Squirrel Aspirations & Black Walnuts!

October 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm 1 comment

Black walnuts are part of my childhood, so when I realized we had a tree in our backyard, boy was I excited! It’s a bit late in the season to start now, but harvesting your own black walnuts is super easy, so I figure you can remember the steps for when the next walnut season rolls around!

Black walnut in it's outer shell

First step is to find some walnuts. Freshly fallen, they’ll look like round green balls. The longer they sit in their fleshy outer shell, the more bitter they’ll get, so the sooner you separate them the better.

Next, put on some boots and give those nuts a good stomp! Rolling them around beneath your feet will separate the fleshy part from the hard inner shell. Another reasons to use boots? That green shell will dye your fingers brown!

I spy with my little eye... a walnut!

Pick them up (I used a plastic bag) and lay them out to dry. We don’t want them to mold! Beware of squirrels – they will not hesitate to steal your nuts!

Once they’re dry, it’s time to get crackin’.

Perfect walnut cracking tool

Grab a hammer. Go find a nice hard surface (like a cement sidewalk) or another hard surface you’re not afraid to damage. Bring your nuts, and a newspaper to help clean up (This can also prevent stray walnut bits from flying into your eyes). Give them a whack, but be careful of your fingers! Black walnuts are about a bajillion times harder than the walnuts you usually find in the grocery stores, so don’t be afraid to use some muscle.

Give it a whack!

Once it’s cracked, use your fingers or a nut pick to extract the meat. I like to use my fingers, but to each their own. The more you do, the better you’ll get – and if a piece is wedged in, don’t be afraid to turn it over and give it another smack of the hammer. Not all of them will be perfect – in my batch, I got one rotten one, and one curiously empty one. Just toss them aside!

Walnut bits

If you keep at it, you’ll find yourself with a nice collection of black walnut bits – perfect for adding to nearly any baked good, and goodness knows what else! Yum!

Black walnuts!


Entry filed under: Busy hands, Food.

In memory of Alice Let them eat Baklava!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Savannah  |  October 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.


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