Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parable of the Walnuts or How many times can you say "walnut" in the same post?

When we moved into our home, 7 years ago, we inherited this HUGE walnut tree filled with walnuts. We had never experienced walnuts in any other way than to buy them in the store, so this was a new experience.  Andy improved his juggling skills, the kids found a great climbing tree, we and the neighbors have shade all day.

Something we noticed about those hardy nuts is, they're triple protected as they grow.   The leaves on the walnut tree are large and plentiful.  Not only are WE shaded but so are the walnuts as they nestle under those leaves. There is a green husk around the walnut that splits when it's time to harvest. We also found out that if you remove the husk with your bare hands, you have walnut colored hands for weeks! Then, after allowing the walnuts to dry for a week, the shell needs to be cracked to get to the meat.  

Andy patiently gathers, shucks and cracks all the walnuts.  It helps to have a good movie playing while cracking. 

We like to vacuum seal the nuts to keep them fresh for a longer period of time.  And besides, a walnut brick, with 5 cups of walnut halves, is kind of fun!  So far, we have 23 bricks!

There you have the parable of the walnuts at OUR house.

So...if my neighbors don't want apricot jam, popcorn, OR grape jelly, maybe a walnut brick would be welcomed!  
Have a wonderful, nutty day!


Camille said...

But save some of those walnut bricks for Dad to juggle until more walnuts grow back!

You forgot to mention that they're a happy fruit! :)

Connie said...

Camille, you're right. Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts. They're high in calories, but filled with good things to fight heart disease and depression!
That's why Dad's so happy!

Emma said...

Wow you learn something new every day!! I love walnut's

gigi said...

Wow! That is a wonderful blessing of a tree!! My MIL had 6 pecan trees in her yard before she moved. It was fun for the kids to pick them up and put them in a bucket when they were little but as they grew they realized it wasn't so much fun, it was just work! Oh, to be your neighbor!

Barbaloot said...

I think that sounds like a great Christmas gift for neighbors. What a fun thing to do. And I never knew all that was involved in actually getting to the walnut!

Jenny said...

I really miss our walnut tree that was in our yard when living in Springville. I really loved the fresh walnuts.

Kristina P. said...

I LOVE walnuts. My grandparents had a walnut tree. So good!

Melanie said...

We should be neighbors again soon!

Cherie said...

I think it would be so great to have a walnut tree.
When I was a girl growing up in California on my walk home from school there was a house that had a huge walnut tree that's branches spread over the sidewalk. In the fall we children would pick up the dropped ones on the way home, smash then with our shoes and eat them. I always thought it was so cool.
You are a lucky ducky!!

The Garden of Egan said...

I had no idea about the nuttiness of walnuts! Thanks for the lesson.
I think the brick of walnuts would be an awesome gift!

Julie Harward said...

How great is that! Walnuts in your yard...very cool! I've never seen that, it would be fun to have a tree in my yard! Come say hi :D

Brenda said...

I LOVE nuts! Nothing better than a good oatmeal raisin cookie loaded with wonderful NUTS! (oh, I'm so hungry today!)...but nuts are so expensive to buy! You are LUCKY! (I think it is sweet that your husband shells them!)
AND I think I'm gonna ask Santa for a handy dandy vaccuum sealer! HO! HO! HO!

linda said...

Wow, 23 bricks! Now that's alot of walnuts!

Maybe these would make nice neighbor/family/friend Thanksgiving gifts...that way they could use the walnuts for holiday baking!

Yvonne said...

I love walnuts. I'm sure any of your neighbors would love them.

I didn't know they grew like that--fascinating.

It always helps when I spend time reading blogs to walk away feeling like I learned something. Thanks.

Valerie said...

My Grandma had a black walnut tree. After they were off the tree, she would spread them on the gravel driveway so that the hulls would work off as they got run over by her car pulling in and out of the garage. Then, the nuts would be gathered in a bucket and shelled. My mom & dad always got a lot of walnuts to bring home and shell.
My parents have a walnut tree, but I don't know what kind...I'll have to ask!
Thanks for the fun story!

wendy said...

My Emma (from comment above) would not remember that we had a walnut tree when she was only 3 and living in British Columbia. So cool. it's work, but fun to have all those walnuts.

I'd love a walnut brick. Great gift.

Erin Ann said...

Love the walnut parable. Maybe Andy and I should have a go with a juggling contest...he seems like a good competitor.
You're so talented, my dear. I'm lucky we're related :)

Sondra said...

Holy Cow!! 23 bricks - that is a lot of cracking. I've seen walnuts and we've opened them up ... but I didnt' know what to do with them... hmmmm so you have to let them dry -- I learned something new today.

It's quite the process... I still can't get over 23 - 5 pound bricks.. That is a lot of work! Wow!

Ann Marie said...

I have never seen what one looks like on a tree.. so it was good to see the process.

I would use those shells to decorate with. They would be soo cute too!

What a good investment. Nuts are pricey.. so that is a GREAT gift!

Does the cracking hurt his hands?

Jill said...

Ah, nuts.

Natalie said...

You just amaze me with everything that you do.
I would love to have a walnut tree.
I sure learned a lot about walnuts too that I didn't know.
I think anyone would feel "Lucky" to be a recipient of a walnut brick.:)

Fairy Footprints said...

Oh my gosh those walnuts look huge, that sure is a lot of walnuts, I bet they will be great for the hoildays yummys.

°`°º¤ø, ¸Thank you for visiting me¸,ø¤º°`
¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø ,¸ ‹(•¿•)› ¸,¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸
,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸Happy Holidays ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸

Kimmie said...

Connie I am always AMAZED every time I visit your Blog. You are always preserving something is some way or another.

LUCKY YOU that you have a walnut tree and that you got (23) 5 cup bricks...WOW!! That will definitely save you LOTS of money from having to buy nuts and if I were your neighbor I would sure cherish that generous, thoughtful gift!

I'm always jealous of people with trees that bear fruit or nuts. Tracy's grandparents live in Hurricane and have pecan and pomegranate trees. You are all SO lucky!!

You have got to be one of the thriftiest, most clever ladies I have met. LOVE all of your helpful, fun posts and tips.

Enjoy your day!

Small House said...

Your mind must go a thousand miles a minute. You are one thrifty chick! I love reading about your ideas and what you have going on!!