Black Walnuts and Writing -- Again?


Yes, there is more to say -- and part of it does apply to Nathan Hale Parker, the main character in my crime novels.  That connection is described below.

In the previous post, I discussed the 12 wheelbarrow loads of black walnuts and osage oranges that were hauled and returned to nature elsewhere.  Since then, an equal number of loads have been wheeled away.  We had frost here, and that really accelerates the pace of falling fruits.  There have been more freezes -- I wonder how many fell?  A surprise waiting for me in the yard.

I also mentioned that black walnuts are unpalatable.  The whole truth is that some people do eat them.  But it ain't easy.  The nut itself is surrounded by a thick husk.  Peeling that away reveals the brown-black sticky inner surface -- that will stain your fingers like henna dye.  So wearing gloves is advised.  Then there is the shell of the nut, which is extremely hard.  Squirrels gnaw through it pretty easily.  I prefer to use a hammer.

That lengthy process finally reveals the tiny meat of the nut, which is loaded with good nutrients.  But it has a bitter taste.  Yet when used in cooking, it does add a distinctive natural flavor.

How does this relate to Nathan Hale Parker?  Except for a brief period in his stories, Nathan doesn't own a house.  So he's never had to pick up black walnuts from the yard.  Lucky guy.

As for osage oranges, I've never tasted one of those.  And don't plan to.  Even squirrels won't stoop that low.