Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gathering Hickory Nuts

I love hickory nuts!

Until recently, I had not harvested the delicious morsels since I was a child.
They are small, thus it takes a lot to get a lot. Plus,  they are hard to crack just right in order to get them out of the shell. I have never found them in the store for sale. I searched online and found a few places selling them already cracked. They varied in price, but one place sold them for $26 lb. + shipping. Most places were selling the nuts still in the shell.

Our neighbor's tree is full of them this year. He said, "Take all you want."


We're are still  gathering nuts off the ground, and the tree is still loaded.






We took them out of their husk and spread them out on the driveway. You are supposed to let them dry for a while before cracking them. (If you can wait that long)





We have the perfect nut cracker. I just happened to look in our closet in our family room and found  this. One thing about us - we do not throw away much - we figure it might come in handy some day. This was (I'm sure) bought at a yard sale and tucked away and forgot about.

            
 Just place the nut and lower the handle. 
The shell cracks all around the nut and most times the nut comes out in perfect halves.


Hickory nuts are high in oils and do not keep well at room temperature for more than a couple of weeks. The best way to store them for long term  use is to freeze them.




We've got a quart bag full and ready to go in the freezer, and we have many more waiting to be cracked. Just look at all  those pretty 'butterflies.'


There are still more to gather off the ground. 
When they are this easy to  crack,  we are not going to let any go to waste.
Their taste reminds you of pecans and they can be used in any recipe that calls for pecans.
Or just eat a handful of them.
They're good!

Have you ate hickory nuts before?
Are there any trees in your area?

Posted by Janet Smart on Writing in the Blackberry Patch.