Thursday, October 20, 2016

Persimmons, and the case of the disappearing acorns

A bountiful October collection of persimmons (Diospyros virginiana), acorns, puffball (Calvatia cyathiformis), field mushroom (Agaricus campestris), and young maitake (Grifola frondosa).

The mushrooms became soup, for a forage walk.

I am in the process of stringing up the harder persimmons to make hoshigaki, air-dried persimmons, a Japanese delicacy. This involves peeling them, quite a fiddly commitment with these small indigenous fruit, and hanging each one up to dry for several weeks. After they start drying they are massaged daily to distribute the sugars more evenly.

Aside: I'd love to travel the Japanese countryside, eating, foraging.

The acorns. Yup. I collected a test amount, nice and dry and no insect holes, to try my patience even more: to candy them, chestnut-style. Suggested to me by Renee Baumann, a chef who came on my last forage walk.

I left my forage collection on the outdoor table overnight, in the cool temperatures.

The next day...What was I thinking?

Missing: Every. Single. Acorn. The squirrel/s had eaten and buried every last one. Acornfest. The vegetable plot was extra-riddled with holes. They liked the persimmons, too.

Sigh. So I must go back for some more.

Scheduled forage and plant walks have come to an end but I will lead private walks as long as people want to go on them. Get in touch to book via the Find/Follow tab.


  1. Sometimes...we learn from experience not to leave treats on tables. Sigh...

  2. I thought acorns were poisonous for humans. The squirrels must have thought they hit the mother lode! Funny about the holes. You could probably find them ��

  3. Been meaning to say, although you may have already thought of this and moved away from the idea -- recently I needed many, many eggshells for an art project. I took a bucket to the deli by the train station where they do a brisk trade in egg-sandwich breakfasts. They were happy fill my bucket and I was happy to have their garbage (and to maintain my surprisingly low cholesterol count).

    regards from Himself (who is slightly arthritic these days but still game)

  4. LOL, you might as well have hung out a sign. Squirrel Feast, right this way. Those wily little critters don't need to have it any easier.


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