Saturday, December 1, 2012

Persimmons on Parade

Thanks to my good neighbor Jen, we have persimmons this year. I know I could buy them at the downtown Farmer's Market, good ones too. But, around here, buying persimmons is like having to buy lemons. It feels wrong.

I scored both types that grow in the area, Fuyu and Hachiya. We actually have a Fuyu tree in our yard, and we used to get a lot of fruit from it. But no more. The squirrels scored all but one pathetic half of a fruit. Or maybe it was the raccoons. They were certainly busy with our small tomato patch this year.

But, luckily for me I scored with the homegrown persimmons. Of course, as y'all know, the Fuyu are the kind you eat hard. You can eat them out of hand, but we are pretty partial to them in our regular big supper salads. Tonight we had our first local crab salad of the year. Hooray for crab season! The pairing of persimmon and crab is right up there with apples and honey, mashed potatoes and gravy, or apples and cheddar cheese. Some flavors were just meant to go together.

I used some of the ripe Hachiya (you never want to eat those astringent guys until they are good and mushy) in a persimmon cake for Thanksgiving. I lost my original recipe, but there are variants on the web and I just played around with what I found. I'm not actually sure what I ended up putting in other than buttermilk, plenty of persimmon, dark raisins, local walnuts, and no oil or butter. It's basically a very minimal any-kind-of-oil-or-butter with 3 ripe persimmons (about a cup and a half of fruit). Delicious. That is what fruit cake should taste like, not heavy but dense and rich with fruit.

I'm partial to these little darlings in a smoothie with frozen bannana, milk and vanila as well. Heaven. I better freeze up those other two Hachiya's right now so I can have one tomorrow. BTW if the Fuyu get over ripe they work in any of the same way as their astringint cousins. That's why we planted a Fuyu tree. You get the value of both types of fruit.

Good simple California eating. Could food grow any better?

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