Vince loves persimmons. I like them ok but given a whole bowl of fruit, a persimmon is not the first thing I’d reach for. Persimmons seem to be very misunderstood but really . . it’s just a persimmon and I suppose most of the readers here, either you like them or you don’t but for those who don’t know about them, you can get astringent or non-astringent varieties. You can read about the differences here.
One thing you may not know. Vince is 100% honest . . to a fault if that’s possible. If I say “Does this dress make me look fat?” If it does .. he’ll say yes!
Judy . . not so honest, especially when it comes to food! 🙂
If you’ve ever had an astringent persimmon, you probably know that if they are not ripe to the point of being rotten in the next 5 minutes, they are so bitter that you almost can’t get rid of the bitter taste in your mouth. Therefore, in order to eat them, they have to be so ripe, they’re mushy – like even trying to pick them, they squish and drip down your arm.
But, the non-astringent type are crispy like an apple and delicious and they are not bitter at all. Because Vince grew up with the astringent variety, he will never try our non-astringent variety til they get mushy but they never get mushy because I eat them! I honestly will say “They’re ripe! You can eat them!” and, because the astringent type are so horrible if you eat them before they’re ripe, he will not try them so I just go off by myself and eat them all! Bad Judy!
But, we didn’t get any persimmons on our trees this year. We didn’t get any fruit at all except for about a dozen figs because of the late freeze.
During the week Vince saw an ad on Facebook for someone who had persimmons out past Comanche, about 40 or 45 miles from here so he contacted the lady and made arrangements for us to go pick persimmons.
Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. I brought a jacket but never needed it. Just for the record, our high today is 80. Good grief!
She only had two varieties of big persimmons and they were all astringent but we picked two bags of those. She also had quite a few of the Texas native persimmons, also astringent but they were really ripe so we picked two bags of those too. We ended up with right at 30 pounds of persimmons.
These native persimmons were so good and I think we each ate 6 or 8 of them while picking them. I had one that seemed ripe and it wasn’t. Oh, my . . I couldn’t spit that thing out quickly enough. Then I told Vince . . I need water! But we were out in the middle of an orchard and there was no place to get water.
I think I’m going to freeze dry some of the fruit and see what we think of that but most of it I’ll probably run through the food mill and freeze it. The pulp is great to use in muffins, breads, cookies and things like that.
Here’s a funny story. When I was about 5 years old, we moved to southwest Louisiana from north Louisiana. My mom and dad bought a lot on a little dead end street. I don’t think there were any houses out there yet. There were three lots on our side of the street, which was really a little dirt trail. There were two lots across the street because there was a pond that took up some of the land there.
Dad bought the center lot on our side of the street and my aunt and uncle bought the lot next door. Mom and dad built a house; and then later the guy who owned the lot to our right sold it to dad but the old guy had planted a persimmon tree. I’m not sure my parents knew about persimmons but they got nice and orange and looked ripe so dad picked a bowl of them brought them in, washed them, handed us each one. I think all four of us bit into them at the same time and they were definitely astringent and not ripe. I was probably 7; my sister was 5 and we were spitting that stuff out and trying to get outside to get rid of it before mom killed us for spitting food out on the table. I think it was years before anyone even picked a persimmon but then someone gave my dad a recipe for persimmon cookies and explained that you let them almost fall off the tree before you pick them so it became a Fall tradition for us to faithfully watch that persimmon tree til they were ripe enough to pick for mom to make persimmon cookies.
After we were finished picking persimmons yesterday, we had this conversation:
Vince: How many did you eat in the orchard?
Me: Maybe 6. How many did you eat?
Vince: Probably 10. I don’t think there was a time while we were picking that I didn’t have one in my mouth!
When we lived in East Texas, there was a strawberry farm near Kirbyville. My friend and I would take our kids down there and pick strawberries. She had two girls about 3 and 5 and Chad was 3. When we’d go with the kids to pick, the old guy would always jokingly say “I’m going to weigh those kids before you start picking and after!” My friend and I laughed because she and I were eating the berries the whole time we were picking too. One day we told the guy we wanted to pay extra because we had really eaten a lot of them. He laughed and said “Everybody does it. I expect you to eat them.” He wouldn’t let us pay extra. Fun memories!