Monday, November 25, 2013

Pucker balls

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang...
It is indeed the time of year when most of the trees (except the evergreens) are “bare ruined choirs,” as Shakespeare wrote in Sonnet 73, with few leaves remaining, except perhaps on some oak trees...
where the brown leaves are likely to cling most of the winter.

The branches of the wild persimmon tree are bare, except for the beautiful fruit...
which is supposed be edible now that we have had a hard frost and cold nights, but which I found lived up to their name of "pucker balls" when I took a tentative bite of one a week or so ago.

The astringency of the fruit seems not to bother the smaller wild animals that feast on them. And how do I know this?

Well, on the long paved driveway that circles the pond at the church where I take Molly for a walk several times a week, are piles of poop left by one of these animals. Over the last few weeks, one particular pile of poop on the road has slowly dissolved, and all that remains now is a large pile of persimmon seeds. This animal, probably a raccoon, has certainly enjoyed them. Had the pile of poop been left in a more conducive spot, one might have seen persimmon trees sprouting in the spring.

In the meantime, a woman I went to high school with, who is from Japan, says “Mmmm… Fuyu…” and explains I should Peel the skin off, hang them by the stems under the eaves for a month, dried persimmons that can be eaten… or, Easier yet, my uncle used to wash them in vodka and stack them in Tupperware, seal and keep in a dark space for at least 2 weeks. Result is ripe gooey but sweet fruit…

Now, that last idea has possibilities!

1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have never seen Persimmons on a tree before...thanks... I would try the first suggestion and see what happens..then do the vodka:)