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More Leaves, Fruit and Other Young Tree Maintenance. 11.19.18
That's interesting about your ggkids remembering the roasted nuts. The thing I remember most about my grandmother's, is the toast she made on an old heater.
After I dig the nuts out of the shells, I roast the meat in a low oven for a half hour or so. When they cool, they are delicious.
Yes, they require a lot of work, and yes, it is easy to buy the husked and shelled nut meats. And yes, raw, unsalted nuts, freshly roasted have a flavor that cannot be matched by commercially roasted and salted nuts. I don't put anything on my nuts, be they peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, or pistachios. Freshly roasted nuts taste good.
On the last day we were in my home, doing the last minute clear-out, I asked my great-grandkids what they remember most about the house. One answered, "the roasted nuts!" Others chimed in, agreeing.
Yeah, I like nuts in other things, but I also just buy them. I don't think they grow around here anyway.....not that I've heard.
I don't like walnuts much by themselves, but like them in other foods. They taste best in chocolate ice cream or chocolate candy, especially black walnuts.
Even so, Patricia, I agree that it's not worth going through all that. I buy them from Amazon.
I don't like walnuts well enough to go through all that.
One fellow told me his way of opening Black Walnuts. Put the nuts in burlap bags, place the bags on the driveway, Run his truck or car over them. Pour the bags out onto a table or wheelbarrow and remove the cracked open nuts. Put the unopened nuts back into the bags, run over them again. Repeat until all nuts are opened.
My Dad used to put the green nuts in his vice in his workshop and force each nut open.
Thanks Spud, Joan, Randy, for your walnut stories. I suspect these are black walnuts, from the few that have broken husks. If so they are both a challenge and a treasure. Randy, how do you preserve the walnuts? Freezer? I will check wikipedia, thanks Spud.
I read somewhere that smell is our most durable sense memory. Collecting these walnuts, I think that's true. I haven't thought about them in years, but the smell of the husks was like a spicy perfume for me. I don't recall liking that smell before, but I do now.
I remember, very poorly, that we also collected walnuts in the small town where I grew up in Southwestern Illinois / MIssouri. But I don't remember husking them. I was thinking, we just let them sit until the husks softened on their own. That memory may well be wrong.
Here are a couple of the persimmon trees in my yard now. They are very pretty in their fall color. Currently, the leaf color is the same as the fruits.
Yates American (Indiana) Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana
Nikita's Gift, Ukranian hybrid of American with Asian persimmon, Diospyros kaki.
Daniel, your Gingko tree looks impressive. Your walnuts appear paler in color than ours. One taste and you'll know if they're black walnuts or not. Of course, they're ubiquitous around these parts. My tree didn't produce any nuts this year for some reason. But I cracked enough last winter to last at least 2 years--nearly 3 gallons worth!
Interesting information, Joan--both from research and personal. I, too, come from a long line of walnut crackers, remembering my grandmother.
In my experience, it's much harder to remove the husk from black walnuts and they die your fingers, even through gloves. It's also much harder to crack the walnut and extract the meat.
Wikipedia has good information, including some ways to get the husks off.
Daniel, my Grandmother Denoo had a huge walnut tree at their home on the Salmon River at Lucille, near Riggins, Idaho. We cousins gathered there in the summer, doing all the things that kids do on a self-supporting farm. We helped Grandma and Grandad get ready for winter.
The green husks on the Black Walnuts had sometimes popped open, and we peeled them using hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, nails pounded into a 2x4 to hold a nut while we used whatever tool was needed.
When the husks were gone, we dumped our buckets of husked nuts into a large washtub - the old-fashioned kind that we washed clothes in on a scrub board. Any nut that floated went into the trash pile.
After washing, we spread the wet nuts, still in their shell, on a screen door laid on saw horses and used as a drying rack. We kept the drying nuts out of the sun and turned them daily for several weeks.
When thoroughly dried, we stored them in a galvanized trash can with a lid bought for the purpose of storing food. The trash can full of walnuts went into the root cellar.
To eat them, we took a bucket of nuts, still in the shell, and put them on large cookie sheets, baked them at about 350°F for 15-20 minutes.
Don't be surprised if others tell a different process. This is what we did about 70 years ago.
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