The modest grove of walnut trees that live here can rest now. The squirrels and us gathered up our many gifts. This was a very good year for beautiful trees behind the little blue house at the end of the road. The nut trees bore well.
The bushy tailed rodents have been effectively preparing for winter. They run back and forth, up and down, through the sparse bright yellow leaves of the stately, nearly naked stand of hardwoods. The fast little rodents move from limb to limb, tree to tree, untiringly! The acrobatics are priceless!
I decided against using my antique corn sheller to husk the nuts this year. Paul and I are in no hurry these days. We donned thick rubber gloves to keep our hands stain free. Like two wanna-be surgeons, we freed a load of the nuts of their outer skins and lined the wet black shell - shocked beauties in perfect placement on the heavy mesh screen and left them to cure.
After several days, about a month or more, if necessary, we will crack the extremely hard shells, remove the nut meats and store them in an airtight jar. Only good can come from that time consuming fall project. Cookies decadent cakes to die for and fudge, light or dark sounds like the plan, for goodness sake!
I need to cook some of the hulls that I saved. The green hulls cook down nicely and the finished product has many uses, plus; the fragrance is ever so sweet!
We will use my stain to carefully touch- up a few small scratches on certain pieces of my treasured walnut furniture and more.
My mom used to add coal soot to make the color of the brown stain deeper, but;. I will settle for less of that today. I do not have much soot on hand.
I do know that the substance, "Juglone" present in the roots and other parts of the trees is toxic and can harm both humans and animals subjected to certain exposure. Sawdust and other debris from the trees will kill certain types of plant life as well. However, some of the more hardier vegetation is more tolerant.
I am glad none grow near my garden spot. The limbs from large Oak could fall on it, but walnuts will never harm the area.
Squirrels depend on walnuts and other tasty nuts scattered throughout our woods. They aren't too bright when playing hide and seek. The forgetful rodents bury their nuts and then can't find them when needed. They do not pay attention to clues from this nut.
Now, we are very fair with those pesky rodents. They were first in line when the nuts began to fall from the trees onto the grassy floor below. We settled for a small amount in comparison.
One nut must have thought the transformer on the pole at the dead end of Elm Street was a good place to store his or her bounty. He or she climbed the pole while my dinner was still cooking on the electric stove and knocked out our power.
The snap, crackle and pop was so loud the Sartors and Tootie Mae nearly jumped out of our skins. She ran for cover and Paul fished for a phone number, meantime; I placed the cooled lid back on the pot!. A few harsh words about my bushy tailed friends tumbled from my mouth.
Duke Energy responded to our call in less than thirty minutes early Saturday evening and promptly restored the service. Unfortunately, the squirrel fried like a fritter, as the odorous smell suggested.
As for my meal, the Blue Ribbon burgers fried to finish, the shelled - outs / green beans reheated and the creamy homemade slaw chilled out, a while longer.
The meal was perfect, and more; I served dips of walnut and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Later that evening, my stomach suggested that I add a Tum or two to the mix, and I did.
This Thursday, I will reach another milestone, my birthday. I am thinking maybe Paul will take me out to dinner. He might decide to wait until Nov. 15, our 54th anniversary.
For either occasion, if he says, "But, Mom, I would rather have your beans -- I WILL KILL HIM!"
Not quite, but I will show displeasure until laughter takes over when I think about a birthday with his music! Twice fried squirrel does not sound appetizing, either!
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