When we first looked at our little house, the backyard was an overgrown tangle, in which some non-gardener had tried to clear a path. The fruit trees had been brutally butchered.
Nevertheless, Robb and I were really excited at the prospect of buying a house with a (tiny) mature orchard. The thought of eating home-grown fruit seemed utterly delightful.
As I said, the garden itself had been terribly neglected. The persimmon tree was very unhealthy, and dropped unripe fruit pretty much every day. I wasn't sure there would be anything left on the tree to ripen. Robb and I cobbled together some scaffold, for the weirdly over-laden branches, hoping that they wouldn't snap under the weight of the fruit.
And now, we're harvesting persimmons. Yesterday, we had a very windy rainstorm, and most of the leaves blew off the tree, leaving behind the gleaming persimmons. These are beautiful trees in the winter, leafless with uncanny orange fruits.
We have a Fuyu persimmon, which has the texture of a ripe apple. This is not one of the types that has to ripen to the consistency of mush, in order to be palatable. We like to eat this one sliced, with a bit of lemon juice squeezed on it. We baked a persimmon-date upside cake last night, and although we both thought it was way too sweet, and lacked "brightness," we'll try the recipe again with some adjustments. (We're interested in what blog readers do with this fruit.)
Clearly, we're not the only ones who enjoy persimmons. Last week, I found a half-eaten persimmon, stashed by a squirrel on a branch of our mulberry tree. And over the last few days, I've enjoyed watching Yellow-Rumped Warblers eating persimmons. Since we have more fruit than we know what to do with, and since the animals don't have the bad habit of taking one bite out of each persimmon, we are happy to share.