persimmons . . .

by mulberryshoots

DSCN4374I don’t know about you but I look forward to this time of year because persimmons appear in the markets. There are two kinds of persimmons: the hard, squat ones that you can eat called fuyu; and the graceful pointed ones that will pucker up your mouth something awful if you are impatient and eat them before they turn almost to mush when they are ripe. These are called hachiya persimmons, are hard to find and can also be expensive when you come across them. They’re worth it though.

Because they are purchased hard, I usually have them lined up in my kitchen window to ripen. My daughter, M. exclaimed when I showed her my kitchen on Skype the other day, murmuring that she remembered them lined up like that from her childhood.The other day, I came upon some smaller persimmons at an asian market in town. They didn’t look very pretty, but I’m going to harvest the ripe fruit from them, freeze it and then make a persimmon pudding to serve along with mince pie as desserts for our Christmas dinner.

This year, M. wanted to force narcissus in a bowl of river pebbles and they are two-and-a-half feet high now, perfuming the kitchen in Minneapolis with their distinctive scent. I used to force them in an old cracked 18th century green feather pottery soup tureen but G. mentioned more than once that their scent bothered him. So now, I vicariously enjoy M.’s bulbs over the computer screen.

Amaryllis are bulbs that I’ve forced and carried from year to year, always surprised since I am “ye-of-so-little-faith” that they will return and bloom each year again. More times than not, they do. I think sometimes that I enjoy these inside winter gardens of bulbs more than the ones outside during the growing year.
Cyclamen is my all-time favorite houseplant, though. Their orchid-like blossoms on top of their stalks clustered together amid the leaves provide a tender visual offering during these winter months.

What are some of your fruit and flower favorites for the holidays? I’d love to hear from you what they might be.