Having grown up in California I’ve known persimmons for many, many years. They were the heart shaped or round ones that got soft and we mostly mushed them up for persimmon cake, which was delicious. Often when someone is asked if he or she likes persimmons, you’ll get a heart-felt negative response, and they will talk about how they just hate the texture and taste, but I love them.
Years later I began to realize how dramatic the trees were in the cold wintery landscape. Usually the bright orange fruit hangs on bare limbs, the perfect seasonal ornaments. This year, because of our unusually warm fall, many trees have not lost all their leaves.
This tree has lost all its leaves so the persimmons stand out more.
A new variety of persimmon came across my radar screen many years ago, the Fuyu, a firm but equally sweet fruit. You can see the Fuyu persimmons to the left in the photo above and the Hachiya persimmons to the right. The Fuyus are often thinly sliced in salads, and add a beautiful color contrast to the green lettuce.
This year three friends of mine had an over abundance of the Fuyu persimmons which they were trying to ‘off-load’ and which I took, sharing them with others but still ending up with a constantly refilling bowl of fruit.
I was happy to give some to friends from Ohio who didn’t know what persimmons were. What a treat to have them write to say how much they enjoyed them.
Then the newspaper had a photo of a bruschetta with goat cheese and persimmon and I became inspired to make that for my contribution to the Thanksgiving gathering I was going to.
It is important to know at this point that I don’t cook. I can scramble eggs, but beyond that, I just don’t do it. So this was a new experiment. I called a friend to find out how to do the bread. She said don’t broil it, but when it came time it wasn’t seeming to ‘do’ anything, so I turned it to broil for a few seconds and that seemed to work.
Spreading the goat cheese I can do, and slicing the persimmons and assembling my creation. As I was doing this I reflected on WHY I don’t cook – it takes a long time and lots of slicing and fixing and different plates and tools – but in the end it was beautiful and delicious and worth the effort.
I know Thanksgiving is past, but I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t told someone about my creation, (or my version of the newspaper creation) and whipped out the photo to show them.
My hat is off to all the people who love to cook, and share their creations, and see them disappear.