“The orchards were loaded with fruit, and the forest trees showered nuts upon the ground. In every field were groups of persimmon trees, their branches bending under a burden of luscious fruit, which the frost had coated with sheeny purple outside, and made sweeter than fine wine within. Over all bent softly brilliant skies, and the bland, bracing air was charged with the electricity of life and happiness.” – John McElroy, The Red Acorn: A Romance of the War, 1883. There really is something magical about a fruit this luscious and sweet ripening in the cold season.  Persimmons are a food many of you may have seen at high-end markets in places like California, or in recipes on fancy gourmet blogs.  These are not the persimmons McElroy speaks of…