Tuesday, September 1

Hazelnuts

Wouldn't you know it, our neighbors also have an enormous hazelnut tree. Raspberries, currants, strawberries, mirabelles, and now hazelnuts. I told my neighbor her backyard is like a grocery store. She told me that this year the nuts are mostly all eaten by worms. Usually the birds eat the worms but this year there aren't as many birds around. Sad isn't it?
Sure enough, nearly all of the nuts we found on the ground had worm holes in them. Her husband managed to find one that was not ruined by a worm and cracked it for me to try. I was surprised that they can be eaten without being roasted. When they are ready to eat the shell is whitish green in color. It only turns brown after it is pulled from the branch. I'm new to hazelnut trees so I found all of this fascinating. The grocery stores are currently carrying fresh bags of hazelnuts in their produce departments.The girls are such gatherers and loved filling their buckets with nuts that had fallen onto our lawn. We examined their collection for worm holes and eventually got a hammer so we could investigate the nuts even further. Much to our surprise we found 3 nuts with live worms in them. Little, white, grub-like worms that are about 1/2 inch long. They turn the nut meat into something resembling sawdust. I was repulsed. Eva was the first one to pick them up and "bring them to safety" by putting them in our garden. This from my daughter who wouldn't touch the dirt while digging potatoes.

6 comments:

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Yum, I love hazelnuts (but preferably worm-free:) Also, love your delicious new header.

Teacher Tom said...

My wife grew up in Austria, Germany and Italy and is a complete hazelnut fanatic. Thanks for the lesson.

Emily said...

she's a little buddhist :)

Jessica said...

That's a great neighbor to have--all that goodness. Hazelnuts are my favorite!

Monkey's Mama said...

I love hazelnuts! There are a bunch of scrub trees around our cabin on Vashon. Unfortunately, Mark went on a pruning craze this summer and lopped off the one that finally had a few nuts growing! He had no idea it was a hazelnut tree - after dealing with me and my mom I don't think he'll ever forget!

christie said...

This brings back memories for me.,I picked
hazelnuts as a child, in the woods near my
house in Bremerton. I remember getting little
fuzzy burrs on my fingers from the outer
husks. I'd forgotten about this fall fun. mom

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