My goodness, yet again the walnut harvest is under way. This year is our fourth year as walnut harvesters. Meaning that we are the lucky recipients of four very healthy English Walnut trees, which provide us about six grocery bags full of walnuts each year. That’s a lot of walnuts for one family, let me tell you. We seem to be in the habit of collecting them each fall, letting them cure for their two required weeks out in the open air (so they don’t mold in storage), then storing them in grocery bags and cracking them sporadically as needed. But once early fall comes upon us and the deadline of a new harvest weighs upon us, we crack with gusto. We set up a table under the maple tree, pour a glass of wine and make it almost a late afternoon habit of cracking last years walnuts for an hour or so. It makes a nice ending to the day and it’s a welcome way to usher in autumn. For both Scott and I, it became a somewhat secret mission to figure out how to crack the walnuts in a way that each half would come out whole. It’s not easy. The previous years we’d load up our freezer bags full of well chopped up nuts, only because it’s really challenging to get them out in one whole piece and easy to get them out in little bits and pieces. This year, through our somewhat meditative wine drinking walnut cracking habit we strived for better results. After much practice, we’ve figured out the best way to get the vast majority of halves out whole.
In the rare instance that you too have a walnut tree, or happen to buy your walnuts whole, this is how we arrived at the best chances for harvesting your walnuts in whole halves.
- Crack your walnut with three firm taps on the seamless side of the walnut.
2. Turn the walnut up, so the pointy side is sky facing, and again give three firm taps on the point.
3. Carefully pull away the shell and gently pull the walnut halves out.
4. With a little bit of luck and practice, you should be able to get the majority of your walnut halves out in whole pieces.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!