Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cracking nuts and my favorite Magazine

Well I have finally found time to crack a few hickory nuts that we have picked up around the yard and field. This is the way that I crack them. It takes time but I don't hit my thumb with a hammer either.

First I remove the outer shell of the nut. It will just peel right off a dry nut.

Nut with outer shell removed.I then place the nut in a small vise that I picked up somewhere cheap. A larger one would do a little better.
Slowly turn the handle until you can see and hear the nut start to crack. At this point remove the nut from the vise and you can crack by hand pretty ease. If this picture wasn't crap you could see the crack in the nut.
The result is a cracked nut that you don't have to chase all over the yard and it's mostly still in tact. Just remove the nut meat with a nut pick and repeat.

This is probably my favorite magazine in the whole world. Countryside Magazine - The Magazine of Modern Homesteading & Small Stock Journal. What struck me as most interesting when I first purchased this magazine, years ago, is their Philosophy that is posted on the first page of each new and interesting issue.

Our Philosophy

It's not a single idea, but many ideas and attitudes, including a reverance for nature and a preference for country life; a desire for maximum personal self-reliance and creative leisure; a concern for family nurture and community cohesion; a belief that the primary reward of work should be well-being rather than money; a certian nostalgia for the supposed simplicities of the past and anxiety about the technological and bureaucratic complexities of the present and the future; and a taste for the plain and funtional.
Now, the people that came up with that are what I call Good Folks. Check them out and I'm sure you will like what you see.


Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Great philosophy! I'm just thankful that I realized it at a young enough age that I can choose my path before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

We picked some hickory nuts at my sister's house last year, but they had worms. Did you find any? Should we just have picked out then nut meats and then tossed the rest away, not worrying about the bugs? Any thoughts?

I LOVE COUNTRYSIDE!!!!! Found it about 10-11 years ago and I still have every issue I've ever received! It's such an invaluable resource. I've just recently been cleaning out old magazines (why do I keep all of those?) but I absolutely will NOT throw out Countryside! Gen--IL Homesteader

Patricia said...

I'm a fan of Countryside Magazine too--I don't currently have a subscription because a friend down the road does. I share my Idaho Observer with him, he shares Countryside with me. Great magazine. Thanks for the how to on hickory nuts. I'll be looking for a vise...

Marie said...

I don't recall ever trying hickory nuts, but that method of cracking them looks pretty ingenious to me. I also am not familiar with that magazine--I'll have to check out that link, and maybe see if there's any hickory nuts around here anywhere... :)

Cath said...

Ummm, I think you're missing half of your post, Chris! Aren't they supposed to be in a mason jar?! hahahahaha

The Scavenger said...

Amy, Good for you. Wish I would have been a little smarter when I was younger with my choices.

Gen, haven't found any worms yet, when I do I just discard the nut.
I too still have every issue of Countryside, I refer to them often. Glad you enjoy it too.

Patricia, that's a great idea to share different magazines with others. Saves you both some $$.
My way of cracking hickory nuts is not the best for everyone but it works best for me.

Marie, hickory nuts are really good in breads and cookies. They are sweet and are good to just munch on too. You would love Countryside.

Cath, it must seem odd to read a post here that doesn't have a mason jar in it somewhere. haha!!
Canning more apple butter tonight to send to "friends". wink, wink. I'll let ya know how it goes.

I avoid going to town at all costs for some reason. I just like it here I guess. This is my Kingdom, now if they would just let my be King everynow and then. haha!!

Thanks to all my faithful readers, it's always good to hear from you all. Thanks to taking time to comment on my goofy little topics.


Ron said...

Hey, Chris... I'm glad you posted about this! I thought I had tried it once before, but seeing your great pictures and details, and having spent hours sorting through shell fragments, I thought I better try it again.

Shoot yeah! It works good! At this rate, I'll be eating hickory nut pie for Thanksgiving! :)


The Scavenger said...

Ron, glad it works for you too. The best way I have found to crack them so far, takes a little time but hey you get the nut anyway. Good luck with the pie.