Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The Forest Service has this program called the "Senior Community Service Employment Program," or SCSEP (see-sep) for short. So, there are a lot of old people running around the building, doing various things like making copies, delivering mail, and things like that. Well, I didn't see the memo, but apparently the new SCSEP mission is to make sure I don't leave this job without having had persimmon pudding. I was trying to make polite conversation the other day with one of the SCSEPs, and said that I had heard she had a persimmon orchard, and that John said she made excellent persimmon pudding. I've never had persimmon pudding, and I've never wanted it. I know it's a very hoosier thing to eat, but it just sounds disgusting.

Well, I guess the SCSEPs got together and decided Tuesday is the day Susan will have persimmons. One woman brought in persimmon pudding, and by the time I had heard the entire story about the drama involved in its making (she got home at 9:00 last night, made one pudding, decided it wasn't good enough, went to the store for buttermilk, made a second one), the pressure was on: I was going to eat persimmon pudding and love it, dammit.

So, I had my first piece of persimmon pudding at 9:00 a.m. I actually liked it, but I'm not sure anyone understood what I was trying to say about it. It was like eating a fragrance, how you'd think perfume might taste if it didn't have all that bitter alcohol in the vapor. At 10:30, another SCSEP brought me a piece of persimmon cream pie that she had made for me, and then I had to have another piece of pudding to prove that I really did like it. I was feeling pretty ill by lunch, it's a little like knocking back a bowl of sugar for breakfast. But I guess I'm a hoosier now and I can say that I've eaten some very fine persimmon pudding.

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