Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday, January 16th, 2011


Here are the walnuts
that hang from the tree
that grows next door
and towers over
the neighbour's woodshed.

Late in the fall the tree is luxuriously laden
and the walnuts loosen themselves from the branches
and roll down the roof of the woodshed,
bouncing over the ledge and hiding
in the grasses that grow along
the few feet that divide us
from the neighbour's fence.

I imagine that in the spring the
nut hatch will find a noisy heaven
amongst the branches of this generous tree
but in the meantime.......

You see them - small and dry, with their hard black coats split,  but I would imagine still harbouring
the Jaglone that dyes a wonderful variety of earthy browns, depending upon how
long they are stewed and if a mordant is used, and also what kind of mordant.

My days of dyeing wool are long past, although I have a wonderful
remembrance of them in sample skeins that along with my other weaving
and spinning paraphernalia are now mostly decorative.

Still, the memory of those exciting days, gathering materials, watching the wool absorb
the dyes of such a great variety of natural plants, and change before
your eyes with different mordants - all those memories still warm my heart
and make me grateful for the richness they brought to my life.

I picked up all the walnut hulls that fell on our side of the fence
and they sat for a few months in the garage until Charles,
dear one that he is, decided to crack them all and retrieve the nuts.

They are now drying in a basket to keep them fresh and edible
although I just might use them all up before they have time to get
rancid, as old walnuts are wont to do!

I have had to put them out of my reach so that I won't dip into
the basket each time I pass it and pop one of these lovely golden nuts into my mouth.

I have found an enticing traditional Greek dessert recipe
that uses one and one half cups of walnuts and little flour.  If, when I try it,
it is as delicious as it looks, I will share the recipe with you!


Barb said...

Walnuts are high in protein (as well as "good" oils), so I certainly want the recipe if you like it. Doesn't that cake look yummy? Your description of the tree is wonderful, Hildred. And, the thought of you once dying yarn makes me smile

Susannah said...

Beautiful post, I love your descriptions you bought it all alive. :-) x

fweakijam said...

Oh, I wish I had had someone to teach me how to dye and work with yarn! You make it sound so worthy of the time spent. My mother's yard has many old walnut trees in it and when they start to fall on tin covered garage, work shop, cellar and small apartment out back; the BANG is loud enough to scare the over abundance of squirrels back up into the trees!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful post -- I feel as if I'm sitting under that tree. Love thinking about the birds that will move in when spring comes....You have so much to look forward to as the seasons change in your new home -- and how wonderful to have those walnuts now. I bet the cake turns out to taste as good as it looks.