The kid and I went exploring in the 100 Acre Wood on Saturday. I swear I have seen an abandoned stand of apple trees on the property, but despite hours of bushwacking, we failed to find it. All, however, was not lost. We found walnuts.
These are black walnuts. I had another batch of English walnuts: they are about half the size. Note the dye on my fingers: through the gloves even!
People have remarked, both in person and on the blog, that I appear to be a rather collected, cool person, someone with her proverbial head screwed on straight. I dunno. I wouldn’t say I am so even-tempered. But I do think I have found the secret of my relative sanguinity: lots of the stuff that I do on the farm allows me to blow off steam! Case in point (or, case du jour): shelling the walnuts.
The slag on the driveway is a great aid in shelling. I visualize the bad things in this world being crushed under my heel as I do it.
If they’ve fallen from the tree, they’re ready to go. One needs to remove the husk before curing and storing. In days of yore, the husks were used as a furniture stain: it is a ready dye that will just as readily go through gloves and stain your fingers and clothing, so…get out the barbecue tongs to handle them, and wear junky clothes. I step-stomped on these things to crack the husk then rolled it toe-heel-toe to dispatch the rest of the husk. Moving the husked nuts with the tongs, I agitated them further against the pebbly drive with the boots and a bit of water from the hose. A final spray-off, then I picked them up and set them in the shed to dry for a few days on a screen. I will further store them in some old onion mesh bags, hanging them in the somewhat moist, not-too-warm basement. Then I will shell them as needed. I love toasted walnuts atop my salads!
Hosed off and ready for curing