{the farmwives kitchen} american persimmon

IMG_8110The persimmons are ripening. Each day more fall to the ground and wait to be collected by my family or scavenged by the wild critters that I have to compete with for this very special wild fruit. The delicious American persimmon has come to be my favorite of all the native fruits. If you have never had one, I’m afraid to say that I wholeheartedly believe you are missing out. The trees are not at all hard to grow, and in fact can often be found growing at roadsides and neglected patches of ground, and of course in these eastern deciduous forests that I so happily inhabit. In fact, on the drive home from our vacation, we stopped at a gas station in Alabama and there at the edge of the parking lot was a laden persimmon tree. My family had a nice little snack before continuing our drive. (Should you be interested in trying to plant a persimmon cultivar, check out our nearby Hidden Springs Nursery.)IMG_8102Over the years, we have been selectively allowing wild persimmon saplings to take hold in our pastures. Not only will these trees provide shade for our livestock, they will provide food for my family and the domestic and wild critters that we share this farm with.IMG_8108One of my favorite culinary things to do with persimmons, aside from just eating them, is to run them through our small hand-cranked food mill. This separates the pulp from the seeds leaving me with a gorgeously thick, de-seeded pile of persimmon pulp that can be used in so many delectable ways. I will then put the pulp into containers for freezing and later use. Then, when the pulp is just starting to freeze but not yet solid, I will take a heaping tablespoon and add it to a mug or small glass of cream. Add a slug of maple syrup and a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Stir all of this together and enjoy an incredibly quick dessert. One that I’m pretty sure you won’t ever forget!IMG_8093IMG_8095We will also spread persimmon pulp on our sourdough pancakes and top with a drizzle of maple syrup for a supreme breakfast. (I’m really wanting to make acorn pancakes for this breakfast, but that is quite a process and will have to be in another post!) We have even made lacto-fermented chutneys by adding the pulp to chopped onions and apples! The persimmon-y possibilities are endless!!!IMG_8096After running the persimmons through the food mill, one is left with a pile of seeds that still have quite a bit of pulp adhering to them. Because this fruit is so precious to me, I cannot abide any waste! So I put the seeds into a large jar or crock, add some honey and water, and start a batch of persimmon mead!

So, friends, it is my supreme hope that you all have persimmon trees ripe and ready for the picking… if not, come on over! There’s a persimmon party just waiting to be had!!!IMG_8105

joy

so i loved cher’s random post a few weeks ago, as her mind flitted from place to place she captured those brief moments and explored  them with all of us here.

i am feeling a similar inability to focus on any single topic or task right now, for nothing but the best of reasons. i am awash in all things wonderful, my mind flies from goodness to goodness and i can’t help but be so thankful right now. with hopes that my happiness is contagious, i am going to share a handful of my recent joys.

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each seed planted is an act of faith, with water, sunlight and hope we receive food (or not….that happens too. all the time.let’s be real here.). we always attempt fall plantings of green beans, if a frost doesn’t come early and enough late summer rain falls, we can end up with a great crop. this year, we did. we found ourselves offering unlimited beans to our CSA members this delivery. wow.

dragon lingerie beans, bushels of them

dragon lingerie beans, bushels of them

one week later and said bean crop would not have easily gotten picked. these beans ripened when we still had many hands doing the picking. bean picking is a time consuming, body aching, kind of task which is difficult to be done to completion without plenty of pickers. so we were so thankful to celebrate the last week on the farm with our apprentices in the bean patch. yes, the 2014 hosting season draws to a close. the summer kitchen is getting wrapped up, and our last dear seasonal resident heads back to LA on monday. the emotions that arise with the comings and goings of our summer extended family members can not be described in words. bon voyage danielle, we will all miss you

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as the summer winds down and fall and winter lie ahead, we are looking to other, non garden projects to fill our days. mind you, we still have a couple of big projects in the fields, but the majority of our major seasonal projects are complete. we are turning our attention to the farm stay project,. i first introduced it to you all here and despite the pressure of the growing season, we have made great leaps and are full of optimism. i can entice you with an image capturing the fencing project

all farm harvested cedar posts

all farm harvested cedar posts

and if that doesn’t get you excited about a project, the original wood floors are being restored to their turn of the century glory

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the past week was dotted with many significant and less significant events, but it was one that seemed to play out flawlessly. i hope you all are finding life joyous as summer turns to fall. if you are facing less than perfect times, i hope the happiness that surrounds me now finds it’s way to you…….

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right now:: birthdays and bovine news

today is my birthday and although it is a harvest day here on the farm, we will sneak in a moment to share a white cake with meyer lemon icing and meyer lemon curd filling made especially for me by my dear ones. serendipitously we had the vet out this past week to pregnancy check our cow. dear addie is in fact pregnant which means it is time to dry her off, stop milking her, allow her to give her strength and energy into the growing calf inside her. so, today marks both my birthday and the end of the longest lactation ever for our family cow!!

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dairy friends note, 21 months and 3 days.me and my boy and my cow welcomed those mornings together. now, it is time for a much needed break. whew.