I wanted to share my story with you on how I harvest walnuts and about a wonderful Hardshell Nutcracker I found last year that sure made that task a lot easier for me.
I usually wait until the nuts begin to drop off the tree before I start gathering them. It’s very important to wear gloves while handling walnuts. The outside husks will stain just about anything. Even though there are many ways to remove the green husks from around the walnut, I prefer to pile the nuts in my graveled driveway and drive over them with my car a few times. The outside husk comes right off and the shell stays unharmed. Once the husk is off I usually wash the unshelled nuts in a bucket to remove all the excess pulp and debris. I like to use fresh nut meat in my recipes so I usually let the nuts dry and store them in a cool place, basement or garage, until I am ready to use them. Sometimes I keep them in a mini tub on my coffee table, they are perfect to snack on during my favorite tv shows.
Now is the time to tell you about the amazing Hardshell Nutcracker I found last year at Red Hill General Store. It allowed me to crack those hard shell nuts with minimal effort. It was so easy to use – I just placed the nuts vertically between the holder and the adjustable screw and pressed the handle down. The nutcracker cracks the nut outward, leaving the nut meat in large pieces. Because I get to control the amount of pressure, I have used this nut cracker to crack black walnuts, pecans and macademia nuts. At first I was shattering the nut and the meat, but I learned quickly to ease off and voila, no more shattering. I prefer to buy locally or at the very least domestically. I was so glad to see The Hardshell Nutcracker has been made in the United States for 30 years! This nutcracker is constructed of solid steel and plated zinc to prevent rusting. It comes already mounted to a board for portability. The handle is so long that you can easily operate this nut cracker one handed. I loved this nutcracker so much that bought one for all the women in my family this year. Of course their husbands use it quite often too!
I hope this information will help someone harvest all those black walnuts quicker and easier this year. The holidays are coming and it’s time for me to get cracking. My family and friends are expecting those Black Walnut Apple Cakes and Pecan Pies I make every year. Below I would like to share one of my favorite recipes with you.
BLACK WALNUT APPLE CAKE
1 c. Wesson oil
2 c. sugar
3 c. diced apples (Granny Smith)
1 c. chopped black walnuts
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. plain flour
Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, apples, and nuts in large bowl and set aside. Combine all dry ingredients and add to first mixture, being careful not to over-mix. Pour into tube pan and bake at 350 degrees for 80-90 minutes.
- Walnuts’ Unique Nutrient Profile Makes Meeting New U.S. Dietary (foodingredientsonline.com)