[NAFEX] Shelling butternuts

Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
Sat Aug 9 13:45:57 EDT 2008


Like Jim, I use a vise to crack black walnuts and
shellbark hickory nuts.
I do, however, remove the husk material and wash them
to remove the bulk of the husk material -
particularly with black walnuts(I've got no
experience with butternuts), as the husks turn black
& mushy, the kernel will become stained and may take
on some 'off-flavors'.  
If you'll soak your nuts in a pan/bucket of hot water
for an hour or so before beginning a session of
cracking, the shells will absorb enough moisture that
they'll bend, buckle, and split, rather than
exploding into pieces when you reach 'critical pressure'.
Usually, with the vise, a pair of diagonal
wire-cutting pliers, and a nutpick, I can get mostly
intact halves/quarters out of the thickest-shelled BW
or hickory - though hickory nuts with prominent
internal ridges do tend to 'trap' some kernels.

Lucky


------- Original Message -------
>From    : Jim Fruth[mailto:jfruth at tds.net]
Sent    : 8/9/2008 8:37:38 AM
To      : nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Cc      : 
Subject : RE: [NAFEX] Shelling butternuts

 Deb S. wrote, "How do you tell the nuts are ready
for harvest?  Is there 
anything special
one needs to do to shell and use these?."

    Once the squirrels start stealing them, or when
the first fall off the 
tree, they are ready for harvesting.  I spread mine
out on a tarp with 
netting over the top to keep the critters from
carrying them off.  Some 
people I know, who don't have a squirrel problem,
cover their driveway with 
the nuts to remove the husk by driving over them.  I
wait until the husks 
are dry to the touch, then bag them up to shell them
during the Winter 
months.  I remove the husks before cracking the nuts.
    When I shell them, I get 90% perfect whole
halves.  I have two shallow 
holes drilled in each end of my vise jaws so that
when I tighten them 
together with the points of the nut, each in a hole,
the nut is 
perpendicular to the jaws.  Drilling the holes isn't
totally necessary if 
your fingers are strong enough to hold the nut in
place while you tighten 
the vise but if you fail to hold the nut, end to end,
perpendicular to the 
jaws, you won't get halves and, more often than not,
you'll get mush.
    I tried this method with black walnuts and
hickory nuts with limited 
success.


Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
For jams, jellies & syrups:
www.bberryfarm.com
(877)265-6856 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My Cell] 

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