On the Virtues of the Humble Persimmon

Have you ever eaten a persimmon? Have you ever heard of a persimmon? Well, before moving back here to the states, my only exposure to the persimmon was reading about them in a Little House on the Prairie book. Well, it wasn't exactly a Little House on the Prairie book, it was on of the next series, about Laura's daughter, Rose, I think they are called Little House in the Ozarks? Maybe? But that's not the point. The point is that I read about them once in a book, as a weird fruit that grows up in the backwoods of mountain america and that is very, very, very nasty until fully ripe.

But upon moving to the states, and marrying a country boy from Oklahoma, I actually tasted a persimmon. Sure enough, they are a weird fruit that grows wild in America and is very, very, very nasty until fully ripe.
Why am I telling you this, you ask?
Well, persimmons grow wild. That means, you can go pick them for free. No cost.
They also, although very, very, very nasty until fully ripe, are also quite good when fully ripe. They kind of taste like a date. And you can bake with them! Free baking fruit!
I'm in. Seriously, three of my favorite words, right there: free. baking. fruit.

So this fall, Morgan and I went to a park nearby where persimmons grow and we picked ourselves a few bushels of persimmons.

So I don't know how big a bushel is, but we did pick a lot of persimmons. Maybe not a bushel. Because I don't know.

But we picked three wal-mart sacks full, and they weighed 20 pounds when we were done! That's a lot. But I don't know how that compares to a bushel.

Morgan climbed up in the trees and shook them to make the ripe persimmons fall.

Only pick up the squishy ones. They need to be really ripe. They should feel kind of like a date. Squishy. Very squishy.

What do you do with persimmons, you ask?
Well, you have to enjoy getting messy to enjoy persimmons. Because, you see, you have to squish them to bake with them. And you squish them through a colander to get the seeds out of the mush.
And come on, guys, you know me. The best way to do that is with your hands, of course!

We squished them all up, and put the mush into bags for baking. I've made a few things with them, but I haven't taken any pictures while I'm at it... so I'm going to have to make them again and take pictures for here. The main idea is that you can use it wherever you would use any other fruit mush. You can use it in place of bananas in banana bread. Or make persimmon butter like you would make apple butter. Or make pudding out of it.
Just experiment and have fun! It's yummy.

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