Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wild Persimmons

Interwoven within these 400 acres are hundreds of wild persimmon trees. Near ponds, on hillsides, in thickets and in pastures standing naked and alone.

All of the leaves are gone and the branches look like a haphazardly decorated Christmas tree with small apricot colored balls here and there. Many have fallen to the ground and these are good too eat if they have not been violated by nature or foot. Sometimes they are all you get because the small pink, red and orange colored balls dangling are too high to reach. Ask the coyote, these are a mainstay this time of year. The tree I was at had hundreds on the ground and then one tree I found later had none, all of them were gone. Eaten by coyote, bird, squirrel, rabbit? I've joined them now.

A ripe persimmon looks rotted, bad, the skin from a distance looks to be dehydrating and puckery, something you would toss away. Smooshy to the slightest pressure between fingertips the skin slips off. its sticky and custard like and there are beautiful oblong seeds. The whole thing goes in my mouth and only at that point do I know for sure I have chosen a ripe persimmon.

If not I go on the hunt for the ripest one immediately with out hesitation I eat it as fast as I can swooshing it around in my mouth on my tongue and teeth. This is the fasted cure for the hard to describe effect an unripe persimmon has on the mouth. Its awful! but a ripe one will cure you.

I've found several trees that I will visit later today, I'm bringing my cherry picker, ladder and bucket and if I am successful I will have persimmon jam in the larder come sundown.

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