One of the contributors to our book, which is just a few weeks away from being sent to the publisher (!), is Jeff Gordinier. He’s written for a lot of places, but these days he makes his home at the Dining Section of the New York Times. He recently sent me a link about harvesting walnuts in France.
It’s a beautiful post, and as I read it, it made me happy to know that we, too, so far from France and big, sustainable gardens, also had a big bowl of walnuts, a bowl for shells, and a cracker out on our counter. Of course, we don’t harvest the nuts ourselves, but we do get them fresh from an orchard that’s about an hour away from where we live, and every year we say the same thing: We can’t believe how good they are. Fresh, flavorful, tender, sweet. Our whole family eats them all day long. A nut here, a nut there, they’re like little nuggets of fall. Ella will crack a few while she’s waiting for breakfast. Finn will ask if he can some after lunch. (I always say yes.) I’ll have some before dinner. The shells are thin and easy to crack. The nuts are so solid and compact, and they make little musical clicks as we sort them. Really, everything about them sings. They’re a fast, healthy snack that you have work a little for, which isn’t a bad thing. And for me, because we only have them this time of year, they’re just one more thing that reminds us of the present moment. That, and the nefarious way a certain medley of carols keeps being sung over, and over, and over….