Tag Archives: nuts

Storing Food for Winter

Linc is at it again. Doesn’t he look happy?

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And why shouldn’t he? The two filbert trees in the front yard have been harvested several times by the people,

but still, a lot of nuts are falling to the ground every time a breeze blows by.

Linc wastes no time in getting down there to retrieve them.

Yesterday I took pictures of his stash, and so, having been discovered, he has found a new hiding place.

He doesn’t spend any more time than necessary out in the open; just long enough to determine if there is a nut in the fallen husks.

When he looked up to the deck of the house, he knew someone was watching him, and made a dash for safety up the trunk of the black walnut tree.

He was soon down again though, and scampered at high speed to a new location for his stash behind the woodshed.

I tried taking a video of him rushing out into the open to grab a filbert for his winter food supply but Linc is so fast, that when I tried to keep the camera focused on him, it was hard to keep him in the picture at times. The video is wobbly and not great quality, but you can see him peeling the husk from the nut and running away with it. The second nut in the bunch was a bad one as you might be able to see in the video.

 

 

I’m sure he’ll be back again tomorrow. He does most of his work in the early morning, when it’s still quiet in the neighbourhood.

He must have a lot of winter food put away by this time, judging by how quickly he works.

 

Easy Healthy Granola

Porridge is good for you. I’m sorry. Too slimy for me. So I thought, why not eat it baked instead of boiled? Granola was the perfect solution. Trouble is, the store-bought granola is all so sweet, and who needs that when you’re already sweet enough, right?

Solution? Make my own granola. You can do it too. It’s EASY! Big flakes of rolled oats go into the bowl, about 8 cups makes it worthwhile. After that, you add whatever you happen to have on hand or like to eat, in the way of nuts and seeds.

I like to use pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, whatever kind of nuts I have on hand – today it’s almonds and hazelnuts. A cup of each is plenty. Chop the nuts. By the way, the reason you don’t see any sunflower seeds on the table is because the ones I tried to buy yesterday from the bulk bins in the store were rancid. I usually get the salted seeds for that reason but in this case, even the salt couldn’t save the natural oil in the seeds from going rancid. At home I always keep nuts and seeds in the freezer.

So we’re doing without sunflower seeds.

You can use whatever you want in the granola, but keep in mind that fruit and berries or raisins will not turn out well if you toast them. Better to add those later when you are making your breakfast.

Mix the chopped nuts and seeds with the rolled oats in a big bowl. Spread the mixture onto baking sheets, not too thick, but just so the sheets are covered.

Drizzle liquid honey over the granola mix. I had one hand on the wiggling camera and the other hand trying to drizzle the honey. The photo came out pretty bad. Still, I didn’t want you to miss out on that step, so here is the blurry reminder to sweeten the granola a little bit.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 6 to 8 minutes. The granola at the edges of the baking sheet will turn brown. Take it out of the oven before it burns (which can happen quickly).

Important tip***** When it’s done, scrape the granola off the sheet and into a bowl right away, or the melted, baked honey will glue the granola onto the sheet.

Now take out whatever fruit or berries you have on hand (or not), put some granola into a small bowl, add milk (some prefer yogurt), and top it with your berries.

Place the bowl on a lovely mat knitted for you by your friend and enjoy a healthy, tasty breakfast.

 

Feast or Famine

Everything seems to happen at once. We’re overloaded with fruit and nuts and then it’s over and there’s nothing – unless I dry or freeze some of it.

I thought I would show you about a third of the hazelnuts and filberts I’ve picked up and de-husked this fall, so you can see why I’m late getting anything posted on my blog lately. One problem is finding the space to dry the nuts. I used to put them on window screens balanced on my clothes drying rack and the contraption would stand in front of the woodstove downstairs until the nuts were dry. Since we have a lively puppy in our house, that option doesn’t sound so wise anymore. One bounce too many and there would be nuts all over the place, including the nuts who had to pick them up. You would have to be nuts to take a risk like that with a rambunctious puppy in the house.

So I’ve usurped the dining room table and any other surface I can find. Sorry, dear, no cookies. The cookie sheets are all in use.DSCN3826

The plums, apples, and pears are not there to dry, but only for showing off what is taking up the rest of my spare time. Washing and pitting plums, peeling and cutting pears and apples, and bagging everything in ziplocs for making cakes, muffins, and desserts later on.

Below is a photo of my favourite fruit of the whole yard, a red anjou pear. Mouthwateringly sweet and juicy!

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What a shame that with fruit it’s always a case of all or nothing. I’d love to be able to pick a pear off the tree at all different times of the year.