Thursday, February 5, 2015

Old habits die hard...

Every time we are out and pass walnuts laying in the road, I want to stop and gather them.  At the least, I would like to stop and crack a few to see if they are good  We never do...at least not out on a public road.  There are a couple places where I will if we happen to go there.  One is a farmer who lets Roger hunt on his land, and the other is a place not too far from us.

When we were kids, we always gathered walnuts in the fall.  We would hull them, by hand or by putting them in the drive for the car to run over when parking.  Personally, I did not mind my hands being all stained.  Don't even really care much now if I am messing with them and end up with walnut stained hands.

I know we spread them out to dry, but for the life of me I cannot think of where all we spread them.  Maybe on the top of the doghouse?  (Here is a story about the doghouse to get an idea of its size.)  Even though it was big doghouse, I am sure we had to spread them somewhere else.  After they were dried, we put them in the basement.  Again, I don't remember what we put them in.

As a kid, I liked to every now and then go in and get a few, and get the hammer, and I would sit on the steps and crack them.  To eat as a snack.  In the winter when it got too cold, sometimes someone at night would go crack open a bunch of them in to a pan...just crack them enough till hopefully we could get the actual nut out.  Sometimes we sat and picked them out to eat, or sometimes it was at mom's request for us to crack enough to pick out a cup or so of the nuts to go in a cake or something she was making. 

I know one of my brothers still gathers walnuts, and the old guy we met out near the strip pits gathers them, but other than those two...I don't know a soul that will take the time to gather nuts. 

17 comments:

Ginny said...

We have a bunch of them that fall around here. But we do not gather them. I guess because they are too hard to crack! You have great memories of them!

Linda Kay said...

That brings back memories! We had a little hand sheller my dad would use to get the green stuff off the walnuts, or he would drive over them with the tractor tires. The little nut inside wouldn't crack, but the cover would come off. Remember how disappointing it was to spend all the time trying to crack the nut on the sidewalk only to have it be shriveled up inside?

EG CameraGirl said...

English walnuts, I presume. They don't grow in my part of Ontario. We do have butternuts and black walnuts, though...if you can beat the squirrels to them.

Sandra said...

it is a shame they are just laying there going to waste, that is what all the fruit does here, falls to the ground and rots... hope someone picks them up. i enjoyed you memories that this photo stirred up. i love it when something makes me remember an old memory. we had 3 pecan trees and i thought it was MEAN that i had to pick up the nuts. but i loved eating them

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Now my grandson would love to do that since when we go outside to take peanuts for the blue jays and squirrels he wants to eat some too.

But he likes to get his toy hammer and BANG them open, lol : )

DeniseinVA said...

I enjoyed reading this. How neat to be able to gather your own walnuts. I have never seen them on the ground like that.

Gill - That British Woman said...

we had a couple of black walnut trees on our last property. The squirrels always beat us getting them.

Carletta said...

My first thought was why wouldn't the owner go out and pick them up. If they didn't want them put up a sign to take for free.
I'm with Gill - the squirrels get ours off the tree before they are ready. Hubby gathered some last year and spread them in the lean to of the garage but apparently they got in there and got them. This year the squirrels really stripped the trees.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

We used to gather walnuts with our kids when they were young and sell them so they could have some spending money. We have walnut trees on our Back 6, but haven't gathered any in years. I do like the nutmeats in candy and cakes, but I don't bother with them anymore, either! Great post!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

We used to gather walnuts with our kids when they were young and sell them so they could have some spending money. We have walnut trees on our Back 6, but haven't gathered any in years. I do like the nutmeats in candy and cakes, but I don't bother with them anymore, either! Great post!

Betsy Adams said...

HA ---when I first looked at the picture, I thought that was a huge group of baby chicks... How funny is that???? ha ha

I love Walnuts --but have never cracked one off of the ground like that...

Hugs,
Betsy

Montanagirl said...

Wonderful memories you shared! Walnuts don't like me. They give me bumps on my tongue, so I try to avoid them.

Michelle said...

We have walnuts, but I haven't tried drying them. I need to!

MarmePurl said...

I have a few black walnuts in my basement now...

Phyllis Oller said...

I have learned from the Amish to tincture black walnuts , they have good healing properties, Phyllis

thirtysevenandcounting said...

Look at all those walnuts! I LOVE the fragrance of them!

I remember my folks drying them and then driving the car over them. I only remember them doing that once.

That was quite the story about the doghouse! :D

Lindy

Mary said...

We have several walnut trees on our property but I don't gather them. The trees pop up everywhere, partly because of the squirrels gathering them and leaving them all over, I imagine. I see the squirrel out there picking them up in the fall.

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