Hazelnuts, pecans, hickories, and walnuts - oh my!
A few years ago, Ike planted a number of nut trees. What a nut, some thought - they can take forever to start producing! Well, here's our resident 'nut' posing with our first pecan last year. Woohoo - looking forward to those pecans.
There's a few more on the trees this year, but don't get your pecan pie recipes ready and waiting just yet, as there's not quite enough to share yet. So it'll be another year or two before we have enough to sell. And the hickories aren't even close...
But in the meantime, we have a lovely crop of hazelnuts...and they'll be available starting this week!
Here’s more info from Farmer Ike:
“The hazelnuts you'll see at market are a mix of the five varieties we grow, which include Yamhill, Gamma, Delta, Jefferson, and Eta. The different varieties have different size nuts but the nut kernels are actually pretty similar in size. These were all bred at Oregon State for Eastern Filbert Blight resistance and hence their adaptation to the east.
We have hand harvested and air dried the nuts, and they are ready for cracking and roasting. These truly fresh hazelnuts are a real taste treat compared to most commercial hazelnuts. Unroasted the nuts really aren’t that exciting (they taste rather beany), but roasting brings out their delicious flavor."
To roast: shell and place them on a cookie sheet at 350 in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown slightly. Over-roasting diminishes the rich flavor and can dry them out. Immediately after roasting, while still warm or even hot, use a towel to rub off the thin brown layer on each nut. That layer tastes fine on the unroasted nuts but detracts from the roasted nut’s flavor. The flavor is truly addictive as soon as they cool enough to eat but remains very fine for at least several days. We have not been able to test it beyond that point because they all disappear!”
If you’re in need of a good nut cracker, we highly recommend the “Drosslemeyer” cracker, which is available on Amazon. At about $40, it seems rather pricey, but it is pretty nifty-looking and works like a dream so you don’t get worn out with tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome AND you don’t end up with pinched fingers! For folks like us who intend to be nut cracking for a long time to come, the price is worth it.
And what about the walnuts, you may be wondering? Well, last year we did have a few to sell, so this year there should be more...look for them closer to the end of October.