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.
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.