Gleanings

It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, it took me a while to remember my password. So, hello, there. It’s been a while. Here’s some of the stuff that’s been keeping me busy: making ginger soda, killing roosters at Hill Farm, harvesting arrowroot and Jerusalem artichokes at Rose Ranch, fermenting kimchi and sauerkraut, picking persimmons, scarfing down homemade turkey pastrami and corned beef, picking pecans, exploring Oklahoma’s fall color, enjoying many potlucks with my dear friends and family, and pondering the point of this site. I haven’t come up with any answers about the latter, but I will elaborate on some of the former in the coming days. How about I start with the persimmons?

Pickin' persimmonsI’m enamored with the persimmon:
its brittle leaves like clover, its skin a wintery sunset

My generous neighbor, Anthony, shares his persimmons with me. After I noticed the trees in his yard last year, I included his house was on my walking route until I finally caught him outside. It’s a tricky thing, asking for permission to glean. It might be perceived as invasive and aggressive, but when well received, it can be an opportunity to create community. Anthony is the only person I’ve approached and luckily it went well. He has no interest in his persimmons, and was slightly amused by my enthusiasm.

Persimmons are still novel to me: I’m not sure I was aware of their existence before I moved to Oklahoma. Or maybe I was, but thought they were from some exotic land. (That land turned out to be Oklahoma and one of my goals from 2009 was to see a persimmon tree in person. Check!) Also, limited accessibility contributes to the persimmon’s novelty. They don’t ripen very well on the counter; ideally they are harvested at their peak, which means they are so soft they completely give under slight pressure, and they are so heavy and tender, they are barely hanging on to the tree.

The skin is edible and has a crystalline texture on the tongue. You can use it as a bowl to scoop out the creamy meat, which is best described as pudding. I made an actual pudding with persimmon purée, but I think the unadulterated form is better. If you have a good recipe, please share.

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5 thoughts on “Gleanings

  1. And did you know that if you cut the seeds open inside you will find what looks like a tiny knife fork and spoon? I grew up with persimmon trees all around in south central Oklahoma.

  2. This comes at an interesting time because after years of fascination for persimmons, I finally bought my first one today. It was organic and a whopping $1.99/each! But my fascination got the best of me so I caved. I plan to just eat it, but would love to make something with them someday, if I could only get them for free like you!

    On that note, I’m always amazed at people who care nothing for the fruit growing in their yards. During my 6 month stay in Florida I couldn’t get over all the rotting mangos just in my neighborhood alone. I would spend hours some evenings cutting them and freezing them to make smoothies, puree for cocktails, fruit leather, etc, etc. just so that they didn’t go to waste.

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