Today I thought I’d share a few of the things that are going on here this November. I’ve brought in a few harvests lately, most notably from our persimmon tree. I’ve picked all but a couple of fruits at the very top of the tree now, and we got a bit more than 25 pounds this year. That is a huge improvement over the dozen or so persimmons we got last year that weighed three pounds! This is the Nikita’s Gift variety, which is a cross between the native American persimmon and an Asian variety. They are astringent until soft, and have a few seeds along with the sweet orange pulp inside. They are ripening indoors now, and I’ve been freezing some of the pulp for later use. I plan to make a batch of persimmon cookies soon, and I have a recipe for persimmon bread I want to try as well.
I’ve also made cuttings from the collards and kale in the vegetable garden. I harvested some of the bigger collard leaves for fermenting and for a batch of collard soup. The fall greens got off to a rocky start as a skunk kept digging up the seedlings, but they eventually took off after I replanted and started using cayenne pepper powder as a repellent.
The kale I harvested went into a batch of Ribolita Soup we had for dinner this week. It featured fresh picked kale, frozen tomatoes from last year’s garden, and some cannellini beans I cooked up for the occasion. We put toasted sourdough bread on the bottom and on top, and it was a real tasty treat. I love the beans and greens combo, and this recipe ticks all the boxes for me.
In non-gardening news, I have been doing a bit of woodworking lately. I finished a clock last week made from a piece of koa wood I brought back from a trip to Kona, HI a few years ago. My wife and each picked out a piece of koa, and I brought them home in my suitcase. I mean, doesn’t everyone bring home lumber from vacation? I applied a hand-rubbed oil and varnish finish, which I think really brought out the beauty of the koa wood. Koa only grows in Hawaii, and it comes in shades of tan as well as reddish-brown and dark brown.
Now I have started working on my wife’s clock, which features a darker piece of koa with a lot of character!
I’ve been baking bread lately to go with soups and salads. My latest sourdough bake used 100% durum wheat flour (Semola Rimacinata). It didn’t get a lot of oven spring, and was a bit ‘vertically challenged’, but it had great flavor and made tasty croutons for the Ribollita soup. Soups are on the menu often here in the winter months, and with our home-baked bread the meal is complete.
That’s an update of what’s been going on here in November, and I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!