Autumn is my favourite time of year. In my surfing days gone by, it was because autumn was the season of good swell and consistent off-shore breezes, and cooler water and weather meant a thinning of the maddening crowd. Today in the garden it means gentle relief from a challenging summer, fresh misty mornings, and the start of a new autumn harvest.

At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying the exquisite taste and texture of persimmons! Not all of my family join me in this enjoyment, but I maintain that, besides stewed apple, there is no better tasting (not to mention natural, nutritious, etc) and appetising sweet sauce to put on cereal or toast than the flesh of a persimmon. Yum!

Remember when we all had fruit trees in the back yard that bore fruit that actually tasted great? Did someone in your neighbourhood have a persimmon tree with those tantalising orange fruit that never seemed to get ripe? And did you ever get impatient, and try one while it was still firm, and come away with your lips curling with astringency? Yuk! And maybe that was your last taste of persimmon, and you never got to experience the delights of a ripe, sweet, delicious, refreshing member of gastronomic heaven! I am so sorry! 

But these reminders of better days have been brought into the new century with a simple technique to turn a hard astringent persimmon into a ready to eat flavour bomb overnight. Just pop the fruit into your freezer, and when it is frozen hard (overnight is usually long enough), remove it in time for it to thaw before the meal you wish to eat it. The astringency will be gone, leaving you to enjoy one of autumn's delights.