Small pleasures #9: walnuts!
It’s been years since I last had a chance to eat fresh walnuts and I missed it so much that already in August I had an important mission for my dad: finding & sending me some really fresh walnuts once he could find them. No better person to ask for a favor like that as this specific preference is probably genetic haha.
If you’ve only ever eaten dry nuts and wondering why we go all extra on this by sending nuts by mail,… just see if you can find the fresh ones. And with fresh I mean still a bit damp from the soft green husk, with a strong shell and with a skin you can easily peel off. The taste is more subtle than the dried ones, but also fresher and just… perfect.
I guess I have never lost the appetite nor the enthusiasm for autumn treasures. When I was in my early twenties and a student, one of my classmates was complaining that she was so-o-o bored so I suggested to go out an collect some chestnuts. “What!”She shouted, “it’s not like I’m still a child!” Well, ok then, you be bored, I just go and have some fun in the park. I find it very hygge.
For many, it might be just easier to get something/anything at the supermarket, but I do have such great memories of going out with my dad and uncles to find all kinds of edibles. The tiny beech nuts, we mostly just ate right away but chestnuts we’d carry home. Smashing walnuts from the old tree at my grandparents’ place was a big event in those days. My dad and uncles would shake the tree and hit the husks, then put on gloves to separate the husks and the nuts. Why the gloves you might wonder? If you would start removing nuts without any gloves, you will never forget that one can make ink out of those husks 🙂
So far in Sweden, we haven’t been able to find 1) fresh walnuts, 2) any walnut trees, and 3) dried nuts that do not taste dusty. When it comes to finding the trees, the chances are nihil since we live in the wrong climate zone, one that is too cold for most nuts. The only thing growing here that comes close to nuts is the inedible horse chestnut.
Then one beautiful day when I wasn’t home, THE package was delivered. A full box of walnuts! Right at my door! I wasn’t home so Joeri took it in, placed the box unopened on the table (he wouldn’t risk any more handling of this special delivery), and send me a text with a picture:
I could smell it right away when I got home. The moist scent of autumn memories!
It might be hard to believe but this weird looking football used to be a real box. Somewhere in Denmark though, it needed *some* repair :-). I’m pretty sure that only the tape was holding this thing together so very thankful that they fixed this!
Right away, I opened the box and said: “Going to try one now, it’s been so long…”
Several walnuts later, Joeri walked by in the kitchen and he said: “Guess I don’t have to cook tomorrow?” Haha.
I’ve been snacking on a few every day and now comes the uncertain part. When the nuts arrived, I divided them in two. A small batch went into the fridge for the next week, a bigger part got placed in the freezer- and I have never done that before- but according to my dad, you can easily defrost a few and they will still taste deliciously fresh.
Well, fingers crossed!