Thursday, 24 September 2015

Walnut Season.



Regularly once a year, I extol the virtues of the Walnut. To me they are nature's panacea.

The roads and hedgerows are strewn with crushed or half-hidden Walnuts at this time of year. Some farmers gather them; others can't be bothered (they have Chestnuts to deal with) and they just leave them to all-comers.

I always gather about 15 kilos, this sees me through the year; usually with a few left over (they make very efficient fire-lighters). I try to eat half a dozen every day.

Walnuts also make wonderful oil, and I drink two teaspoons every morning. Whether this will assure me the everlasting youth that I'm promised, I'm not sure; but I'm hoping so.

They can also replace Pine Nuts in home-made Pesto.

Wonderful things Walnuts!






38 comments:

  1. Walnut pesto is divine. How wonderful that you're able to gather lots of walnuts!

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    Replies
    1. They are everywhere. I also have one big tree (useless) and three smaller ones of my own.

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  2. Yum free food.
    Do you make the oil ?
    So many bloggers are talking about all the berries they are collecting and their walks.
    If you come to Tucson the best free food here is Prickly Pear Cactus pad or Nopales. And the Fruit, or the Pears are harvested when are bright purple/red and make jam, syrup, candy and wine.

    cheers, parsnip

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    Replies
    1. I buy my oil from a nearby baker; she has a very large production and has it all made into oil. I've never tasted a prickly pear, although I do see them on sale.

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  3. I love walnuts too - so good for you! I remember visiting a walnut oil mill near Sarlat - that was the first time I wondered what it would be like to live in France.

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    1. If you type 'How to make walnut oil' into the little white search strip (top left), you'll see a lovely short film about rustic oil making.

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  4. It is pear season in Normandy. Fresh pear, blue cheese and walnut salad . Delicious. Friends are coming up from Correze tomorrow bearing a few sacks for us. Walnuts very pricey here.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds perfect. Walnuts always perk-up a salad.

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  5. Keeping your insides lubricated and everything turning. A spot of redX every day P just called it.

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    Replies
    1. That's my thinking.... keep it oiled!

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  6. We are later than you...
    but are just about to put a nappy under our walnut.
    We know when it was planted...
    an elderly man pulled up and knocked on the door...
    explained that he was the son of the tenant farmer as the eighteen-hundreds changed to nineteen-hundreds...
    as a five-year old he was allowed to plant the walnut he'd grown himself....
    the year was 1918 and he was told to plant it by the millstream....
    he was overjoyed to see it still there!

    But it has leaned towards the millstream and corrected itself for just shy of 100 years and now has a wondrous curve to the trunk...
    most of it is over the water, so the nappy is necessary to make sure we get the nuts that fall.
    Around eight kilos last year....

    It became stag-headed after the big freeze of 2012 and we now get all sorts of birds using it as a singing point.
    It gives us a harvest all year around!!
    Tim

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    Replies
    1. What great story. 100 year old Walnut tree; that must be almost a record.

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    2. I think that losing its top has rejuvenated it...
      rather like pollarding... it is spreading again from the bottom.
      I feel that we owe it to the young boy [ elderly gentleman] who planted it...
      to look after his heritage!!
      A cared for walnut can live for over three hundred years... they crop less and less in later life, so tend to get felled well before that...
      but the wood has always had value!!

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    3. My oldest tree requires pollarding; unfortunately it overhangs some wires, and I'm a bit reluctant.

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    4. Cro, writing as an ex-forester, get a tree surgeon in!
      Trees and wires do not mix... you are right to be wary of doing it.
      Our local tree surgeon is a trained tree monkey and took out the ex-Christmas tree that had both power and phone lines passing through the lower branches....
      he cut small... cut often..... and nary a wire moved!!
      it was wonderful to watch.
      He left us with the four metre high trunk with a ring of branches.... our request... and a Jeanne de Chedigny rose has been purchased to climb up and over. The rose is remontant and has just come into flower for the third time since purchase....
      so that is roughly every two months...
      and the scent is amazing.
      A good replacement, methinks.

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  7. I had black fingers every autumn, when growing up.

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    Replies
    1. I still do when I prepare my Pickled Walnuts in Spring.

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  8. This reminds me of my childhood. My Nana had a huge tree in her garden and we used to gorge ourselves on them.
    Arilx

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    Replies
    1. We had one in my childhood Sussex home's garden (planted by my father) but we always made pickles with them, otherwise the Squirrels had the lot.

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  9. Our two walnut trees are laden this year. They were last year but when we opened them they we wizened and uneatable, so we are not hopeful this year. But time will tell - like you I love them - and also pickled with a good slab of cheese on the side (and good fresh bread)

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    Replies
    1. Very big crops of both Walnuts and Chestnuts this year..... accordingly the price has dropped.

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  10. Date and walnut cake with a cup of coffee, mid morning. Only to boost the energy levels of course!

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    Replies
    1. We've just had our morning coffee by the pool; no cake though.

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    2. Banan, date and walnut cake!! Even better!!

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    3. No cake for me; I don't eat sugar, and I'm diabetic.

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  11. I could not find walnut oil here. ( how was the blood test?).

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    Replies
    1. Messy! She left me with blood pouring from my arm. Still, it was very quick.

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  12. I did not know about swapping walnuts for pine nuts in pesto. I appreciate that info. Although all nuts are expensive, I find that that the pine nut is ridiculously priced.

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    Replies
    1. They are expensive, but just imagine getting the little devils out.... unless it's done by machine!

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  13. We have three black walnut trees in our backyard, but I don't know how to extract the nuts from their tough outer covering. Any idea how to make that easier?

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    1. No, they are also very 'woody' on the inside too. Always best to plant an 'English Walnut'; so much easier to extract the kernel. I believe the wood of the Black Walnut is superior for furniture making.

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    2. Black Walnuts are notorious for being hard to crack. One suggestion is to use your car to crush the outer hull.
      http://www.black-walnuts.com/discover-harvesting-and-hulling/how-to-grow-black-walnut-trees/

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    3. The ones that grew next door to me could be fired from a gun, and not break.

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  14. I envy you your walnuts. The squirrels stole ours again this year. Mind you nuts aren't doing too well this year as it has been so dry.
    Talking of old walnut trees. In the grounds of South Wingfield Manor, which is four miles from here, a large ancient walnut tree spreads out over the buildings. Legend has it that it grew from a walnut thrown out by Mary Queen of Scots who was imprisoned here for some years. (she was born mid 1500s)

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    Replies
    1. The woods around us are dotted with small Walnut trees. Not sown by dignitaries; just squirrels.

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  15. I love walnuts. I had to leave my walnut tree behind when i moved from my farm to the the town. I can still buy local (ie NZ grown, not imported) walnuts thank goodness. I hadn't thought of using them as firelighters, what a good idea!

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    Replies
    1. I always have a load left over from the previous year, and they do light very well.

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