Our backyard is positively full of Shagbark Hickory trees. While I’d been intending to try my hand at roasting the edible nuts they bear in the past, I’d just never gotten around to it. After taking care of Sunday morning chores though I noticed the ground was covered in a fresh rain of the things with the outer-shells already broken away. Normally a healthy population of red squirrels is fast upon the fresh-fallen fruit but yesterday it seems I beat a few to the punch, so I quickly filled my pockets and headed inside.
I’d eaten hickory nuts raw before, but the roasting process makes the flavor change in amazing ways. After emptying my pockets into a basin of water, I discarded those few nuts that floated (bad) and went on shelling those that sank to the bottom. A pair of pliers and some experimentation made quick work of the shell and revealed the edible meat inside. After shelling what I’d gathered I popped them in the oven for 12 minutes at 250 degrees (F) and enjoyed a wonderful morning treat straight from the trees in our yard!!