My Black Walnut Adventure

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A few weeks ago I was walking along the creek with the Boyfriend and realized that there were black walnut trees lining the way. Like, lots of them.

I’m a nut lover. But nuts are expensive. So, I thought, what luck! Free nuts practically in my backyard! With a little time and elbow grease, I’ll be set!

Yeah. It’s typical for me to be a little charmingly out of touch.

This is what has transpired in my Black Walnut Adventure so far:

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Try #1: picked walnuts off the tree! Because the instructions here recommended harvesting green ones so that the dark spots don’t soak into the nut and change the flavour.

But I think they weren’t ready yet. The information here says the hulls should be slightly squishy and ready to fall off the trees. So I went back.

Try #2: this time I gathered a bunch off the ground, which goes against the advice here about removing the hills immediately or they’d turn bitter. But it seemed smarter than harvesting green nuts.

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(There is no way I can shake these trees, as is advised, without a tractor. For me, it’s picking off the ground or the occasional branch at the right height.)

I removed the hulls, like instructed:

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And scrubbed off the leftover hull gunk:

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It took a lot of time and effort, and I don’t know if I’m curing them correctly right now. I’ve read that you should put them outside in the sunshine to dry and, conversely, that you should keep them away from light and heat. A lot of my walnuts floated; the wisdom on that is any nut that sinks has nutmeat while the ones which float are full of air–but I’m keeping all of this first batch as a trial so I can see for myself.

Also? I used gloves. But they seemed to spring a leak at some point.

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(It’s much darker in person. Ooops.)

To be continued…

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