Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wandering Wednesday: The Harcum Edition


This is the old service station at Harcum, in neighboring Gloucester County.  The road from which this photo was taken leads down to a public landing on the Piankatank River.

Welcoming you down to the river and the landing is this gorgeous barn, which I've photographed before at a different time of year.


It is physically impossible for me to drive past this barn without stopping to say hello, so I did.




Just past the barn at the end of the road is the Piankatank River and the public landing.  And something I wasn't expecting at all:  persimmon trees.

There were more of them lining the shoreline here than I've seen in many a day, and the persimmons were ripe for eating.

If you've never had persimmons before, they're just as sweet as candy--but only the ones which have dropped to the ground.

If you eat a persimmon that isn't quite ripe?

Your mouth turns inside outwards; your tongue curls backwards; your eyes roll back in your head; and you stomp the ground profusely--all the while gasping for breath and crying for your Mumma (pronounced muh' muh).

Note:  This is the same reaction most people have to CBW's cooking, too.



The persimmons were such a nice surprise. (Above is an example of one that's ready for eatin'.)

They remind me of my childhood when I'd roam around the yard  looking for anything to eat the fallen delicacies.  Those trees have long died or been cut down.

Hoping to share these memories with my children, I picked up a few and put them in the car.  Later that evening after picking Son and Daughter up from their after-school activities, I handed them some to sample.

Much to my surprise they snatched them up and gobbled them down like it was old hat.  When I asked them if they'd had them before, they said, "Yep. You gave us some once. Or twice.  A few times, actually." Then they proceeded to recite my own persimmon story back to me.

My forgetfulness incessant repetition is paying off.  Maybe one day they will share persimmon stories with their children.

Hopefully they'll gloss over the part about their mother's cooking  their mother telling the same stories over and over again.

Have you ever had a persimmon? Have I already asked you this before? 

19 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

I've never seen a persimmon, so I've never tasted one, and I feel deprived, as if Nature had pulled some giant prank on me, having me born on the west coast of Canada and going to school in BC's Okanagan Valley with only apples, cherries, pears, peaches, apricots, grapes and wild asparagus to pick and eat fresh; and soft, hot, beach sand to run through to swim in a large, warm, freshwater lake instead of a proper ocean. If you had persimmons, then I should have had persimmons, too, so there, see? It's just NOT fair. And probably if someone had given me a persimmon it would have been fresh picked and made my mouth turn inside out and my tongue hit the sidewalk, I bet. So there! NOT fair.

Annie said...

Yes. I love them too. Did you know that they have now developed a new variety. that you don't have to wait till they are mushy to eat. Quite nice, but not quite the same as the old variety. But I'll eat either. Am addicted to fruit!

deborah said...

Oh I do like persimmons. Here, we wait till after the first frost to eat them...I guess to prevent the 'mumma' effect?

Lynne M said...

I absolutely LOVE persimmons!! Oh, I love, love, love them!! I have told my son one or five persimmon stories, too! My favorite one involves above ground graves at Jamestown where my parents would take me and me and dad would eat them off the graves.. that always freaked my mom out!

Mrs F with 4 said...

I feel cheated, too! Never had one....but now I want one! Mind you, also want that barn... it's all about me today.

My version of the mumma effect? Fresh picked damsons, a little green.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Mrs F, what prey tell is a damson?

I've never had persimmons, but we did have a crabapple tree and two pear trees in our yard growing up, and ripe fruit could be had from them. Although the crabapples weren't so good... but an old neighbor used to come gather fallen pears to make wine.

Mental P Mama said...

LOL...I've never had one!

Trisha said...

Never in my life had I eaten a persimmon. They sound intriguing though . . .

TSannie said...

In my youth which was about a billion years ago. I remember them as being quite tasty.

Daryl said...

No and no ... and at least you cook ...

WV canoding ... I do not a cook nor am I a canoding person

Anonymous said...

I have had the YUCKY kind only and a very bad experiance with Mrs. Trusch and being brought to my mother which I dont not recall the details they have been blocked from my brain!!! but I will now try another had no idea they could be sweet!!

KL

Anonymous said...

You can track an opposum by the persimmon seeds in his excrement. FYI. Mom

Ann Marie said...

oh MOM that was TOO MUCH INFO!!!

Why are you tracking possums by poo!

Diane said...

I have never had a persimmon. But I've had you're cooking and I'm still alive to talk about it. It was your black bean relish or salad. Of course I don't remember how to make it, but it was good!

Mrs F with 4 said...

Meg, a damson is a kind of plum (I think!), small, oval kind of pointy at one end, very dark blue, and acidic as hell! Great for jams and jellies, and for making damson gin. I think slivovitz (yum!) is also made from them. They grow wild in hedgerows in parts of the UK. I'm not doing a good job of explaining it, am I?!

Me said...

I stumbled upon your blog the other day and just wanted to say that I really love it. I'm on the Chesapeake too, but on the opposite side from you and much further north. Persimmons...I couldn't identify a persimmon tree, but I know I've seen those fruits lying around on occasion. I must learn more :D

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The persimmon stories-ranging from complete deprivation to being able to track an opossum to eating one off a Jamestown grave to eating an unripe one and having Mrs. Trusch drag you home--are truly amazing.

For those of you who haven't tasted them, you must pick them off the ground (not the tree, trust me on this). They have the concentrated sweetness of honeysuckle with the texture of an overly ripe, teeny tiny peach. Probably loaded to the gills with Vitamin A based on the deep orange color.

Mrs. F and Meg- Our little grocery store here sells Damson preserves, in fact Anonymous Mathews Native pointed them out to me a while back. Tastes like plums to me. Delicious.

Me-Welcome! I love your side of the bay. The persimmon trees are very nondescript. If you see the persimmons on the ground, just pick one up and take a small bite. You will not be disappointed. (If you pick one off the tree, you will most definitely be disappointed.)

Thank you all for commenting.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

We have persimmons here. The end.
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foolery said...

In California the persimmons are as big as a beefsteak tomato or a man's fist, maybe. They hang on the trees long after the wind has blown all the leaves off, so they look like perfect heart-shaped Christmas ornaments. They are truly the most beautiful fruit imaginable. But I concur: DO NOT tempt fate by eating fresh-picked ones as I did as a child. It's like the old Instant Alum gag in Bugs Bunny/Wile E. Coyote cartoons: your head shrinks to the size of a walnut (your mouth description was PERFECT, Cheeky).

Bit of trivia: Freeze not-quite-ripe persimmons whole, in a bag. Thaw them and then they peel easily, then bake with them. Freezing finishes the ripening process, I guess, but you don't want to eat them after they've been frozen (slimy), only bake with them.