Hello beautiful Fall.
I watch you change into a myriad of colors and then, one by one... you shimmy off your beautiful coat of many colors.
Your autumn dance is enchanting.
Here in Northwest Arkansas it is breath taking and majestic.
The peak is over and the leaves are almost all down. It is as if Fall is giving its deepest sigh.
One of my favorite parts of autumn is listening to acorns drop and observing tree nuts still hanging on with all of their might.
Sigh. Oh happy sigh.
We have a beautiful hickory tree in our front year that shines forth with the most brilliance of yellow gold and drops a bounty of gorgeous hickory nuts.
These hickory nuts intrigue me. I have often wondered why they aren’t they available commercially. I’ve also wondered what they taste like.
So, I gathered up a bucket. Then another. Then another. Until I had four.
I dug out my old-timey trusty nutcracker tongs. After the first attempt, yikes, they cracked in half!
Next, I used a strong old-fashioned hammer. It crushed the nut all right… a little TOO much. Pieces flew everywhere. No matter how many times I tried to crack them open, their super strength shells were not cooperating. Stubborn little dudes.
I started asking around.
I got really smart.
I asked my seasoned country-folk friends.
They directed me Lehman’s heavy-duty Get Crackin’ nutcracker.
This baby worked!
Uh-oh. I was now introduced to the next challenge of the hickory nut.
Did you know that once you crack open a hickory nut, the nooks and crannies are virtually impossible to extract the meat?
I mean, really?!!! How do squirrels tackle this?
Fast-forward thirty minutes and visualize an every-so-tiny pile of hickory nut meat.
I had to know what they taste like. After all this effort, I was DYING to know!
I had enough for a nibble.
First bite: Um, wow. Delishy. They taste like a cross between a brazil nut, a hazelnut and a pine nut.
But seriously, thirty minutes for a nibble?
Not worth the effort. Sorry.
For me the hickory tree will continue to be a beautiful sight to behold in the Fall as it goes through its metamorphosis and drops its deliciously challenging treats. The squirrels will gather and bury its bounty and they will wait, and wait, and wait, and wait until it is ready to harvest.
As for me, I’ll use my new nutcracker for walnuts and pecans, thank you.
Enjoy the rest of Fall!
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.