn't have enough for both of them. I wasn't keen on using powdered milk replacer and remembered Jason saying they had goats, so Young'un and I took a walk up to their place to see if they possibly had any milk I could give to our girls.
Over the months of getting milk for Sunny and Flower via the goat lady (that would be Christen and how I have her listed in my cell phone contacts), I found her to be quite a fun and interesting young woman. We have common interests that expand past each of us having husbands, three children, and small farms. For example, persimmons. Yes. You read that right, persimmons.
Honestly, I had never seen one until a few months ago when she mentioned she had a tree and brought a few over that weren't quite ripe yet. I had never given them a thought. I know I had seen the name, but like so many other things since moving here, I hadn't ever thought I'd actually get face-to-face with one. That's when my persimmon fascination began.
Did you know an unripe persimmon tastes, to put it politely, horribly bitter? Well, it does. Don't ask me how I know. I'm sure you can figure it out, and I don't mean like when I asked Kid to test the electric fence for five bucks to see if it was working. Here's the thing, when the skins on them are soft as a baby's satiny cheek, when the insides are mushy squishy, they're ripe. They're also one of the yummiest things Mother Nature has given us, so it's weird I don't see more of them around. The first time I bit into a ripe one I thought of something along the lines of a tomato texture...but the flavor is one I can't describe. It doesn't match up with other fruits I've had, and it definitely doesn't taste like chicken. It's just a flavor all to itself. I just had to go on a recipe quest to see what I can do with the little marvels.
I haven't really found a whole lot of recipes for persimmons, but what I've found and tried so far has been wonderful. You know I'm a genuine bonafide choc-a-holic. Well, I found and tweaked till I made it mine a chocolate persimmon recipe that is spectacular. Truly. It's raining out. If I made those muffins and put one out on the patio today the rain would stop, the clouds would part, the sun would shine, and angels would sing. Truly. No joke. They're that spectacular.
I've even made persimmon jam. It reminds me of the lovely flower blossom jellies Eldest makes in the spring for the farmers market. The jam has a lightly sweet taste. I enjoy putting it on my toast when I want some sweet without a strong flavor to follow. It's like a highlight to the bread.
Yesterday while I was lost in making apple butter, I was thinking it would be nice to make some more muffins and jam this week. I asked Christen if she by chance had any left and she said she'd go look. I didn't think after the wind we had days ago there would be many if any at all. While I was at Boy Scouts last night with Kid and Young'un I had a message from Christen that she left a bucket of them on the patio. I was excited to know they were waiting there for me. Eldest was home, so I asked him to take them inside. When I got to the door, excited to see the little orange beauties, he was waiting for me. He said, "Mom, do you know how heavy a five-gallon bucket of persimmons is?" Why no, I have no idea, but I gather heavier than I would have imagined. Then again, it doesn't take a whole lot of pulp, weight-wise, to make the muffins. Eldest told me he had to put it up on the counter to keep the dogs from getting in them because they would have eaten every one if they were left on the floor. I forgot to tell him persimmons are a magnet; there's few animals around that won't go diving under a persimmon tree to get to those goodies. Shoot, I'd join them in the dive! I walked into the kitchen and there it was...a five-gallon bucket full. FIVE GALLONS. When I saw the bucket they were in I couldn't help but laugh because of the slogan on it. Yeah. Let's do this!
So, there you have it, folks. My persimmon connection. Thank you, Christen, for the persimmon introduction. I'm still amazed at how many of those little buggers come off of one tree. There's a little one next to Christen's big one just waiting for spring transplant at our farm. I may not have many grow on it next year, but knowing it will be out there with my expanding fruit tree grove is exciting! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.