28 November, 2011

Hazelnuts Out My Ears

I was trying to sew yesterday. However my engineering was a tad off and I got smart and put my sewing away until the mojo returns.
I have 65# of cracked hazelnuts to pick the shells off.  I bought them Saturday from Melcher Farms near St. Paul. I've bought from them before and they have a consistent quality dried nut. They have hazelnut recipes on their web site.
We use them in baking and eating raw. The best way is to roast them in the oven and then rub the skins off.

I watched a Hallmark movie - can't remember the name - and separated nearly 20 #'s.
If you want to roast your own nuts, it's pretty simple and imparts a better nut intensity.

Place a single layer of nuts on a cookie sheet and place in a 300' oven for 20 - 30 minutes. For hazelnuts, you will see the skins start to crack. Take an old dishcloth and rub at the nuts. This will take off most of the skins.

I think this year it might have pencilled out to buy already shelled nuts as the shells account for at least 60% of the weight. 2/3 off the nuts will go to my sis in Minnesota.
My dream would be to find someone in Texas who has paper shell pecans who will trade for hazelnuts.

Pecans might be my favorite nut. They are very soft - softer than walnuts.
I used to bake quite a bit until I discovered all of my food allergies. Plus, my kids left home and my son tells me his girlfriend is baking him cookies now (boohoo).
I prefer pecans in carrot cake but I will use whatever nut I have in the house.
I also like to use them when I make cheese balls. They go inside the cream cheese mixture and I roll the balls in a chopped pecan and parsley mixture. Cheese balls still get made for the neighbors for Christmas.

Almonds have shown up on one of my food allergy panels so in order to try and stop a reaction to all nuts, I eat them sparingly. Currently, I make a gorp- aka trail mix of craisins, nuts, dark choc. chips, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. This is a good take-along lunch for me if I have to work long hours.

So what was I sewing? Microwave Potato Bags. These make great Christmas gifts as well as stocking the bazaar I am  participating in this weekend.

This is a great fabric I picked up at Boersma's in McMinnville this summer. It has various flour mills' labels - one from Portland, Oregon. My little side research did not pull up a Forest Flour Mill in Oregon so maybe this is just a designer's dream.
All I sewed wrong was the envelope flap. Below - you can see it is going to turn up to be on the inside of bag instead of on the outside when I turn it.
The real problem was I did it both times. No learning curve here.

It's an easy fix. Slice through the serger stitches with my seam ripper and line up flap in the correct position and re-serge.  But since I did it twice, I figured I needed to go do something a bit more simple - like sorting nuts instead.


  1. Hazelnuts taste so good! Good luck with your bazaar!

  2. What do you make with pecans? I always pick them out of my jar of mixed nuts and use them in cookies, but would love to hear more ideas of ways to use them.


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