Thursday, 23 March 2017

Slow food and a month of afternoons

I had to move my almonds in under the verandah. Of course now being a nut farmer (ahem..!) I dry my nuts in the sun.  Well the sun has disappeared and they didn't tell me about that when I Googled how to be a nut farmer.  With my limited knowledge about growing almonds I have two almond trees that have produced large quantities of nuts.  We did manage to get more water to the trees this year and the trees produced better fruit than last year's effort which were a bit thin and sad looking.  The green parrots are dead keen on them and it's a race to see who can get them off the quickest.  We've netted the two trees as best as we could but it's a pain in rear end as the prickly branches make it almost impossible to get the nets off without tearing them and the birds know where the holes are.  So other than letting off a cannon shot every hour we will just have to appear to be generous.  We put in a reasonable harvesting effort with plastic bucket in hand and found the nuts came off really easily.  Their soft velvet olive green coating had opened to reveal yellow or the riper brownish nuts inside. Each one has to peeled.  There's an afternoon gone.  Sitting there shelling nuts the parrots look on at me and politely decline from laughing.  The chickens walk up beside me perched on the church pew under the verandah wondering why I'm throwing away perfectly good earwigs.

Our first lot of almonds had been on their wire trays for a few weeks.  The wire trays, which we will now refer to as our almond trays as they were meant to fit the windows as fly wire screens but were the wrong size and instead were perfect to allow the air to get to the nuts and dry out.  I wasn't sure how long you were meant to dry them for but after a few weeks of serious sunshine I thought it was time to take them to the next stage. Peeling them. Again.  Another afternoon gone.
So after that and about 20 minutes on a baking tray in a moderate oven they came out roasted.  And pretty marvellous might I add.  They were crisp and smokey (really must clean that oven one day) and much better than any you can buy in a packet.  Fresh and crunchy with so much flavour.  My next lot will be coated in a spice mix, just to get ahead of myself.  I'm a bit proud of our own roasted almonds.  Just don't be in a hurry for them and don't run out of afternoons.

1 comment:

  1. Yummo! OH I am jealous of you! We have a walnut tree on the property but we end up watching it form nuts for the rats and the black cockies to eat. We did harvest them one year and I had black hands for a month. I did have an almond tree. It ended up being called my Lazarus almond as it officially died twice and the last time it stubbornly refused to rise from the dead and is currently acting as something for the warrigal spinach to climb up inside the safe confines of Sanctuary. I salute you for your excellent haul, your clever reuse (and renaming) of something that didn't fit the task it was meant to fit (but that you cleverly kept and were able to re-purpose for your almonds) and for your persistence in the processing taking ages. Just about everything that is home grown takes more time but as I learned, it's all gravy for the compost bucket.