Thursday, October 4, 2012

Delicious Hickory Nuts

We have a beautiful Hickory Tree in the back of the property. This year I noticed it is absolutely loaded with nuts. So we took the egg basket out and collected a bunch.

They were still on the tree but the outer shell was just starting to dry and crack open, so it was easy picking on the lower branches.

When we had a basket full, we headed back to the house to start cracking.

We sat on the cement sidewalk and I placed a clean paper towel down and cracked the outer shell open with a hammer. Then I cracked the nut shell, which usually breaks in half, exposing the nut meat.

Wild Hickory nuts are delicious! And taste (to me) like a cross between a pecan and a walnut. You don't get an abundant harvest for your labors, as the nuts are quite small, and a lot of them have a small white worm that burrows through the shell. But it's definitely worth the effort, even just to enjoy a few.  


Meredith said...

I remember going to my Great Aunt's farmhouse in the winter when I was a small girl, and sitting by the fireplace cracking hickory nuts while the adults chatted. I still have her excellent recipe for hickory nut cake -- but haven't made it in years. The squirrels always hoard the hickory nuts before I can! Thanks for some good memories!

Anonymous said...

I have not had any hickory nuts since the early 1950's. I am originally from Indiana but have lived in Mississippi the last 56 years. Hickory nuts, black walnuts, and sponge mushrooms have really been some of the things I have missed. Wish I knew where I could get some!! Thanks!

Brenda D

windhaven farm said...

We have a beautiful English walnut on our homestead and yes, it will have those little worms, but I've read that is normal with a lot of home grown nuts. The trick is that most nuts need a resting period after you hull them, but not crack them. We get several gallons of walnuts, and you gather them, and store them until after the first frost. We leave ours for about a month or two after harvest. No worms. And they are cured properly and then once you shell them, they last for a good long time, either frozen or you can store the meats in canning jars, just watch for signs of molding. I roasted our nut meats for about 20 minutes in a fairly warm oven, about 300 degrees and then jarred them! Nuts are awesome!

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