October 28, 2009

Black Walnut Windfall

A co-worker of my husband recently offered free black walnuts to anyone and everyone that wanted them. He's living on a new property this year and didn't realize that his black walnut tree was going to cause him headaches deluxe when he tried to mow the lawn this fall! My DH brought home numerous bins full of these lovely things and this photo shows them drying out in our garage.

In case you've never seen a walnut before it's for sale in the grocery store, here it is in all it's glory! Frankly it's a big mess in many ways and this outer husk turns black before it's ready to be sloughed off and reveal the hard walnut shell underneath. That's probably why a lot of folks aren't too interested in dealing with them and also the reason that the shelled nuts are so expensive to purchase. If you're the one dealing with the black stains on your hands and everywhere else, you have a desire to charge what you will! Ours are now stored in the garage in air vented bins and we'll use them as we need them. According to the "experts" we have polled, these will last for a good, long time. As you know from this blog, we're always up for the experiment!

Here are the beauties after having been cracked open. Oh the fragrance, oh the flavor! There is just nothing like them. I've blogged on the love of these special walnuts before in last year's Christmas cookie entry.This black walnut fudge is absolutely amazing and a great Christmas gift, and a family member mentioned black walnut refrigerator cookies to me yesterday - must look into that! I've used these nuts in banana bread and granola as well, and they always make a distinct difference in whatever the recipe. Even if you aren't able to gather them yourself, or blessed by another's windfall, try them out if you get the chance. You won't be sorry!

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