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Darienne

Mystery Nut from MO along I-70

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It tastes like a walnut but it's not very big as you can see from the ruler in the photo. Large tree at a roadside rest area. Leaves are oval, very slightly toothed, about 6" long.

What is it? Can we eat them? Mystery Nuts.JPG


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Good Heavens, I think they are. I don't have anything to open them with except a hammer and so I'm not able to get a very clean break. Now to find out what to do with them...should I decide to go to the trouble of cracking them all and prying the nutmeat out.

Thanks, Elsie. oh...do we have them in Ontario???


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Lots of people use them instead of black walnuts. My MIL used them in her own version of pecan sandies.

Of course she had five kids at home she could call on for nut picking duty. I think bashing them with a

hammer, the nuts not the five kids, is the only way to go at it. Then just use a nut pick and have plenty

of bandages around.

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Taste the first one--there are bitter hickory nuts. Don't want to go to a lot (LOT) of trouble if they don't taste good.


sparrowgrass

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Good Heavens, I think they are. I don't have anything to open them with except a hammer and so I'm not able to get a very clean break. Now to find out what to do with them...should I decide to go to the trouble of cracking them all and prying the nutmeat out.

Thanks, Elsie. oh...do we have them in Ontario???

I did some Google sleuthing which is how I came up with hickory. According to what I found, they grow mainly in the southern part of the province.

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Your standard pecan pie made with hickory nuts instead is something I haven't had in a really long time but it's a delicious use for them.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Your standard pecan pie made with hickory nuts instead is something I haven't had in a really long time but it's a delicious use for them.

Firstly, alas, I don't have enough. And secondly, you'd have to pay me to pick all that meat out of the shells.

But thanks for the idea. :smile:


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Taste the first one--there are bitter hickory nuts. Don't want to go to a lot (LOT) of trouble if they don't taste good.

Thanks. I have eaten several of them and they're all good.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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We lost the last of our Hickorys [sp] about twenty years ago on our farm in central Missouri. Above is correct ; they are wonderful tasting and incredibly hard to harvest from the nut. If you want them, you must be willing to work more than me and I and most other people, maybe more than even the squirrels. Although, wow, the wood is beautiful.


Robert

Seattle

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Hickory nut cake is the standard use. My cousins used to send me hickory nuts but the California ag commission "outlawed" them about twenty years ago so I did without for a long time. Now I order the shelled nut meats.

Here's the recipe I got from my grandparent's cook.

Miz Lily Belle Gibson's Hickory Nut Cake

2 cups white sugar (can use half brown sugar if desired - use a bit less milk as it will be more moist)

1 cup butter - soft

6 egg yolks - big eggs (large)

4 cups flour - use half cake flour if you have it.

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon soda (bicarb)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup bourbon

3/4 cup sweet milk

2 cups chopped hickory nuts dredged in 1/4 cup flour

1 cup sultanas also can use chopped dried apples, toss with nuts and flour.

the egg whites from the 6 eggs beaten to soft peaks

more bourbon for brushing on the baked cake

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

Line the bottom of three greased 9 inch cake pans with wax paper

In a large mixing bowl put sugar and soft butter and cream until fluffy.

Add egg yolks, 2, 2 and 2, beating well after each addition.

In another bowl sift together the flour, spices, soda and salt.

Combine the bourbon and milk.

To the creamed mixture add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, blending well.

Stir nuts and sultanas into the batter and blend until distributed evenly.

Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

Carefully ladle the batter into the prepared pans no more than 2/3ds full.

Bake on center rack in oven for 50 minutes.

Open oven door gently and test cake with a straw. If not done, continue baking for 10 more minutes and test again.

When done remove from oven, cool in pans for 20 minutes then turn out onto wire rack.

Cool for at least three hours.

Brush cakes with bourbon, wrap in wax paper and set in ice box overnight.

Burnt sugar frosting

Make some burnt sugar syrup.

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons butter

In a heavy pan melt the sugar until just golden - use a light colored pan so it won't get too brown.

reduce heat to low

pour the boiling water down the side of the pan, stirring to dissolve the melted sugar

add the butter and stir well to blend completely.

Set aside to cool.

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup burnt sugar syrup

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons light cream

3/4 cup hickory nuts (can omit if short of nuts)

Combine the sugar, the cooled burnt sugar syrup, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl (or mixer bowl)

Beat until well blended (medium speed in a mixer).

Add the cream and continue beating until thick and soft. If too stiff add a bit more cream.

Put one cake layer on a plate, bottom up, spread with half a cup or so of frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 remaining nuts.

Add the second layer and repeat with frosting and nuts.

Add the third layer, cover the sides thinly, pile the remainder of the frosting on top of the cake and spread evenly over the top and down the sides.

Sprinkle the top evenly with the rest of the hickory nuts.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Hickory nut cake is the standard use. My cousins used to send me hickory nuts but the California ag commission "outlawed" them about twenty years ago so I did without for a long time. Now I order the shelled nut meats.

Here's the recipe I got from my grandparent's cook.

Miz Lily Belle Gibson's Hickory Nut Cake

Wow, does that sound good. I have never tasted a wild hickory nut, the kind that Euell Gibbons made famous. (And the young folk here will have no idea what I'm talking about. ) Is the flavor in the walnut/pecan side of nuttiness?

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I think I would compare it to the taste of black walnuts. Years ago picking the meat from hickory was entertainment in

the winter. Ladies sewed and men picked nuts. Whose to say if watching television is much of an improvement?

Used to be able to buy small jars, baby food size, of picked nuts for about $15. Haven't seen any for sale in years.

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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions and recipes. :smile: I don't have enough to do anymajor recipes...and you're right...they are the devil to pick. I'll just leave them on the table in a bowl for random eating. Mostly me, I suspect.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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There's a book, 'A Day No Pigs Would Die', which describes an interesting way of getting enough shelled hickory nuts to top a cake. Not a method most of us would choose, I think.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Darienne, grandkids and other small children are excellent labor for nut-picking.

My grandmother had many walnut trees and it was our job, my cousins and I, to shell them for her.

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Kouign Aman: OK. I'll bite. What method is that? C'mon, you started it.

annabelle: sounds like a good idea, but we have none of either where we live and now we are all waiting to here the interesting way to do the job from KA.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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When I had access to the nuts in the shell - my cousins used to send me a 25-pound bag - I would boil a batch for about 30 minutes then dry them slightly in the oven to make them easier to crack.

That way the shells don't shatter so much, break cleanly and it is a little easier to get the meats out.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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When I had access to the nuts in the shell - my cousins used to send me a 25-pound bag - I would boil a batch for about 30 minutes then dry them slightly in the oven to make them easier to crack.

That way the shells don't shatter so much, break cleanly and it is a little easier to get the meats out.

Thank you Miz Andie. Sounds good.

Now let's hear the 'strange' method, please, KA.


Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Well, then Darienne, enlist the neighbors kids. You can offer to pay them $1 a one pound coffee can. This works best on the under third grade set, BTW.

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a dollar to a kid these days? 3 minutes you get and just enough shell to break a tooth! Ive had these nuts quiet a while ago and indeed they took great efforts to 'completely'shell.

very tasty. but not worth the effort. a tiny shell = root canal.

notice you cant really buy them commercially? wonder why. no way to shell them.

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Goods From The Woods has them seasonally - it's not yet the season for them to be on offer - I got mine last December.

They also sell shelled pine nuts that are better than others, comparable with the Italian imports but much fresher.

Goods From the Woods.

Hickory nuts, even in the shell will become rancid in just a few weeks - they have a high oil content. Freeze them if you aren't going to use them soon.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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