Nov 9th, 2005
Thanks for the feedback Steph. I'm so excited that you check this page every day. You all really don't want to know how many times I obsessively click on the Kafehaus during the day - it's a sickness. If you read this page, please do take a minute to look at my Questions post and give me your two cents. I'm waiting for those brilliant suggestions for a name for the food blog. Come on, you don't really want me to call it Curry and Beets do you?
Honey crisp apples are among my favorites as well - I do love a crispy apple. And unwaxed locally grown! Sounds delish. I came home with two grocery bags of apples and a bag of mystery squash from a trip to see the family in Oregon last month. Every fall my parents take a day and go apple and pear tasting along the Columbia River. Some valleys have wine tasting tours, this one has the Fruit Loop, an orchard tasting tour where you can sample and buy many different varieties of apples and pears. I siphoned off some of the fridge full of apples that resulted and also hit a local produce stand while the kids were enjoying Halloween farm goodness. (Note: these are not my children - I have no idea who they are, just some random people whose photo album came up when I googled Fir Point Farms, the location of the aforementioned Halloween goodness. This is what it looked like though if we had bothered to take pictures.) So I had probably a dozen different varieties of orchard apples to try, and now that I've worked my way through them all, I have to say none were as good as the ones I can buy here in Seattle at the Farmer's Market, which include the Honey Crisp. I still haven't investigated the bag of mystery squash - they're probably spaghetti squash, but my dad doesn't remember planting any squash in his garden this year. Yet a quiet little plant in the corner produced a big box of a vegetable that clearly looks like squash. I found a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Fritters that I want to try, I'll let you know if we all die. By haunting you from beyond the grave I suppose. Mystery squash! Woooooohhhhh!
Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about today was persimmons. Persimmons! When I was a kid we would spend Christmas with the extended Cooperrider clan in Fresno, California. Not really the place that springs to mind when you think bobsleds jingling, chestnuts roasting, etcetera, but hey palm trees are good for Christmas too I guess. My aunt would always make a persimmon dessert that involved mashing up ripe persimmon with pumpkin pie spices and serving it in individual glasses topped with whipped cream. I don't think I've eaten them since. So I was delighted when persimmons started showing up in my weekly produce box - delighted and a bit confused as to what to do with them. These persimmons weren't soft like the ones from Fresno, they were orange, but hard like an apple. Did I just have to wait for them to ripen? They didn't seem to be doing much in my fridge. A quick web search cleared up my confusion, the fruit I had were Fuyu persimmons, the ones I had eaten in Fresno were Hachiyas. Fuyus are firm when ripe and can be eaten like an apple, Hachiyas must be soft and squishy before you eat them, otherwise they're bitter and nasty tasting. Once the Hachiyas are ripe you can open them up and scoop out the soft sweet pulp and use them in cookies, bread, jams, or just a simple mousse like my aunt's.
I've now eaten all my Fuyus, and I'm in love, love, love. My favorite way to eat them is as follows: Peel the Fuyu and slice it into a bowl in thin little bite sized sections. Add yogurt on top, I like plain for the contrast with the sweet persimmon, but vanilla would be good too. Then dust with cinnamon and nutmeg and devour. It takes a minute or two to prepare like this, but I love the ritual of it. Selecting my favorite bowl, slicing the bright orange flesh, dolloping on the white yogurt, and running my nutmeg grinder over top of the whole thing. By the way, freshly ground nutmeg really is divine, and my little nutmeg grinder is so cute. When you can combine cuteness and good taste in one simple fruit dessert, you know you're in luck.
My next goal is to do some baking with the Hachiyas and maybe even the Fuyus, which can be used like an apple - I'm thinking a cinnamon quick bread with chunks of persimmon baked in would not be a bad thing at all. Here are a few Hachiya recipes that look inviting from some good food blogs:
Hachiya Persimmon Cake
And for those of us who have a food dehydrator (Katie, although I'm guessing you didn't tote it with you to Jackson Hole), you can dry Fuyus and use them in granola or cookies or just for snacking.