Busy weekend

Last weekend was an interesting one. We had our first “soft” frost! It was exciting, even if it only lasted until the sun shone on it.

We have several black walnut trees in our yard, one big, and 3 smaller. All produce walnuts, but the big one is full. It is scary to see the occasional hailstorm of almost baseball sized hard green walnuts pelting the earth. So far none of us have been caught under the tree at the time. The kids go out and collect the fallen nuts daily and put them in a large box for shucking later. On Sunday I shucked 130, about 1/6th of a box. I wore latex gloves to avoid getting stained hands, but I will wear something thicker next time.

I placed each nut on the side of a cement well house foundation, and then hit it repeatedly with a hammer until the nut came free of the husk. As I did this, the juice would splatter here and there. I may have a few temporary freckles…

It was a somewhat laborious process, but in the end I had a 5 gallon bucket 1/3 full with shucked walnuts. I let them soak, and cleaned them off. Once I was confident I was not going to get any more remaining husk off, I rinsed them and laid them out to dry.

Black walnuts look quite a bit different than the english walnut you might buy in the store. They are smaller, but have a very rough shell, and are usually husked by placing (or leaving) them in the driveway and rolling over them with your car. We have already collected 3 times as many as you see here, and the tree still looks full

In other news, we now have 2 rabbits, Ginger and Cottontail. The story behind them will be the next post, but for now, say “Awww!”

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Hey, I run the place.

3 thoughts on “Busy weekend”

  1. When we lived in Davis, we had a black walnut tree. I think it was actually in the neighbor’s yard, but hung way over into ours and dropped walnuts. We went through the whole husking thing too, stained hands and all (we were ignorant about black walnuts), then were shocked to find out how practically uncrackable the shells were! We used a hammer and it was a very laborious process. The meats we got were delicious. We were only there a year, so we didn’t have to decide whether we wanted to tackle the process again next harvest! –Dad

  2. I remember the english walnut tree we had hanging over our yard in the Painter house. We were forbidden from doing anything but chucking them back over the fence because of their stained past. Here, I type with hands that look like I have been rebuilding a very dirty engine, and I understand.

    I am on the lookout for a corn sheller to take care of the rest. The one that I tasted was pretty good… they are supposed to age/rest for 4 weeks or so, and I am looking forward to seeing how much better they taste then.

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