Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn Treats

Yesterday I did a bit of gathering. The Dogwood trees here and beginning to fade from green to red and their bright red berries are on display now. I collected what seemed like tons of these seed bearing berries and made a little (uh..tiny) garland with them. I used some very fine wire and a needle to string them together. You can't put the needle right through the middle because of the hard seed in the center. But because of this they hang differently in an attractive way. It was fun and looks very festive. I'm not sure how long they will last but I'll enjoy it for the time being.

Persimmons are ripening and many were ready to pluck before they fell. They littered the ground where my dog indulged in the sweet treats. I also saw a turtle with a smashed persimmon in front of him, literally, with the fruit on his mouth. So I plucked the ready fruits from the tree before they could fall. Each tiny fruit is mostly peel and seeds but what is left is a very sweet flesh that tastes like orange candy. Unripe persimmons contain a lot of tannic acid and are just awful. The tannic acid makes your mouth pucker and every bit of saliva just disappears. Ripe persimmons contain a lot of vitamin C and iron. I smashed them and then wrung them through a cheesecloth to extract the pulp minus the skins and many seeds. I smoothed this out on a baking sheet and sprinkled a bit of cinnamon and cloves and baked it at 170 for a few hours. This is called fruit leather, a kind of fruit roll up. I will not add the spices next time because they overpowered the natural flavor but it was pretty successful and I will try it again soon.

A very unripe persimmon

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