Thursday, October 29, 2009

Persimmon Bread

Not quite half a "mess" of persimmons that will soon be bread.

Jennifer doesn't always have the time for it, but she enjoys cooking and baking. We are fortunate to have several persimmon trees on our property and in recent weeks they have become heavy-laden with ripe fruit.

A heavy rain or wind is enough to knock many off the trees. You just have to go around and gather them near the base of the tree. Often, however, the ripe fruit is so soft that it more or less explodes upon impact with the ground, becoming rather messy with sticks and leaves sticking to the juicy innards. This makes for more work in cleaning it all up so you can make bread (among other things) out of the fruit.

The optimum method for gathering persimmons is to take a few old bed sheets out with you and spread them out around the base of the tree, covering the persimmons that have already fallen. The sheets serve to cushion the fall of the fruit remaining on the tree so fewer of them burst open upon impact with the ground.

Persimmon trees are just med-sized trees, growing maybe 25 feet or so in height. They have slender trunks, especially the younger ones, so they are fairly easy to shake. A vigorous shaking during these few weeks of optimum ripeness causes plenty of persimmons to land on and around the sheets. You just gather the sheets, clean out a bit of debris, and pour the fruit into your gathering pan.

We have some older trees that require me to actually get a ladder and climb up into a point where they usually Y-branch. Like a monkey, I then rattle the top of the tree. This yields plentiful results.

A pan of persimmons will make about 3-5 loaves of bread, depending on the size.

Jennifer's persimmon bread is a real treat this time of year. She makes it with spelt flour which gives the bread a very substantial quality. It is moist and slightly sweet, almost like eating cake. A small piece (or two) after dinner makes for a filling and satisfying experience. It makes for a great snack too.

Jennifer's bread is actually good for you. Nothing artificial, only the best ingredients, nothing transfatty, just wholesome, delicious, and as fresh as anything can be.

Persimmon bread is best consumed warm right out of the oven a couple of hours after harvesting the fruit. This gathering and baking and consuming of fresh foods makes country life incomparable to the poor, cultured city and town folk that rarely know how a fresh tomato tastes, or fresh creamed corn, or fresh crowder peas. Buying from your local grocery or farmer's market just isn't the same thing at all. Fresh means eating it with hours of gathering it. Anything over 24 hours, while still healthy, just ain't the same.

1 comment:

The girl with far away eyes said...

Felt a little misty eyed after reading this...guess its the pregnancy lol