Preserving the Produce

In another life I read a book by Chris Stewart entitled ‘Driving Over Lemons’.  I enjoyed it a lot, but I always winced a bit at the title.  Perfectly good title – it was just the image of all those squashed lemons.  The waste!

Recently I have been re-living the emotion.  Though with walnuts.  Back in September I had harvested some.  I then left them sitting around for a bit, they got rained on, and as an afterthought I tried drying the nuts, still in their shell, in the oven. When I cracked open a few (quite a few) …. the nuts were black.  Not good. So I piled the remainder up in the hedgerow  for the local wildlife – one very fat grey squirrel.

But of course over the weeks the wind brought more down – an awful lot more.  And every time I drove up our lane to the house I heard the crunch.  Nuts crushed under wheel.  And then the squirrel, not content with the gift of a pile of rancid walnuts in the hedgerow, started gathering the newly fallen nuts and burying them in the veg plot.  And then the fat squirrel turned up with his friend and they both started burying nuts … in the veg plot.

Enough is Enough!

walnutscompressedSo time to try again – the larger nuts I shall experiment with air drying in wire racks over the boiler, the smaller nuts I will hull and air dry.  Walnuts freeze well, so I will freeze the hulled nuts to use in baking and, fingers crossed, hope that I will be cracking a few of those in their shell at christmas with the OH.

Otherwise I will be digging up nuts with the squirrel….


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