I want to talk about harvesting – the joys and pitfalls. The color of fall is orange and lots of orange things hang from trees right now and I’m not just talking about Halloween pumpkin decor.

Persimmons abound everywhere but BEWARE of the unripe persimmon. Sure, they may look orange enough to pop off the tree and bite into (the Fuyu variety that is) but watch out. If it’s not completely ripe and just only slightly ripe, your teeth are in for a terrible treat. Think about this when you’re passing out Halloween snacks this week if you want to play a little joke.

But seriously, this year more than any other, I have played tricks on myself. I love persimmons (I have three trees) and have bitten into several not quite ripe ones.  That horrible pucker feeling on my teeth from the unripe lasted for hours. Okay- slight exaggeration.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, find a persimmon tree, pull one off that’s only a little orange and take a bite. I feel it’s something everyone should experience at least once in their life. A green banana will give you the same effect as will an olive off the tree which leads me to my next confession.

Confession #3: I’m bathing with olives.

Let me explain…

I am an olive picker. I love the picking part which probably goes back to an evolutionary part deep inside my psyche. If I were a monkey, I’d probably be the resident nitpicker in the group.

Last week, a friend and I picked olives and I am in the process of curing them. The process isn’t difficult and can be found in books and sources on the internet so I won’t bore those of you who are only olive eaters not curers with the details. Those of you interested can read on your own.

If you do want to make your own olives, find a tree and ask the owner if you can pick their olives. Most likely, the owner of the tree will shower you with hugs and kisses which you do not have to accept. Olives left alone on a tree turn black, fall off and makes a big mess.

If you do end up picking olives, try one while you’re gathering. My grandma did it to me so I feel it is okay for me to do it to people I care about and I have. It’s not mean. It’s a life lesson.

Anyway, I use lye to cure my olives which involves soaking the olives in the lye to remove the bitterness and then soaking the lye out so the olives can be eaten. Bucket of olives and water are involved and buckets are heavy when they aren’t empty even though I use the small two gallon size. When I was forty, I thought nothing of picking up a five gallon bucket filled with soaking olives. I’m smarter since I’m over fifty…and not as strong.

Well, the rinsing has tweaked my back and neck anyway, because I have to lift the buckets over the edge of the bathtub to rinse the olives, fill the buckets up again with water then take them out of the bathtub. Yes, I have removed the buckets from the tub with just the olives in and filled a jar with water to pour over the olives sitting on the floor, but I’m still left with having to lift up the buckets to dump them on the next rinsing.

So, I decided to just leave the buckets in the bathtub until the rinsing phase is over which is about three days. Don’t worry, each bucket have a lovely Fiesta wear plate covering it to keep out the germs which is a lot more protection that we give our toothbrushes.

And my bathtub looks sort of cute with an orange, yellow, pink and blue plate over each bucket against an avocado green tub. I’m reminded of a Van Gogh painting, sort of.

I only have one more day of rinsing which means only one more shower to get through.

In my life so far, I’ve bathed with my siblings when we were kids, my son when he was a baby, various adults who shall go unnamed and even insects which wasn’t my idea.

Each year as the fruit on my next door neighbors’ loquat tree ripens and falls off, gnats infiltrate my bathroom. I swat them as wash my face but they multiply every thirty seconds so eventually I just let them hang around and fulfill their voyeuristic need.

So really, bathing with fruit isn’t that farfetched in my world. Lots of people put plants in their bathroom and I know people water them in their bathtubs so why not go one step further.

The trickiest part is keeping my balance against the wall while I shampoo my hair, but it will all be worth it when I serve my garlic flavored olives at one of my famous dinner parties and the guest ooh and ahh over that flavor they just can’t pin point.

“You’ve got to go out on limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.”

                                                                   – Will Rogers