Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My husband has been gathering black walnuts from our two trees in the backyard. He gathers them, lets them dry removes the outer skin lets dry again and then cracks the shell picking them out.

This brings back another childhood memory. Each winter we would collect our walnuts from our tree. My dad would put them in our driveway running over them with our car to remove the hard outer skin, When this was done us kids would put on a pair of old socks to finish taking off the outside skin. We did not want the walnuts to stain our hands turning them brown. It took days for the stain to wear off.

We then let them dry. We would spend our winter nights cracking the nuts and picking them out of the shell. It was a long process. Let me tell you one that was worth ever minute. My Mom and Grandmother would use them in our Thanksgiving and Christmas treats. Have you ever had homemade fudge with black walnuts, or banana bread with them added served for Breakfast with butter. It makes me so hungry.

I am off to make something yummy.


KarenHarveyCox said...

@We had big bowls of mixed nuts at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember my favorite nuts were the walnuts. Watching football games on television as good smells came from the kitchen, we would sit on the couch with the bowl of nuts in front of us. Thanks for the memories Mary.
Blessings, Karen

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I think Daddy ran over them too! They do stain, don't they LOL!And taste good you are right about that.
Hope your back gets better today! I ordered 80 cut out butterflies from Beverly to use as fairy wings...some of them are going to flutter your way!

simple~needs said...

i remember my grandpa putting the walnuts in the barn driveway. grandma was always afraid they would be stepped on and the stain carried in the house on our shoes.
the prepackaged ones dont even taste the same as the ones you hull yourself.
thanks for the great memory. :)

countrygirl3031 said...

Hi Mary ~ ooooo, we have a black walnut tree out back and it stains everything. I haven't tried to dry them yet..someone told me it takes like a year. By chance, could you email me the directions on how to do it?


Queenly Things said...

We had a German babysitter who had a tree in her yard. In the season she would come with her fingertips stained and beautiful brown and I knew it was time for treats.


Hi Mary,
I'm hungry too:) How's your back??better!!
I have mixed feelings about the craft show..I'm pretty sure I will NOT do it again.
Just wanted to see how you were doing before I help my daughter move more things tonight...I should be thinner:) :) :)

Sand Flat Farm said...

Love sitting around cracking walnuts in a bowl at Christmastime! What a good memory. Just takin' your time, watchin' TV or visitin' with your kinfolks, leisurely crackin' nuts and pickin' nuts out - my little sister and brother would talk me out of 'em after I cracked 'em, and wound up eating more'n me I think!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

What fun to read this! We have nothing like this going on in my corner. It must be great to have your own walnuts because it's no fun paying the big prices for them and they must just taste wonderful. (Course I do recognize the hard work involved.)

Sharon said...

Yes, they are good. Unfortunately, we don't have a black walnut tree on our property. We do have hickory nuts and have been picking these up to dry and crack up later to put in treats. This is our first year trying these.

Back Through Time said...

I remember cracking black walnuts with my grandfather on his farm. It was always something I did with him and my grandmother was doing something else. Probably getting the lye soap ready for my blackened fingers, LOL.
Thanks for bringing back some memories for me too!

Sandi McBride said...

Mac's favorite icecream is black walnut and it's hard to find! I love them in my fruitcake...have fun with them!

Mary said...

Mary Isabella,

We used to pick up walnuts from under a huge tree in one of Grandpa's fields. Dad would remove the outer layer and then we would crack them and pick out the meat. A pleasant childhood memory.

When Grandma had flour sacks, she would sometimes dye them with the walnut shells in a big pot on the cookstove. Then she would cut the fabric to make aprons, quilt blocks or sometimes even clothes for her children. Walnut shells make great dye.

Blessings for a great weekend.

Donna said...

My Mom's Favorite ice cream was Black Walnut....Great story sweetie!!hughugs

Dolly said...

What fun!

I love walnuts! I have never ate a fresh walnut...I bet they are great!

So nice to see you!
Hugz, Dolly

Jackie said...

Yummy, now I am craving homemade fudge. I don't have any black walnuts to put in it though. Guess I am stuck with just regular chocolate fudge.

God bless.

Shanda said...

Hello everyone. thanks for taking the time to stop in and leave me a comment. It means so much, I love meeting new friends. I have been picking up walnuts also and laying them in the drive way. I hope to crack them this winter and retrieve the nuts because my husband loves black walnut ice cream. I have enjoyed my visit here this evening,
See ya all later,


My husband's mom used to make walnut cake every winter. She picked them out with her fingers and yes, her fingers were always stained dark but we love the cake and the love that she put into making it. This post was sweet and it brought back some good memories for me also. Thank you. connie

Susie Q said...

Such memories are flodding back now...and how good these taste.
My FIL was always getting these from their backyard tree and my MIL used them in so many things.

Thank you for the sweet thoughts I have now...


see you there! said...

Black walnuts do taste different than the regular ones don't they? They are a real treat around here.

I grew up around lots of filbert (or some call them hazelnuts) orchards.


Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a wonderful childhood memory! As an adult I always buy mixed nuts during the holidays and have them in a big wooden dough bowl on my coffee table. When we were kids we used to eat walnuts that fell from the trees...