Black Walnuts

Black Walnuts

On some of my cousins land there are black walnut trees.  Black walnuts are a nuisance to some people.  They have a stronger taste than English walnuts that many people do not care for. They also are extremely hard to crack compared to other nuts.  They also tend to wear out lawnmower blades, which is another reason some people do not like them.  They also can stain your hands and clothing.  If you get it on your skin you have to wait for it to wear off if you do not remove it very quickly.

A few years ago there was an extremely abundant crop on the trees in the edge of my cousins yard.  I asked him if he wanted them and he said I could have them, they were getting in his way mowing.  Since I was not working at the time, I decided to gather them up.  It turned out to be more of a task than I had imaged. I placed them in our barn to dry out.  After they dry you have to remove the hulls, which contain the stain of the walnut.  This is done by driving a tractor or some other vehicle over them to break the hull loose. Once this is done you are left with a walnut in the shell.  I bought a cracker designed specifically for black walnuts.  I would crack them and my dad would then get the “goodie” out of the shell.  This also gave my dad something to do during the winter.

Cracked WalnutsDad working with WalnutsShelled Walnuts

We wound up selling enough to pay for the cracker and have a little “spending money”.  We have been cracking walnuts every winter since, although I did not do as many this year since my dad passed away.   While I sold a few,  I kept a few for personal use.  They are a good snack and there is no better dessert than one of mom’s apple walnut cakes.

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