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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cookbook Wednesday; Menu Magic in a Nutshell

undated booklet:(
Menu Magic Nutshell

More than one person has informed me that they have gained weight while trying to lower their cholesterol. I think I know the reason why. Walnuts! Now, don’t get me wrong, pretty much everything I have read about walnuts leads me to believe they are not only heart healthy but also an excellent contributor to lowering cholesterol. They are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and, high in antioxidant vitamin E. The thing is, they are heavy in calories too.

Walnuts

You might remember I was on a walnut kick a while back. That was before my “episode.” At that time, I was curious to see if they really were a good substitute for hair dye, lol…Well, it seems they are if you don’t mind the mess, which at this time, I still do. I’ll take mine shelled please but, if you have never seen a walnut in it’s “raw”, here’s what they look like thanks to my pal Harry:)

Raw Walnuts

I wouldn’t even mind if they were all spiffed up and still had their shells on. After all, cajoling those rugged kernels out of their shells is half the fun.

Walnut Meatballs

Although, my very best favorite way to enjoy them is quite simple; piled in a plate with some raisins. That’s how I’ve been eating them lately and I’m just fine with that. But, just in case you would prefer some embellishments, have I got a leaflet for you. It too is undated:)

Cherry Walnut Cake
Cherry Walnut Cake

Have you guessed that we’re celebrating Walnuts today, lol??? That’s because October is National Nut Month! Actually, celebrating nuts in October isn’t nutty at all. It’s one of the few monthly celebrations that actually make sense. Many nuts are harvested in the Autumn. Here’s a brief run down from Mark’s Daily Apple. BTW, did you know you can freeze most nuts? I didn’t:)

  • Almonds: August-November
  • Chestnuts: October-December
  • Pecans: September-November
  • Pistachios: September-October
  • Walnuts: November-June
  • Hazelnuts: October

The next recipe booklet from the Diamond Walnut people is most likely the “newest.”

Diamond Walnut Recipes
From their website:
…The man who did more than any other to promote early commercial walnut growing in California was Joseph Sexton, who settled in the Santa Barbara area in 1867 and began planting walnuts. Through selective breeding and experimentation, he focused on promising ‘soft-shelled’ varieties. Word of his developments spread, and soon other growers were planting Sexton’s superior seedlings. At about the same time, Nevada City nurseryman Felix Gillet began introducing walnut varieties from France…

Choosing a recipe wasn’t difficult:)

Doesn’t Chicken with Walnut Dumplings sound yummy?

Chicken Walnut Dumplings

I just wouldn’t feel like we celebrated the walnut properly unless I included the “Black Walnut.” Yes indeed, there is a difference between Black Walnuts and English Walnuts or what most people think of as California walnuts. I know, this gets a bit nutty and complicated too. So complicated as a matter of fact I’m not even sure what kind of nuts Harry gave me! They are since long gone so I’ll have to wait to find out:)

…While there are numerous species of walnut trees, three of the main types of walnuts consumed are the English (or Persian) walnut, Juglans regia; the black walnut, Juglans nigra; and the white (or butternut) walnut, Juglans cinerea. The English walnut is the most popular type in the United States and features a thinner shell that is easily broken with a nutcracker. The black walnut has thicker shells that are harder to crack and a much more pungent distinctive flavor. The white walnut features a sweeter and oilier taste than the other two types, although it is not as widely available and therefore may be more difficult to find in the marketplace. Within these basic types of walnuts, there are dozens of different varieties (also called cultivars). It's not uncommon to see research studies that evaluate several dozen different cultivars of English or black walnuts. All types and varieties of walnuts can have unique nutrient composition. Sometimes within a particular type of walnut—for example, English walnut—there is a surprising amount of nutritional variety. The bottom line here is to not to get caught up in thinking that one main type of walnut (for example, English versus black) is best, but to take advantage of the nutritional variety offered by walnuts overall…The George Mateljan Foundation.

According to the folks at Missouri Life, the Eastern Black Walnut was named the Missouri State Tree Nut in 1989 and, Missouri supplies 70 Percent of the world's Black Walnuts. Wow! Did you know that? I didn’t.

Pickup trucks across the state laden with black walnuts head to one of about 125 collection points in Missouri beginning October 1, and thirteen dollars per hundred-weight is exchanged for the unique nut found only in our region of the world. The natural range of black walnut trees is broader than Missouri. It stretches east through western Pennsylvania and Virginia, south to eastern Texas, and north to southern Nebraska. Black walnut is even scattered in New York and southern Canada, according to the Walnut Council. But it is here in Missouri where most of the nuts are collected and processed.

At the forefront of the Missouri Black Walnut industry is a company by the name of The Hammons Products Company. They have been processing black walnuts since 1946 and sell most of the country’s black walnuts under the Missouri Dandy Pantry label. I just happen to have one of their recipe flyers to share with you today.

So there we have it. Oh, wait, one more thing, there’s a Black Walnut Beer that may be of interest to you beer nut fans. I know I’m curious:) It’s called Black Walnut Wheat by the Piney River Brewing Company based in Bucyrus, Missouri. It sounds like the Opulent Opossum is mighty proud!

P.S. I just popped over to Mae's food blog for a visit when what to my delight should I discover but Mae sharing some Eastern European Cookbooks from her collection. I hadn't really thought about others wanting to participate in Cookbook Wednesday but my oh my, if you would like to, by all means do! No rules, just cookbooks. I'm even going to try to come up with some kind of logo; just in case:) In the mean time, do hop on over to Mae's and take a peek at some of her Eastern European Cookbooks:)

Resources
1. Walnut History & Cultivation
2. Seasons for Nuts and Seeds
3. How To Freeze Nuts
4. Soak & Dehydrate Nuts for Optimum Digestibility
5. How to Freeze Nuts to Maintain Freshness
6. Black Walnut Hull Herb Profile
7. Where to Find Black Walnuts

61 comments:

  1. Thanks for once again a totally fascinating walk through food history! I just found some walnuts in my freezer -- have to think up something to do with them. (A refrigerator repair means that I'm going to be defrosting everything!) The cakes look wonderful but a bit over-the-top for just 2 people!

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    1. Freeze the cake Mae! I just ook the Ugly Apple Cake out of the freezer yesterday and it was like having it for the first time all over again. I'm sure that cake could be frozen unfrosted; after the freezer reapir of course:)

      Thank you so much for joining me in Cookbook Wednesday, Mae. It was such a nice surprise to see your post today and of course those Eastern European Cookbooks of yours.

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  2. We have a black walnut tree out back. It's about a foot in diameter, I think. I believe we also have a butternut tree. I prefer English walnuts, because they have a milder flavor, and they don't blacken your hands when you crack them...not that I do, of course. The boys crack walnuts on Thanksgiving and Christmas for sport, without nutcrackers. silly boys. I put walnuts in all kinds of baked goods - brownies, cookies, nut breads, carrot cake, applesauce cake. I buy big bags of them, chop, keep in a sealed canister, and use often. But for snacking, we usually turn to peanuts. I'm not sure why!

    Great post, as always. Glad you're enjoying "eating healthy", even if you're not enjoying "natural hair dye"!

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    1. I'm surprised the boys don't dig out a cement mixer to crack those walnuts, Marjie. It's one of the many of gyrations I've read about that people go through to crack black walnuts, lol...Thanks for visiting, Marjie...

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  3. I need to try the walnut dumplings. They sound wonderful. I do love walnuts especially the black walnuts:)

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    1. I'm going to try those dumplings too, Geraldine. They make the thought of Chicken and Dumplings sounds so "exotic," lol...

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  4. Walnut meat balls? That's one I'm not going to try! I really like black walnuts, but I've met quite a few people who can't stand them. More for me! Too bad they're so expensive, though. But they're hard to grow in orchards (all the harvest comes from what are essentially wild trees), so they don't take to "farming." Good post -- thanks.

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    1. Now, now John, you never know until you try:) After researching this post, I can certainly understand why all walnuts are so expensive. Wow! They sure do take a lot of effort! But oh so good and, healthy!!! Thanks for popping by John...

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  5. You and the Knight must be kindred spirits. He's a huge walnut fan too, and if he knew Marjie had a black walnut tree, he would invite himself up quick, fast and in a hurry.

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    1. I din't know Marjie had a Black Walnut tree either, tell the Knight I'll me you both there!

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  6. Good evening Louise ,
    Wonderful post and I do so love walnuts , Black and English walnuts . Now you know I will have to try the chicken and walnut dumplings . All those great ingredients will make it worthwhile and it don't take much time . Hmmm good . haven't had walnut meatballs but it do sound interesting . I have put English walnuts in my duck dressing . All the recipes sounds good and as you know my family will try anything once (giggling) .
    I think I will make the fancy cake this weekend , having company so that means two .
    the post was great as usual and thanks for sharing . :)

    PS: Hey Louise ... don't forget to wiggle those toes ;- D

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    1. Duck dressing Nee, really? Now that sounds yummy! I too am going to try the dumplings and the meatballs. What the heck, they sure sound intriguing. Thanks for the wiggling toes reminder. I keep forgetting to include it at the end of my posts. Thank goodness you don't! Have the kids made up a wiggle your toes song yet, lol…?

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  7. Hi Louise, wow, very well written and excellent description of walnut. If I am not wrong, walnut is great for brain too. Eh.. I like the way you snack walnut with raisins. I love it. Will do it too. Both are my favorite snack for snacking. Besides that, making your own walnut drinks for breakfast is also very healthy and nutritious. Yummy too! Thanks for sharing, Louise and warmest regards :)

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    1. Yes, Ivy, I did read walnuts are good for the brain too. I guess I need to eat plenty more, lol...Walnut drink? Now that sounds interesting. I must check into that:) So glad you this post Ivy. It was fun sharing too:)

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  8. Dear Louise,
    Absolutely a terrific post on walnuts! My whole family loves them in anything, from cakes, to veggies..My mom loves to eat a few before dinner....I remember when I was a young girl, my mom always had a bowl of nuts on the table after dinner with many different fruits. That was before the desserts would come out. I love to fix them in the bowl and make sure that the nut crackers were polished nicely. The one photo on your blog post, :The Walnut Bowl" reminded me of my story. What a wonderful post, to bring us all back to our childhoods with nuts.(the kind you eat) All the recipes all look so interesting. I have to try the Black Walnut one. They are so crunchy, delicious, and healthy too! I think I have an old cookbook or two from when my grandmother was around. Have to find and I will share as well. Thank you Louise for sharing this yummy nut with us all. Have a blessed day!
    Dottie :)

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    1. Oh you're so sweet Dottie, thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, maost of us think of nuts during the holidays but they really are worthy of more time on the table:) We always had big bowls and nut crackers on the table too. I think at that time Chestnuts were my favorite with Nat King Cole in the background, lol...Thank you so much for visiting, Dottie...

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  9. I like walnut very much. Only setback is that sometimes that do give out some awful smell if they're dated. I've to agree with Ivy that Walnut is a great brain food.

    Sorry, been so busy haven't had time to come by & I'll be flying off again next week. xoxo

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    1. I guess we'll all be finding out if the brain food theory is true, Shirley because, I sure have been munching on a whole lot of walnuts, lol...Not to worry Shirley you have a blast!!!

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  10. Hi Louise! As always your post is very interesting...I didn't know all that stuff about walnuts! I know I love them though, and I am also very conscious of the fact that they have a lot of calories...but who cares? I love eating them like you do, simple, just cracked out of the shell. Thank you dear for the vintage recipes, which are lovely, and for all the information you give us! A big hug, Mary

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post Mary. I didn't know a lot of this information either until I was getting ready to post, lol...I'm eating walnuts right now:) Thank you so much for visiting, Mary...

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  11. I have never seen a raw walnut before - I wouldn't have recognised them! The cherry walnut cake looks devine.

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    1. They sure do look different don't they Gaye. Their unusual look is what made me want to find out what they were because I would never have guessed they were walnuts and oh so messy to clean. I can definitely understand their price now. Very labor intensive!

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  12. lovin wallnut all the way, unfortunately it's pretty pricey and hard to found here in Indonesia

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    1. I know they can be very expensive, Dedy. They are very labor intensive but oh so delicious!

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  13. Dear Louise I love your post.Always so fun:))
    I love waltnuts but not always I find.Especially we use a lot for Christmas!!
    We have almonds tree! But the birds eat a lot lol
    I love caramel wsltnuts in salad too!
    Really tasty!
    Hugs
    xo

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    1. How lucky you are to have an Almond tree. It must be so pretty. We have flowering almonds here which bear no fruit but they are lovely. Maybe one day you could take a picture and show us Gloria...Caramel Walnuts sounds oh so good, Gloria! I may just need to make those for a special occasion!

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  14. My grandparents had a black walnut tree. My grandmother collected the walnuts, dried them, shelled them, and baked with them frequently. I've never like the flavor of black walnuts! I always avoided her cookies made with them. But, I love English walnuts. Thanks for the info here!

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    1. I never realized there was such a difference, Lisa but apparently there is. I'm thinking Harry's were English walnuts but just as difficult to clean and shell. Thanks so much for popping by...

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  15. I am huge lover of walnuts and will add these recipes to my to try list. Clarice

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post Clarice. I've become a huge fan of walnuts the last couple of months! Enjoy the recipes:)

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  16. Dear Louise, I do love walnuts and I have heard of all the healthy benefits of nuts; all different varieties; though these goodies have become so expensive these days. I don't really know why. I love the old retro recipes. They simply are full of flavor and goodness. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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    1. You are so right, Catherine. Walnuts are so "dear" price wise. I understand the amount of effort it takes to harvest, clean and shell them but, I think they sure could be a little less money. So glad you enjoyed this post Catherine:) Thank you so much for visiting...

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  17. Oh you have made with think carefully about all the nuts I eat every day! Whenever I am hungry I have a handful of almonds...but you are right, nuts are high in calories. I think they are OK if you have a smaller dinner. I guess most of us eat them as well as a big dinner. Well... it could be worse. Better than a bar of kit kat!
    Walnuts are ever so healthy...let's have more of them..lol!

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    1. Sounds like you have already discovered the goodness of nuts, Alida. I've been eating just 5 almonds every day and lots of walnuts too and raisins too. I love Kit Kat bars, Alida but I must say, walnuts have been keeping me pretty happy too. Thank you so much for visiting, Alida...

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  18. It's times like this that I wished my hubby would eat nuts. Those walnut dumplings sound amazing...and I'd love that black walnut fancy cake, too! Happy walnut month, Louise!

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    1. Marion isn't too nutty about nuts either Liz so I've been trying to work around it. I make up for it while I'm sitting at the computer, lol...

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  19. I love all kinds of nuts. Walnuts are among my favorites. I freeze nuts all the time, my mom did that when I was a kid. I grew up in Wisconsin where we had lot of hickory nut trees, we would pick tons of these nuts each year. My mom would crack them and we would pick out the nuts and then she would freeze them to keep them fresh.

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    1. We never had nut trees on Long Island, Dawn. I guess that's why I never knew they froze so wel, lol...I love Hickory nuts, I should look into their nutrional value. Thanks!

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  20. HI Louise, as always a great and informative post, the dumplings sound wonderful. I am a total nut person. (okay, okay) really we buy our nuts at Costco and I freeze them, keeps them so well. And yes they are high in calories. Love the oldies but goodies recipes!

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    1. Hi Cheri,
      I am sooooo going to try those dumplings, Cheri...I need to try freezing them! They do freeze well in cakes so I imagine they must freeze whole too!

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  21. Walnuts are one of my favourite nuts - always have them - loved them as a kid - used to take vegemite and walnut sandwiches to school - still have one every now and again. I haven't had black walnuts but you have piqued my curiousity

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    1. I'm pretty sure when I make my first nut roast, Johanna, there will be walnuts in it! I'm not sure they have Black Walnuts by you but if you find them, give them a try and let us know:)

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  22. I used to hate walnuts but once I learnt they are good for the brain, I changed my ways :P
    I don't mind them now! So I want to try your fabulous recipes now!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Go right ahead and try the all, Uru. Just let us know which is your favorite!!!

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  23. Oh I've never seen raw walnut in its natural form. Tx for showing me how they look like. So we shd go easy on walnut too huh in order to not gain more weight 😀
    Happy Walnut Day!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Jenn...14 walnuts are considered a serving, Jenn...I think:) Happy Nutty Month!!!

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  24. walnuts are amazing--their versatility knows no bounds!

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  25. It's funny because I like walnuts, but alone not when they are baked into things; except for finely ground into Russian Teacakes!

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    1. Lol, Brandi...I have similar feeling about blueberries, lol...I don't like them alone, I just like them baked in things, lol...Russian Teacakes! Perfect!!!

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  26. I love walnuts, and I have some of those cookbooks! I lived in a Victorian many years ago that have over 20 black walnut trees. The nuts were fabulous. So sad to find the next owners took out all the trees (and the incredible garden we had planted) to put in more parking!!!! thanks for the memories..the good ones. :-)

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    1. I would never take out a walnut tree Janet. If I thought they would grow quick enough, I would plant one!

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  27. I love all nuts but black walnuts have a special place in my heart. My grandfather used to collect them so we always had them as kids when we visited. My oldest has an apartment near a park and we discovered a black walnut tree last fall but too late. I am taking her back on Tuesday, so we'll be doing a little scouting expedition, though I fear we have missed it this year as well...

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    1. Make plans for next year Inger and go for it!

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  28. Louise , walnut is also called brain food so I really need to eat lots of it lol I like to eat it on its own but not when it's added to banana bread or cakes .

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  29. The little monsters cookbook looks like such a fun idea.

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    1. My grandson is going to love it, Lady Lilith!

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  30. Hi Louise, sorry for the late reply. Glad you received the package already. Hope you guys will enjoy the products. I just received another new product from NuNaturals. Hopefully, I'll have time to try it out as well. Take care & hope you're having a wonderful week ahead dear. ((hugs))
    Blessings, Kristy

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    1. Not to worry Kristy, Marion loves the NuStevia in her tea!

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  31. Btw, I have not seen the fresh raw walnuts before. I think not many seen it as well. hehe....

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise