I am hoping that persimmon picking will become a black Friday tradition for us. After convincing Ian that we did not need a 55" flat screen TV we were woefully un-American consumers. Maddy and I did get up early for the sale at the local yarn shop. If you got there prior to 8:00 all your yarn was 25% off. I bought some sock yarn to make these for Maddy for Christmas, and she bought yarn to make 5 lucky friends this hat. I am halfway through the cuff of the first sock, so they may be in time for Christmas after all. Especially since Sophie and I discovered "Bridalplasty" on Netflix. It is a show completely devoid of any meaningful human interaction and insidiously addictive. If I knit while I watch I feel productive, and it has given me numerous opportunities to point out how ridiculous plastic surgery is to my teenager.
Persimmon picker (the tool, not the human) fail.
Most of the persimmons required snipping off the tree with a pruner. Maddy was able to get a few off with the picker, but most of the time this simultaneously crushed them. We still have many persimmons on the tree. We abandoned ship and went to see "Skyfall." Daniel Craig is the best Bond IMHO. We all enjoyed the movie immensely, even Sophie who pointed out that "Komodo dragons don't drag people off, they bite them and sit around waiting them to die of infection."
This is about half of Friday's persimmon harvest.
I made persimmon butter with about a third of the harvest. Maddy took 3 quarts of persimmon pulp home, and the rest is waiting for me to use it up on David Lebovitz's persimmon cake recipe. It is stupidly easy and delicious even when you omit the currants and nuts.
1 gallon persimmon pulp, pureed in blender
2 cups orange juice
spices: I used ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
pectin: I used one package of Kerr pectin
Mix persimmon pulp and orange juice in a large heavy pot (I used my enameled cast iron). Stirring frequently, cook over medium-low heat until the mixture has thickened slightly. At this point you need to remove from heat and measure the pulp--I wound up with about 12 cups of pulp. For every cup of pulp, add 3/4 cup of sugar. I know, that's a lot of sugar, but remember sugar is not just a flavoring agent, it helps preserve the butter. I then returned this mixture to the pot and cooked an additonal ~45 minutes until thicker. Season with your spices to taste. At this point I sprinkled in the pectin and allowed to come to a fairly vigorous boil for about 2 minutes. I canned in a water bath for 15 minutes. I wound up with ~ 9 jars of butter. It is just the tiniest bit astringent but with all the sugar you hardly notice.