Swinging from the Rafters
Black Walnut Storage…It gets Nutty!
Between hot flashes, hot harvest sun, and hot water bath canning….I reach critical mass during harvest season. There’s pickles, peppers, pumpkins, and tomatoes to contend with. Plus the nuts are on the ground. Don’t know whether it’s the pressure or the hot flashes, but I get overwhelmed.
You know the scene “I’m melting….M-E-L-T-I-N-G.” We’re talking puddles here.
But there is hope!
Black Walnuts just need to be picked up off the ground and put somewhere outside where hulls can dry for a few weeks.
They don’t cry for immediate attention.
Once the hulls cure, put on some gloves to remove hulls, and let the Black Walnuts shells dry again.
Daddy used to hang unshelled black walnuts in cool dry rafters of the basement. It works for me except I use the garage. If you have a mesh bag that works best; but I have used a doubled GASP plastic shopping bag with good results.
In most cases, these will hold over until the next season’s harvest.
With black walnuts, just crack what you need for a project.
Picking the meat is tedious, but if you do just what you need a little at a time, the process is not so bad. Plus, the nuts stay fresher.
Black Walnuts offer a strong flavor, well worth the nut picking effort! Bakers go crazy for black walnuts and will pay top dollar for the harvest.
I don’t know how Stephen Covey would work through this food preservation cycle, but I crack what I need for one project, put nut meats in a resealable bag, and refrigerate until ready to use. Usually, the next day.
Experts advise that shelled walnuts will last for about 4 weeks in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer. I don’t know they never linger that long at the barn!
Because all nuts have a high fat content, nuts will “go bad” over time. Always, always, always taste black walnuts before putting them in your latest recipe. If the walnuts are bad….the whole project is lost.
If you didn’t forage walnuts last year, hope you will do so next. Black Walnuts are often available in your local grocery store.