Nuts.....

.... I spent a bit of the time during last night's Sochi Olympic opening hulling a few walnuts for this morning's banana bread....... initially I just put two walnuts in the palm of my hand and pressed them together until one of the shells inevitably cracked - something that I had seen my Father do a thousand times before....... but after a while, I wandered into the kitchen and broke out the pliers-like nutcrackers.......

.... there is something wonderful about cracking nuts, and I just can't put my finger on it...... it is visceral, I suppose..... harkening back to the days when we as a species were foragers..... alert, desperate, and always hungry....... it is deeply satisfying to feel those shells crack as the pressure is applied...... knowing that a delectable goodie is soon to be found...... wholesome, healthy, earthy, and natural.....

......and I was reminded - quite suddenly - of Sunday afternoon dinners at my Grandmother's house when I was a child... she used to make this wonderful cornbread with lard, black pepper, salt, milk, cornmeal, and wild black walnuts........ it was a real treat, and one that she only made on special occasions..... the wild black walnut is not like the walnuts that we purchase today...... it is encased in an impenetrable cocoon of iron-like husk....... as hard and fast as the gates of purgatory...... usually, it required a claw hammer and an anvil just to break through to the goodie.... and then, of course, the flesh of the nut was woven like a cancer through the dense inner husk..... it required hours of work for just a handful of emancipated flesh of the sweet and earthy walnut flesh....

..... I remembered my Grandfather sitting on the front porch patiently opening the nuts and picking out the sweet flesh with the flattened end of a 10-penny nail...... silently chewing tobacco and focusing on the task at hand, he would work for hours for only a small handful of black walnuts...... and then, dutifully as always, he would deliver them inside for Grandma to bake into the cornbread for lunch.....

.... Now?...... who takes the time to work that hard for a simple, natural treat?....... ahhhh, well...... still, for what it is worth, my banana bread is smelling pretty damned good as it bakes away in the kitchen....... life, I suppose...... we change over time, but it is good to think of the Old Ways from time to time.....

by Eric on February 08, 2014 | Bullshit (5) | TrackBack (0) | SWG Stories
Bullshit So Far

I wait 6 months for a post and this is what I get? A post about your nuts?

Hope you are well....

Bullshitted by marcus on February 9, 2014 01:56 AM

Some of the best foods are the ones you have to work for. Black walnuts. Lobster.

I remember my mother's approach to eating a lobster, something she learned from her own mother. She would not merely eat a lobster: She would demolish it. Legs, claws, tail, all sucked dry of meat. All that would remain would be a few smoldering flecks of desiccated shell, a wasteland like Atlanta after Sherman's march to the sea.

If you want the most toothsome food, you must be prepared to work for it. Not your style? Then go right ahead and have some Chicken McFucknuggets.

Bullshitted by Elisson on February 10, 2014 09:20 PM

.... sorry about that, Marcus..... and hey, it wasn't just about my nuts..... but my Grandfather's as well...... who writes about their Grandfather's nuts better than I do?...... so, smile and be happy...... and go in peace.......

.... and Steve, I believe that every food has its place...... and while I love working hard and creating a good meal, I also like a chicken nugget once in a while.... I do not begrudge them...... I just put them in their place along with the other pleasures in life...... as the good book says, judge not lest ye be judged......

.... and Steve, I would have LOVED to have shared a lobster with your Ma......she sound amazing.....

Bullshitted by Eric on February 10, 2014 09:27 PM

My maternal grandmother...Hungarian... would take a beautiful pork roast and spend hours cutting it by hand into 1/4" pieces for her best-in-all-the-world stuffed cabbage. Refused many suggestions to let the butcher grind it coarse.
But I believe the love our grandmothers put in all those dishes was the true secret ingredient.

It's wonderful to see you again.

Bullshitted by Jean on February 14, 2014 02:20 PM

... thank you, Jean....... I may be back one day...

Bullshitted by Eric on March 25, 2014 06:25 PM