Sunday, September 20, 2020

Pickin' Up Pawpaws Puttin' em in a Basket

I've been longing for the mysterious pawpaw fruit since maybe kindergarten when we were forced to sing a song about pawpaws. I still remember there being argument at the time as to what a pawpaw even was. In the before times when the internet was barely existent, you actually had to wonder about answers to question for more than five seconds. We had plans to go to a pawpaw festival with my parents last year which were dashed by the pandemic. Before our trip to Kenya I read that pawpaw was available there and was super excited to try it. When we I arrived I realized that it was all a lie and that the locals were just too lazy to say the full version of the word "papaya". So needless to say, pawpaws and I have some unfinished business. I read an article that pawpaw season was almost over and I said: Hell. No. Not this time you damn tree polyp.

During our numerous Missouri state park hikes we noticed a practical wild orchard of pawpaw trees on one of the trails. So we knew exactly where to go, which was nice. After some wandering I spotted one fruit on a tree a ways off the trail. Then I realized they were everywhere. Their green is the same shade as the leaves so they are kind of hard to see. Anyway I started shaking the slender trees and Lydia ran back and forth at the bottom of the hill collecting them before they rolled into the pond below. It was like an old video game.

Pawpaw is the state fruit tree of Missouri, and goes by fun common names such as American custard apple, and Missouri banana. I read some excerpts of Lewis and Clark's journals where they were talking about eating a ton of them instead of hunting when they were in season.

Some of our fruit shopping occured in a dry stream bed. There were some turtle shells missing their turtles.

Pawpaws accomplished!

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