Happy 12-12-12!
Wednesday December 12th 2012, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Life

Happy Dozens Day!

I signed up for freecycle.org awhile ago to give away something, and so now I get the local posts in my inbox.  So it happened that one caught my eye last night: someone had a tree full of Hachiya persimmons, my favorite type, and was looking to give them away.

You can find the hard Fuyu ones in the stores but the fragile, very-soft-when-ripe Hachiyas, not so much. I love them but my husband does not and so we do not grow our own.

I waited hours to let others go first.  And then I sent off a note, saying that I remembered the days when my children were young and my food budget tight but that was not the case anymore; please put me in the back of the line, but if there were a few left after that, then I would love.

When the man responded, his name showed up in the email; there was plenty, and he would love me to have some, answered Eric.

While I was thinking, wait, are you…!?

I decided to take the plunge: are you Walt’s son? (I could not remember having ever met him, just Walt bragging on his kids and grandkids happily.)

He answered in the morning: yes, I am.

I adore your parents! I told him. Small world.

I offered to come pick up the fruit but he asked for my address. Shortly after, my doorbell rang and I opened the door.

And then we both stood there in surprised delight. I *have* met you once before! I thought. What a good man from such a good family!

He had the same wait–I’ve seen you before, I’m sure of it! look on his face, though I don’t know that we’ve ever actually had a conversation before. He asked for a box and I grabbed a mixing bowl from the kitchen; he opened his trunk and filled it up, then asked if he could give me more and filled a second large bowl. He assured me there was plenty for everybody. Pointing to the tree down the street that was all winter-nakedness with bright orange dreidel shapes hanging, he said his tree was even bigger than that one (and it was a good size.)

I told him those neighbors, after they’d moved in, had asked around what on earth to do with all those and I had told them, Call Second Harvest Food Bank; their volunteers will pick them, clean up the drops, and put the crop to very good use. “But I haven’t had the chutzpah to knock on their door and ask for a few for me,” I laughed, grateful for his. There is nothing in the world like a homegrown Hachiya persimmon, something I had to move to California to experience.

Wait–there was that one time they were giving out samples in New Hampshire of this new shipment of exotic fruit, only, they didn’t know the difference between the two types and the woman was sawing off rock-hard pieces of the very unripe, very astringent Hachiyas. I, uh, don’t think they sold too many.

Eric so enjoyed my anticipation. He mentioned a site with persimmon recipes, and afterwards I looked it up and then some more and emailed him that I was intrigued by the jam idea. He wondered if I might share a jar with him if/when I do?

Ever since, I’ve been thinking, Hurry up and ripen, you guys, c’mon, I’ve got me some jam to give back. I can’t wait!

10 Comments so far
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In Missouri especially rocky ridges in the ozarks are wild persimmons. They have a slightly fuzzy skin like a peach, are the size of a quarter sphere and wonderful taste. They ripen on the tree and fall to the ground when the wind blows. We cover the ground with plastic and shake the small, skinny trees. Wash and sieve them, freeze the pulp or eat it right away. Add one culp pulp to homemade vanilla ice cream before freezing = wonderful! I love the texture of the bark, too. I have a spoon made from the wood. You are lucky it you get any fruit before the deer and critters get them.

Comment by Chery 12.13.12 @ 7:13 am

No coincidences. What a wonderful series of events, connection people – and fruit!

Comment by Channon 12.13.12 @ 7:38 am

I only tried persimmons once, when I got some in my Bountiful Basket. Made a persimmon pudding, ate a couple bites, it is was mostly persimmon flavored flour, tossed it out. I hope you have some great recipes.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 12.13.12 @ 7:52 am

Wow! What a wonderful connection!
I have a persimmon tree in the yard, but it is the harder when ripe kind. Amalie used to make something with them, but I don’t remember what.

Comment by Don Meyer 12.13.12 @ 10:33 am

we have a favorite recipe for using those (http://hattieskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/11/ammas-persimmon-bars.html)

now days when I make them I have to use pecans instead of walnuts so my daughter can eat them, but we love those bars!

I’m watching my local Whole Foods and Sprouts, hoping to get some of the RIGHT kind of persimmons for this year

Comment by bev 12.13.12 @ 11:16 am

And happy 12-13-12, too! Just happened on your comment at Stephanie’s. Celebrate!!!!

Comment by DebbieR 12.13.12 @ 4:45 pm

I’m in Missouri and when my dad would go hunting, he’s keep an eye open for some persimmons for me. We (my mother and I) used them in the place of applesauce in cake or cookies. Wish I could have some now but, alas, I have no one to go find the persimmons for me.

Comment by Charlotte 12.13.12 @ 5:39 pm

If you want Hachiyas, I have another source for you who is trying to get rid of the millions that her tree produced this year! If you want the Fuyus, let me know and I’ll have some for you next year.

Just received a persimmon recipe book by Ann Crozier, Passion for Persimmons; has some interesting recipes that I’m going to have to try. I’ve got about a dozen Hachiyas that are NOT hurrying to ripen, even though I want them to!

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 12.14.12 @ 12:10 am

I just spotted some beautifully ripe persimmons in our local asian supermarket – I couldn’t buy any then because they would have sat in a frozen car for too long, but I have plans to return soon!

Comment by twinsetellen 12.15.12 @ 10:18 am

I encountered them in Japan, and loved them sliced with just a touch of lime juice on them.
*happy sigh*

Comment by Diana Troldahl 12.15.12 @ 12:06 pm

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