Nov 27, 2011

Done With the Gardening Guilt

The time has come for the persimmon tree to meet its executioner- me! I've thought long and hard about it and it's time to make a sensible decision rather than a silly one.

I LOVE the fact that we had a mature fruit tree in our backyard when we bought this house almost five years ago. The seller (who then became our neighbor) told us that it was his mother's tree and she used them in baking all the time. They certainly are a beautiful fruit and quite expensive in the grocery store.

Well, all I can say is that I tried. I tried to fall in love with them. I tried to make them fit into our lives. I tried to make them palatable. I failed. The final straw broke the other day when I picked the only three fruits on the tree left after the squirrels meticulously dropped them on the ground all season long, took one bite, and then fled in search of water- or gasoline- with which to clean out their mouths. I know that persimmons must be left until almost mushy ripe. These ones seemed close and, as the tree no longer had leaves on it, I didn't see them getting much riper. I brought them in the house, cut one up and offered slices to hubs, kids and FIL without saying anything about them.

My FIL made the best effort of pretending that it tasted like real food. My daughter stated that it felt like all the spit was being sucked out of her mouth. My son spit the bite back out onto the plate (nice manners on the kid), and hubs promised to help with with the execution.

The persimmon tree simply takes up too much real estate in our backyard if it's not going to provide food. I'd rather have a lemon or peach tree in its place. So down it will come this week. If the former owner/neighbor asks, I'll tell him that it was terminally ill. Or fell down. Or something....

Nov 17, 2011

This week's marmalade-making didn't quite go as planned. The first batch (made mostly with oranges) didn't set using its own pectin. The second batch with tangerines needed powdered pectin to form a good set. At least I'll be able to use the first batch as "orange sauce".

There are still about a thousand citrus fruits on my neighbor's tree and I'm trying to resist "gleaning" them. My neighbor passed away over two years ago now and the house is still up for sale. His son doesn't seem particularly interested in the trees but I'm sure someone will come along and strip them bare. Hmmm...maybe it's time to preserve tangerine slices.