Let’s Talk About Nuts

 

My friend Lisa shared a link with me yesterday, Acorn Pasta and the Mechanics of Eating Acorns, http://honest-food.net/2010/01/14/acorn-pasta-and-the-mechanics-of-eating-acorns/

How cool is that?!  And right up my alley.  While berry picking late Summer, I collected a bunch of acorns for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, but have since thrown them away because as it turns out, for the first time in five years, we won’t be hosting.

So this morning, the dogs and I headed back up into the woods to collect more acorns.  There are oak trees all over our property, but it is easier to collect the acorns from the forest floor, rather than in the tall grasses… which is exactly like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  Along the way I ended up filling my collection bag with [what I believed was] black walnuts because there were tons of them on the ground – more than I’ve seen in previous years.  I only gathered a few acorns because the dogs started going crazy, hackles up, noses to the ground and bolting toward the smell.  In the field this behavior doesn’t bother me, but in the woods, I get nervous because this is where the bears, coyotes, wolves… bobcats, mountain lions live (and remember, Scott had a bear sighting earlier in the Summer, https://heathercoton.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/maybe-i-should-walk-streets-instead/).  I started making noise, I was banging a stick on a tree, and even still, SOMETHING was running toward us – you could hear the fallen branches breaking under its stride.  I became even louder, and more nervous, and then a huge deer popped up and over the edge of the hill right in front of us.  He couldn’t have been more than 20′ from us.  And then he bounded off along with about twenty other deer who had all been hidden out-of-sight down in the gully.

Back at the house, a little research verified that what I had collected was indeed black walnuts.  I also peeled back the thick, pithy, green hull on one of them and smashed open the hard nut shell with a sledge hammer – the hull has an over-powering citrus smell, and they badly stain your hands yellow and black.  Now that I know what I’m dealing with, I’m going to head back up the hill this afternoon to collect more of those little gems and then process them.

I’ll report more on the processing later – after I figure out what the h*ll I’m doing!

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