The persimmon tree that grows on the property where I live lost a big branch the other day. The tree was loaded with fruit which are heavy and dense and the branch suddenly gave out, leaving a rough and ragged scar and scattering persimmons everywhere like a riotous, Mad Hatter billiard game. It's a good thing my neighbors and I are a community of cooks because quite abruptly we were faced with a rather alarming amount of persimmons.
Some needed to ripen more, so they made their way to windowsills and big wooden bowls on the kitchen counter. I gathered a few branches into a swag and impulsively hung it on my door, feeling just a little like Martha Stewart until I noticed that I had used an old plastic push pin to secure it which I suspect would have never passed the Martha test. So I left them there and since they make me smile every time I see them, they're staying. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens as the fruits ripen and the leaves fall.
Recipes and ingredients have been discussed. Would persimmons work for a chutney? Should we freeze the pulp for persimmon pudding? I mentioned my Magical Roasted Persimmon Slices and Emily's Persimmon Strudel as possibilities. Someone else is researching persimmon jam.
As far as disasters go, the falling persimmon branch hardly qualifies as one, what with its tumbling avalanche of delicious and beautiful fruit. I found The Sudden Persimmon Glut of 2012 to be a welcome distraction from my everyday troubles and concerns. A problem to solve, but one that's rich with reward: tasty things to eat and store up (and hang up, too), a delightful and distracting recipe research session, an easy excuse to stop work to discuss ingredients and levels of astringency and the sweet, always welcome, possibility of jam. (Or butter, maybe? Can you do that with persimmons?)
(Image: Dana Velden)