Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Loam Gnome on October 21, 2018 at 1:15pm

Randy, I take kind of the same attitude - I'd rather be doing something like cracking walnuts, or digging, or something else methodical, but useful, that a lot of other things.  I call it puttering meditation. 

Toast on a heater!  That's interesting.  I think my grandmother made it in a skillet on the top of the woodstove.

Joan I will have to remember about roasting the walnuts.  If I can, I will try to remember to pick more up.  As it is, they lay on the roadside and make a mess, waiting for someone to pcollect them.  I used to know of a walnut tree in a nearby park, but last year it did not have any.  Maybe the pollinating tree was cut down.  Or that walnut tree might have been cut down.

We need more nut trees planted around as shade trees, and more people interested - and with the time and interest - to pick up the nuts.  Permaculture, frugality, carrying on a tradition, knowing where things come from other than factory farms and factories.

Comment by Randall Smith on October 21, 2018 at 7:47am

The trouble with driving over walnuts to crush them is they stain the driveway. I just sun dry them for the hulls to flake off. I use a concrete slab--waist high--in my basement to hammer them open. It's tedious, but what else do I have to do in the long winter months? Oh yes, I freeze them.

Love the fall colors of persimmon trees, Daniel. So pretty. Our leaves haven't "turned" yet, which is much later than usual for some reason. And we've had several frosts/freezes.

Comment by Idaho Spud on October 21, 2018 at 6:17am

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.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 21, 2018 at 12:54am

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. 

Comment by Patricia on October 20, 2018 at 3:34pm

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.

Comment by Idaho Spud on October 20, 2018 at 3:22pm

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.

Comment by Patricia on October 20, 2018 at 3:01pm

I don't like walnuts well enough to go through all that.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 20, 2018 at 2:57pm

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. 

Comment by Loam Gnome on October 20, 2018 at 9:44am

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.

Comment by Randall Smith on October 20, 2018 at 7:08am

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.

 

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