A Tough Nut to Crack

| 12/8/2017 9:32:00 AM

farm sign 

The holiday season is upon us when a woman's fancy turns to baking! And one of the prime ingredients is nuts. Nuts in fudge, nuts in cookies, nuts in candies and cakes, nuts in salads and stuffings. And lets not forget peanut brittle! The most popular nut to bake with is the pecan. Followed by almonds and English walnuts. One of my personal favorites though is the black walnut.

Black walnuts are a basic part of farm life in the South. And they have had a bigger part in my life besides baking. When I was a child, there were two sure-fire ways for a youngster to make money. Collecting soda bottles (5 cents a return), or to sell black walnuts.

2 Walnuts on the ground

We have lots of black walnut trees on our 40 acres, but only three close to the house. They have been there all of my life. Years ago, Daddy would rake up the nuts and throw them in the dirt road that ran past our place so the cars would run over them and hull them for us. Then, usually in late October or early November, we would take empty burlap feed sacks, or gunny sacks as we called them, and stuff them full of the hulled nuts. We would load up the back of the pickup and drive 30 miles or so to the walnut factory where we could get as high as $7 for a load! And in the late '60s to mid-1970s that was a lot of cash.

1 Walnut trees