What’s A Hoosier Thanksgiving Feast Without Persimmon Pudding?

This is a Hoosier persimmon.

Mamacita says:

What’s a Hoosier Thanksgiving feast without persimmon pudding?  A travesty, that’s what!  Whoever heard of such a thing?  Ridiculous.

Persimmons don’t grow in too many places, so chances are good that most of you have never heard of them. However, southern Indiana is a persimmon tree’s favorite home, and the trees grow healthy and prolific here. My fantastic and generous cousin gives me persimmon pulp, fresh from her parents’ back yard.  That’s right; the best pulp is from very ripe persimmons you pick up off the ground.  Don’t worry, we rinse them good before we put them through the grinder.

She gives me persimmon pulp and I give her loaves of homemade bread.  I think I get the best of this deal.

Hint: Don’t EVER taste a green persimmon, unless you like the sensation a blast of raw alum gives to your lips and tongue. Persimmons must be ripe before they can be used. VERY ripe. Asking someone you’re mad at to just “touch your tongue to this green persimmon for a second” is a fun, albeit cruel (depending on the age of the taster) trick to play on someone. Raw alum on the tongue. Yum. It’s a sensation vaguely akin to being turned inside out by the tongue.

On second thought, everybody should try that at least once.  How else can you appreciate the fun of doing it to someone else?

By request (ask, and ye shall receive) here is my very own tried-and-true persimmon pudding recipe again.  I’ve tweaked it over the years until it was perfection in a pan.

Hoosiers can be very protective and possessive of their persimmon pudding recipes, but I’m not. People have been asking me for it, so here it is:

Jane’s Persimmon Pudding

First of all, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. NO HOTTER.

Get out a very large bowl.

Put the following ingredients in it:

2 C. persimmon pulp (Use fresh or frozen; the canned stuff is terrible.)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 C sugar (I use Truvia)

1 C brown sugar (don’t use fake)

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt (don’t leave it out!!!!) (don’t use fake salt, either.)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 C flour

2 1/2 C evaporated milk (not sweetened milk)  (Some people use buttermilk.)  (I don’t)

1/2 stick butter, softened  (not oil.)  (not margarine.)

Put everything in that large bowl and mix thoroughly. Use an electric mixer if you don’t think you can get it blended by hand. Get the lumps out.

Pour mixture into a large buttered baking pan.

Put the pan in the oven. Set your timer for 60 minutes.

After the timer goes off, stick a toothpick in the center of the pudding. Clean? It’s done.

Let it cool just enough to slice. Most people like to top it with whipped cream. Non-Hoosiers often sprinkle nuts on it.

You can also add coconut or pecans or cocoa to the mixture, but then it’s not Hoosier Persimmon Pudding. Your call.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Part 1

Scheiss Weekly, Mamacita, Jane Goodwin, Thanksgiving Mamacita says: I love Thanksgiving.  Sexist though it may sound, it usually takes a woman to fully comprehend what goes on in the kitchen before all that wonderful food appears on the table. I have several male friends who know, too. Painter Doris Lee portrays it beautifully, and some things haven’t changed all that much since a holiday kitchen looked a lot like this one.

Preparing large meals for a crowd is one of my favorite things in all the world to do.  I need to buy a boarding house. The more I think about it, the more I think that would be just the life for me.

Every dinner would be like a Thanksgiving dinner: a crowd of people around the table, conversation, and company.

I think I need to get out more.

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Mamacita says:  This day used to be known as Armistice Day, in honor of the armistice that was signed on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”.  This year, 2018, marks the 101st anniversary of Armistice Day.

People wear poppies on Veterans’ Day.  Do you know why?

John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields”

This term also refers to the fact that back in ancient times, a worker who was hired at the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour workday was paid the same as those who had worked all twelve hours.

After World War II, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans’ Day.  Many people do not realize that this is an international holiday, observed by many other nations as well as by the United States.

Schools do not teach students much about World War I, and I have never really understood why.  Most social studies classes, unless it’s a specialized elective, study the Civil War (Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn) and then make a giant leap over everything else so they can briefly mention World War II (Hitler was bad) and then leap again and remind students that JFK was assassinated (“I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris”) (“I am a jelly doughnut!”)  all just in time for summer vacation.  I learned most of what I know about World War I from reading L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside, and yes, it’s another Anne book; this one is mostly about Anne and Gilbert’s daughter Rilla. I cry every time I read it, even though I know what’s going to happen.  You’ll cry, too.  This book was written eighteen years before Anne of Ingleside, which takes place when the children are very young and was was sort of “inserted” into the list of Anne books, but that’s all right.  I would imagine, though, that at the time the books were being written and published, that might have been confusing to readers.  Anne of Ingleside has an ominous vision in it, that comes true in Rilla of Ingleside.  I have not been able to re-read Anne of Ingleside ever since I realized this.

 

On this day, let us honor the men and women who keep us safe, both past and present.

“It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America. Freedom is never free.” – President Barack Obama

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” – former president Bill Clinton

I also like this one by Calvin Coolidge:  “The issues of the world must be met and met squarely. The forces of evil do not disdain preparation, they are always prepared and always preparing… The welfare of America, the cause of civilization will forever require the contribution, of some part of the life, of all our citizens, to the natural, the necessary, and the inevitable demand for the defense of the right and the truth.”

And I’ll end this post with this one, by FDR:  “When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”

God bless America.

Real Americans Will Rise Again

The horrific peril in which we are living. . . The monsters in charge. . . The demons that now feel emboldened and entitled to emerge from the shadows and show us what they’ve always been. . . The bellowing and violence and proud grinning idiocy that would have made Hitler proud. . . This is not America, but it is apparently what a subculture of America loves and feeds on. I hope the world can forgive us for this foul infestation when the dust clears and the devils are banished. This is not America. This is not who the REAL Americans are. But real Americans, the lovers of peace and equality and education and work ethic, will rise again. We’re learning a hard lesson about complacency. We will take back our brave, free land and we will never take it for granted again. This we vow.