Sunday, March 12, 2006


Today I ate my first persimmon of the season. Mind you, the neighbourhood birds, feeling the effects of our very dry summer, have been tucking into them for a week or two now. But they do not wait for them to be squishy-squashy ripe as we do, in order to avoid a fur lining on the inside of one's mouth. Those of you who are able to buy those crisp little non-astringent persimmons will not be familiar with that sensation. I have to tell you that these old-fashioned fruits have far more flavour!!

The tree is a very old one, and has been producing these delicious autumn fruits for many years. John, who lives in the cottage near the tree, declares that it has an unpleasant odour when it is in fruit, but I have never been aware of it. But then again, I am the only one in the family prepared to risk persimmon dribbles and eat them.

Talking of persimmon dribbles...we always wondered what this indelible stain was on some of the pieces of crochet we inherited from Auntie Mum.

We later learned..the hard way..that if you left a nice firm crisp persimmon sitting on a cloth, it would suddenly get squashy ripe while you weren't watching, and this black stain was the result.

Auntie Mum crocheted this doiley when she was in her nineties. Her eyesight was not the best, but it was a pattern indelibly printed on her memory, and the pattern sequence came automatically to her hands, arthritic though they were. She still used the finest cotton (no. 100). Occasionally she switched from white to ecru to cream in one piece of work, because she could no longer distinguish the shades.

By the time she reached 100, she had conceded to the limitations of age and eyesight, and restricted herself to crocheting afghans using brightly coloured wool.


Unknown said...

Thank you for telling me about persimmons. I have never come across them. And the delightful crochet brought back memories of my husband's grandmother. Her whole room was crochet: not only the coverlet but the valance on the tester. But what I thought was a corker - she had made a crocheted pull for her holland blind. It comprised a crocheted- over light bulb attached to the blind by a crocheted chain. This I thought beat the three sunshine milk tins which, covered with a heavy fabric and then a see- through crocheted cover over the top, served as a footstool.

Gillian said...

I made some persimmon and orange jam once but I must admit I haven't tasted the mouth-furring ones. There is a house round the corner with a splendid tree which just drops its fruit on the grass. Maybe this year, I'll have enough gumption to knock and ask for some in exchange for some jam.
Amazing crochet. One of my favourites is filet crochet with pictures and writing on and I watch ebay avidly for examples and trawl the op-shops for pieces I can rescue.
There seems to be a "fashion" at the moment for leaving things with their provenance obvious. I'm still tempted to restore or repair.
I think that items were always repaired in their earlier lives so I can go on doing it.
Cheers Gillian,
ps I have my husband, who is the sports fan, keeping an eye out for mentions of Peter or Norfolk Island in the papers. Would you like me to collect cuttings or is this a very optimistic question?

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