Black Walnut Memories

Description: jpeg image, Black Walnut fruit Ju...
Description: Black Walnut fruit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jim sent me this link to a news article on black walnuts.  I think his ulterior motive was to have me make the Black Walnut Pumpkin Pie recipe that it includes (it does sound yummy), which I will, but I know he has a soft spot in his heart for these trees and he wanted to share what he found.

Our Sharps Chapel property has a number of black walnut trees and every time we go by them, I want to experience their unique smell by either rubbing their highly pungent leaves or picking up a fallen walnut.  These trees bring back a lot of memories for me.

My Dad used to have some property in Spring Valley, Ohio that had quite a few black walnut trees.  When he bought the property, we found a homemade black walnut husker in the shed.  It was simply a piece of wood on a stand that had a hole in it just large enough to let the hard walnut shell fall through and leave the husk, when smashed with a hammer or mallet.  Boy was that a messy job. Our hands were black.  Years later when he sold the property, the new owner sold the trees for timber.  It broke our hearts.  It made financial sense, but we got more enjoyment out of the trees than money could buy.

Did you know that black walnut trees have bumper years and lean years, in terms of producing nuts?  We noticed that from experience.  This is nature’s way of controlling the populations of animals, such as squirrels, who feed off the nuts so that there are enough nuts left to produce more seedlings.

Years ago, I took a cream cheese ball appetizer to a party.  I will never forget the hostess asked what made my recipe so special — she had a similar recipe but mine tasted so much better.  I had added black walnuts!

Yes, I will make the Black Walnut Pumpkin Pie, but here is the other recipe in the article that I really want to try first and I think I will try it on the grill in my cast iron skillet.

Harry Truman’s Ozark Pudding

This is an interesting dessert, halfway between cake and pudding, something like Hugenot torte. Bess used to make it for Harry when he got homesick.

  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking power
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped peeled apples
  • ½ cup chopped black walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch square pan.

Beat the eggs and the sugar together until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Blend well. Fold in the apples, nuts and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pie pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. It will fall; it’s supposed to. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Life is an Adventure!