The Difference is Persimmons and Chestnuts

Last nite Brian tipped me off to a tree in Gainesville loaded with persimmon and situated on a public sidewalk. The tree is outside Dreamer’s Garden, which also has a Meyer lemon tree (ripe in December). I thought after school today the kids and I would hit the tree. I gave a call to Maria, the garden keeper, just to touch base and check in on those Meyers.

Dreamer’s Garden is a volunteer based community garden. I, however, as a resident of Alachua and not Gainesvillle, do not live in the community. But Maria and I seemed to get along and she was open to allowing me to volunteer weekly at the garden.

Uhhh, it sounds like a great idea, but honestly, I, uh, have like….absolutely….no…time.

So since I don’t see garden volunteering in my future, I felt a little bad about scoring free persimmon. Especially since Maria requested I don’t raid the fruit trees. Right. But this tree is outside the garden. Still, I don’t want to get a sleazy reputation as the fruit bandit.

So I decided to gather chestnuts with the kids after school. I figure I could use them in some shortbread cookies (yes, Harriet’s…boring but true).

Sometimes you can find the chestnuts popped out of the prickly outer covering thing  and just laying on the ground.  Other times, they are in the prickly outer covering thing and just laying on the ground.  I used two sticks to pry out the nut.  My child labor (see below) deftly removed the nut with their tiny fingers.  They could easily be employed in an Asian factory assembling microchips.

Venumadhava and I were wearing the wrong footwear for the event.  Crocs allow every prickly thorn access to bare feet.  

Vishnu-priya  lead the way to the chestnut tree.  She has 80+ chestnuts at home that she collected another day.  I suspect she will do nothing with them.  But you never know.  Stuffing, anyone?

Me and my chestnuts.  I think my buck teeth are becoming chronic.  Note to self: don’t smile in pictures.  God, I am turning into my mother.

My child labor was having such a good time collecting chestnuts that more free workers showed up on the scene. This is about a quarter of the gang I had out there scavenging nuts.

My son really wanted us to do something with the chestnuts (his request: chestnut pie). He likes to eat them raw, peeling back the hard shell with his even harder teeth (all the calcium from my bones are in his body).  I made an apple chestnut crisp, flavored with sucanat, cinnamon and cardamom.  Here it is topped with vanilla ice cream (Breyer’s) and Saffron Cardamom Peach Sauce (Sabjimata).  My son ate every last bite…except the chestnuts. He says he doesn’t like them cooked.



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4 responses to “The Difference is Persimmons and Chestnuts

  1. DailySAHM

    I come from a chestnut growing family and I have had my fair share of burrs stuck in my hands. If you have any chestnuts to spare, freeze some to make a chestnut stuffing in a month or two. It is sooo good.

  2. Devadeva Mirel

    do you prefer boiling or roasting?

  3. DailySAHM

    Roasting. Cast iron pan on the stove top is the best. With a lid, as explosions can happen and it’s an unbelievable mess. If you freeze any, put them in a glass jar with 1 tbsp. of salt. Last night I made butternut squash and chestnut soup.

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