Mar 23, 2014

Walnut Picking in Orange

Every year I spend many many hours cleaning up around the walnut tree. Usually I am either raking up leaves, hand picking all the fallen walnuts, collecting dropped flowers or gathering sticks for the bonfire. 
Big walnut tree at the end of our garden
I decided it was about time that I started getting something in return from this arrangement in the form of walnuts I could actually eat. After all, it has been over three years and not a single walnut has been consumed as yet.

Cheeky Cocky!
This year, I made sure to get in quick and pick some green walnuts from the tree (before the cockatoos got all of them). I set to work shelling the walnuts and removing the black yucky stuff that coats the nut inside before leaving them to dry.

Green husk on the left, shelled walnut on the right
Then I looked up online how you are supposed to do this task, (probably should have done this first) and read that it is very important to wear gloves as walnut husks contain a toxin that stains your hands really badly and it takes ages for the stain to come off - whoops!

I am now sporting very sexy stained brown hands and I'm yet to even eat a walnut!

Black grime that won't come off is also under my nails
At least it makes an interesting conversation point at dinner parties, I imagine the discussion going something like this:

'Oh my, what is wrong with your hands?' (Random stranger)

'Don't worry, they are just walnut stains. I've just been harvesting walnuts from the tree in my garden.' (Me)

'Wow, what an exciting life you lead in Orange. I wish I could do that!' (Random stranger)

Home grown dried walnuts ready for cracking
Whilst having a mega day in the garden yesterday, I managed to find a heap more walnuts that had already split open - lucky me! I have now managed to add to my stash without getting too many more stains on the hands. 

Dog A L'Orange guards the walnuts
I am  a little nervous to even crack open any of the walnuts in case all this effort has been completely in vain - might need to get Mr L'Orange to do it for me. I have purchased some nut crackers especially for this task.
Dog A L'Orange's share of walnuts
I was thinking of doing a coffee and walnut cake with my home grown beauties, any other suggestions?

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