Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Petin and Persimmons

Howdy! It's been awhile, and I had fully intended to write a "November Update" but a world of sickness this Autumn has sort of kicked me in the lungs and left me wheezing on the sofa watching the colors change from inside. Super spouse has been keeping the winter greens alive and mother nature has been doing her, what am I good for?

Gathering peppers, chili petin.
I added 5 of these babies to some soup the other day and nearly burned my tongue out of my mouth! Jeebus. They are destined to become infused oils for "Festivus" gifts.

Looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree doesn't it? It's our sweet fuyu persimmon just before I relieved her of fruit.
First year's December bounty! We have 4 chili petin and one persimmon tree. My Mom made persimmon pudding for Thanksgiving from the local ones in Kansas, which are tiny by comparison, but very tasty. Mine are destined to be cut into Marinara sauce for spicy Northern Italian pasta dishes this winter. They are currently softening up in the kitchen.
Both of these plants are an excellent addition to your central Texas Garden. How ever you want to call your "bird pepper" petin or pequin...there is a difference you know, one being round vs. pear shaped, and orange vs. red...both come from the Family-Solanaceae, Genus-capiscum
both grow wild and often along fence lines, which is why they are commonly known as "bird-pepper," believing that they had to pass through a bird to germinate...which isn't true. But, if you have it in your garden and watch closely, you'll see that the birds fight over them! They are colorful and draught tolerant and mighty tasty! I've found some interesting suggestions: mash up a few and stir them into scrambled eggs, add 3-5 in your crock-pot with beans, torture foul mouthed children...while at the same time teaching them a valuable lesson,
don't eat red berries!
They rate 30,000 Scoville Units of heat and WILL bring tears to the eyes, so be sure to wear gloves when handling.
I also can't sing the praises of the fuyu enough! They are, as far as I know...fairly disease free and uber low maintenance! Some folks say they are the best fresh persimmon, but I prefer the cooked flavor with garlic and's very complex and unique. Try it!
I guess, that's what I'm good for...bossing the family around and doing something with the stuff we grow!
Happy Gardening!


Lancashire rose said...

I actually bit into a chile pequin the other day and had to go and wash my mouth out. The mockingbird just seems to love them so he can keep them. Those persimmons look delicious.

ajanhelendam said...

If you don't mind me asking, where did you get your Fuyu tree? I haven't seen them for sale, but then again I haven't looked hard for them yet.

Accidental Huswife said...

Wow, that's a lot of chile pequin! I have one little wild plant in a xeriscape area and I pick about 10 chiles a year to make an infused oil. I use that oil to flavor things and it lasts me *the whole year.* :) Love the flavor, but can't take too much of that particular chile's heat. My aunts used to actually eat pickled chile pequin!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I'm envious, envious, envious of your persimmon harvest. I love persimmons and it was the first thing I planted in my garden when I moved in. But that spot now gets suddenly shady just after the persimmons form and the tree drops most of the fruit when they are small. The half dozen or so that are left are always eaten green by squirrels. I tried covering them this year and the squirrels just bit the stem off the branches, let them fall to the ground, and then ripped through the covering.

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks ya'll! @ajanhelendam: I got the Fuyu, bare root at Natural Gardener in February...they come in sometime after the New Year!

They were delicious! I threw them in Maranara Sauce...mmmmm!

Amy said...

We had one of these when I was a child. My sister dried them and once had me eat ten at once on a dare. Lets just say mom wasn't happy with the result.