Paw Paws The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Paw Paw Palooza

Paw Paw GUEST POST PokeSaladAnnie

Friends Drift Inn welcomes mystery blogger “PokeSaladAnnie.” I could tell you who she is, but I would have to kill you. Don’t ask. Annie has roots deep in Appalachia; her voice rings true to her mountain heritage. She is a career woman; a baby boomer with a “real job.” She is the momma of several children. I’ve only met one, “the wild child” known to the world as “Chef.” Annie confides she has a weakness for shoes and pocketbooks. (Sound familiar?) She admits to having “shameful” addiction to good writing instruments….refusing to give me an exact number on how many she owns. All I can say, is I hope she gets those pens in hand and continues to share her memories. Giggles

Mystery Guest Post by “PokeSaladAnnie” No Fan of Paw Paws

Another Baby Boomer from Appalachia Speaks

Fall in Appalachia

It is amazing how familiar smells can send us back to our childhood in the blink of an eye-a warm spring rain, sweet watermelon, freshly mown grass, good food smells coming from the kitchen….these can all be comforting to us through our senses, but when the mere SIGHT of a WORD brings that smell from your memory and you go, EWWWWW, well that has to be one strong memory!

Mine comes from the word PAW PAW! Nope, not your GrandPa, or your Gramps, or you GrandDaddy….that overly ripe fruit that falls from the tree.

We went on adventures of all kinds when we were growing up in the mountains of Virginia, my Sister and cousins and I…

  • blackberry picking = watching out for snakes
  • walnut hunting = stains on your hands
  • apple picking where somebody, somewhere was sure to be stung before we headed home from the day’s adventures.

Paw Paw Flashbacks

Paw Paws hanging on the tree fall fruit to be foraged

My flashback moment comes from our adventures in the ‘Paw Paw Patch’! Oh yes the Paw Paw Patch! The memories are so vivid ….

  • The Paw Paw Patch across the swinging bridge that threatened to send us into the creek with every step
  • The patch behind someone’s cornfield that we never knew their names
  • The patch where we got to swim in that creek while our Mom gathered those Paw Paw prizes that she loved so well
  • The adventure where we had to cross that same bridge again to get back to the truck
  • The truck that was filled with children and boxes and bags of Paw Paws.

The ride to the Paw Paw Patch seemed to take too long. We were excited to go play in the creek.

The trip home definitely took even longer because I had to sit beside those boxes and bags of Paw Paws.

Can you feel my pain? That smell blowing all around me, all the while, trying to hold my breath as long as I could without anyone knowing why.

I didn’t dare tell how it bothered me – that surely would have set me up for a Paw Paw right in the face…..we kids were like that! LOL

The Taste of Paw Paws

Paw Paw Sliced open, mellow yellow ith large seeds

I tasted one, only once….that was enough for me. It quickly became one of the very few things that I just can’t bring myself to taste again.

Over the years, I have scouted out trees and suffered the smells just to get a few for my Mom to enjoy. I tried to convince myself that it was just an overripe banana so I could share one with her….sorry, just couldn’t do it.

Recently, I have found myself gathering them for my middle child (brought him some last season and put them in his freezer) where he has used them to make such dishes as PAWPAW Sorbet!!!!! Imagine that!

Maybe, one day, I will be able to take one and peel it and eat it like a peach and get that look of enjoyment that I saw on my Mom’s face….maybe not!

Joyce’s note:If you would like to hear from PokeSaladAnnie again, please leave a comment. And if you figured out who PokeSaladAnnie is, please let’s just keep that “our little secret.” Giggles

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Paw Paw Palooza
What is a Paw Paw or Pawpaw?
On Ms. Viola’s Porch with Paw Paw Cake
Paw Paw Crème Brule Recipe
Paw Paw Ice Cream Recipe
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About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.