Have you ever been in the situation where you have had friends cancel a catch up at the last minute? That is what happened to me this weekend just passed and I have to say that I was (and still am) more than a little bit annoyed….
I am sad that I have not seen my very good friend since late last year, and now am unlikely to do so for some time. I was also sad for the (hopefully) fabulous Seasonal Sunday Lunch that was not to eventuate. In addition to a significant amount of (weeks) time planning a special vegetarian menu for my friends, I had also shopped for it, sourcing many new ingredients, and had started preparing the dishes when I received the phone call to cancel. The phone call left me with an abundance of food and a plan for multiple courses that would not be required by my little family, especially as our Sunday dinner is taken care of via our regular Dumpling Sunday tradition.
The upside was that I got to share some of the produce that I had purchased for the lunch with my parents and I discovered a new fruit. Persimmon.
What is a Seasonal Sunday Lunch?
Seasonal Sunday Lunch is an activity anyone can participate in to celebrate, share and discover the food of each season. Mark it by a lunch shared with family or friends. There are no rules, invite people to lunch and create and serve a menu you choose, or ask your friends to bring a plate. You may wish to visit one of the participating restaurants hosting a Seasonal Sunday Lunch if you don’t want to cook.
I love that this idea allows people to discover new ingredients (such as Persimmons for me), add a new recipe to your collection and become more familiar with what produce is in in season. Maybe you will discover a new way to cook or prepare one of your favorite seasonal items. You can find more about seasonal eating here. You can see some of what is currently in season on the right hand side of this page.
Persimmons are in season now and are a new ingredient discovery for me. They are in season in Australia from end February to June. Visit the Persimmon Australia website to finding out more information about this fruit. I am looking forward to trying many more recipes with it soon.
The vibrant color and dense, heaviness of the fruit made me curious but I had no previously inclination to give them a try. Soft, and very sweet, the flavor had my kids bouncing around the kitchen requesting more. I am adding my remaining supply to plain yogurt as the tartness of the yogurt balances the sweetness of the fruit. This fruit would make a glorious jam or jelly.
The Seasonal Sunday Lunch menu that I had planned to cook is shown in the image below (with a few minor changes):
I had started lunch preparation with one of my home grown pumpkins on Saturday when I received the phone call from my friend to cancel. I had chopped into it and had pieces baking in the oven for my Pumpkin Zucchini Dip . This left me with a fabulous fresh pumpkin to use up….Thankfully my parents were visiting for the weekend. They left on the morning of the planned lunch but this allowed me to share some of the pumpkin with them and other items that I had purchased for the lunch. I also made:
- Pumpkin and Zucchini Dip
- An experiment in the slow cooker with pumpkin and lamb neck chops
- A pumpkin curry recipe (recipe coming soon)
- Olive salt and chilli flaked baked seeds. Mr Fresh tells me that I should have peeled the seeds out of the outer casing – too much work! They were awesome as they were.
The other menu items for the lunch evolved to the following:
- I made the zucchini rolls (recipe coming soon)
- The Haloumi I was to use for the Haloumi Chick Pea Salad became a late Saturday afternoon snack with my parents. I fried the Haloumi with chilli salt and a served it with a squeeze of lime juice on a platter of local cheeses and some of my home made preserves.
- The carrot salad did not eventuate. I sent mum home with a bunch of glorious purple heirloom carrots and some fresh Autumn beetroot. I made some carrot and vegetable soup with the remaining carrots.
- With the remaining beetroot I made Honey Balsamic Baked Beetroot Chips (recipe here on Friday).
- I had planned to make Persimmon biscuits for dessert. These become the recipe below as they could be easily frozen and used for lunch boxes. Mum made her famous biscuits for the kids so I didn’t need more in the house.
Spiced Persimmon Muffin Recipe
- 80 grams butter - softened
- ¾ cup of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 ripe persimmon (sweet) fruit - scooped from the skin and mashed
- 1 and ½ cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup of plain yogurt
- ¼ cup of walnuts (5 nuts shelled)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
- 4 cloves - crushed
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Heat the oven to 170 degrees
- Grease a muffin pan tray
- To a mixing bowl add the butter and sugar and beat until well combined and the color lightens
- Add one egg and beat well until the mixture becomes fluffy
- Add the second egg and beat until the mixture is fluffy
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently until all ingredients are well combined
- Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan tray and cook for 25 minutes
- Test for readiness by inserting a skewer. If it is removed clean the muffins are ready
- Cool for a few minutes prior to removing from the tray
- Enjoy your Autumn treat.
Although it did not occur as planned, I loved planning this event and discovering Persimmons and a new recipe. I am looking forward to creating a Winter Seasonal Sunday Lunch when the season rolls around.
Have you tried Persimmons? What is your favorite way to enjoy them?
You may also like:
Join me here: