White out

To balance out yesterday’s black out, I bring you a White Out.  The snow started falling yesterday, with some breaks in the action here and there.  The front, which brought with it some thunderstorms and strong winds, is somewhere out east (perhaps off the coast by now), and the snow that’s flying today is lake-effect.

View of the pond yesterday morning. (One of those breaks I mentioned.)

We are currently under one of those special weather advisories.  Snow to continue… visibility below one mile expected with periods of less than half a mile possible… accumulations can be as much as an inch an hour… etc., etc., etc.  Any photos I take today are likely to look like the white-out photos I took yesterday except for some additional snow on the ground.

View of the pond a few hours later.

If we’re lucky, we might fit in some skiing before the new round of warmer temps and rain.

Watching the snow fall

Thank you to everyone who left wishes and happy birthday’s for M.  He thanks you too.

Now, about those black walnuts.  M’s favorite cake is walnut cake so that is usually what he has for his birthday cake.  Not just any walnut cake, mind you.  He likes his Grandma Kraus’ walnut cake.  (To read more about it, including the recipe, visit this post.)  Grandma Kraus had a black walnut tree in her yard so when she made walnut cake, it was black walnut cake.  We do not have a black walnut tree so when I make walnut cake, it is walnut cake.  Store-bought walnuts at that.

Our neighbor (across the street) does have a black walnut tree.  Every year she leaves a few walnuts on the ground for the critters, rakes up the rest, and burns them with the leaves.  Back in October or November, M asked her if he could have some of the walnuts if she wasn’t going to use them.  She was agreeable so he planned to go over a day or two later, during the weekend, to get some.  However, the next morning our very nice neighbor brought M a wheelbarrow full of black walnuts.  Well, that was a lot more than we needed (wanted), but we were grateful to her for not only giving us the walnuts, but gathering them for us, too.

I don’t know if you’ve ever shelled black walnuts, but it’s no easy thing to do.  I don’t remember the exact order of things, but the walnuts were soaked, dried, tossed around in the cement mixer with some sand and water, and dried some more.  Eventually M was able to start cracking them, also no easy thing to do.  It takes a lot of work and time to get enough black walnuts for a walnut cake.

And boy, was it worth it!  M, having done all the work on removing the “meat” from the walnut shells, decided he wanted to make the cake (cupcakes, which is better for just the two of us and for giving away to the neighbor who gave us the walnuts).  I knew the taste would be different (black walnuts have a stronger, earthier flavor), but hadn’t expected the texture to be so amazing.  Black walnuts seem to be oilier than the regular walnuts.  Best.  Walnut.  Cake.  Ever.  Now I know why M kept insisting that black walnuts are essential to a fabulous walnut cake.

So.  That’s the story of the black walnuts.  Not terribly exciting.  No adventures or anything, other than of the gustatory variety.

Thanks so much for visiting.  Be careful when you leave.  Visibility is pretty poor right now due to a snow squall.  M and I are thinking of heading over to the Akron Art Museum sometime soon to see the landscape exhibits (one exhibit involves photography, and the other involves paintings from the era of impressionism).  You’re welcome to join us if you like.  🙂

30 Comments on “White out”

  1. Sounds like an amazing cake–rather cupcakes. We have a black walnut tree out back and have sadly never eaten any—which makes the neighborhood squirrels happy, however.

    Stay warm!


    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Kathy M. 🙂

      You should give them a try sometime. But have someone else crack them for you. It’s a lot of work and I’m thinking it’s worth hiring someone to do.

  2. tedgriffith says:

    Some amazing shots, Robin! And the cake sounds just wonderful. 🙂

  3. Kathy says:

    Best. Walnut. Cake. Ever! My mouth is watering. People are writing too many scrumptious food posts when I’m trying to lose five pounds before next week. I hope you don’t have to travel during any whiteout weather. Hope you can stay home and eat leftover cake.

    • Robin says:

      Sorry about that, Kathy. No more scrumptious food posts from me. Just some snow and birds for a while. I hope you lose that five pounds. Can’t wait to find out more about your trip.

      And I wish the same for you… that you don’t have to travel during whiteout weather.

  4. So THAT’S what you do to get the meats out…I have two young black walnuts that produced a bumper crop this year, and I had to just let the squirrels have them…
    Just as well, since the oaks had no acorns at all this fall.
    Hope you’re all snug and warm!

  5. Kel says:

    i’ve never seen a cement mixer in an cake recipe before !!!!!!

    would LOVE to go to the art museum with you

    • Robin says:

      LOL, Kel! Some cake recipes call for extra creativity. 😉

      Sadly, we didn’t get to the museum the other night. The snow squalls were pretty bad. We’ll try again this week. Hurry over. You can go with us.

  6. cidnlars says:

    Love days like that!

  7. carlaat says:

    That cake sounds scrumptious – and your snow photos are so pretty!

  8. jeanne says:

    I love walnuts! I had never given much thought to their being a different variety. How silly of me…their are dozens of varieties of pecans so why not walnuts. I will be on the look out for black walnuts. Thanks I learned something new today!

    • Robin says:

      I ♥ walnuts too, Jeanne. 🙂

      I would not have known about the different varieties, either. I used to think walnuts are walnuts. The difference in flavors is surprising, too.

  9. I miss the old black walnut tree on the farm that sold. Sitting on the back porch and cracking the walnuts open and picking out the meat while just watching the ravine “wild life” and birds. Probably didn’t appreciate the peace of it all then. Love the pix!

  10. David Hall says:

    These photos really capture winter as we know it.

  11. dragonfae says:

    That cake sounds yummy! My grandmother used to make a spice cake with walnuts that I loved as a kid. Sigh … now I’m craving some sort of cake with walnuts. 😆

    Glad to hear M had a good birthday. You two stay warm, dry, and safe with all that snow!

  12. jane tims says:

    Hi Robin. I can almost hear the sound of those walnuts ‘softening’. The size of the snowflakes is amazing. I was in southern Ontario for the storm and we had the big snowflakes too. Jane

    • Robin says:

      Hi Jane. 🙂

      I really like the big snowflakes. When I was a child we would run around trying to catch them on our tongues.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Dana says:

    That cake sounds so delicious! I had no idea there were different types of walnuts (just not paying attention, I guess). Even though it sounds like terrible work to get to the meat, the end result must have been so worth it. All the more satisfying! 🙂

  14. Wow! I would love to have that kind of view out my window.

    • Robin says:

      You’ll find it here in northeast Ohio, Michaela, most winters. But not today. It’s raining again and all the snow is turning to slush.

  15. Wow, that’s some weather! Good pictures, Robin!

Thank you for visiting, and for commenting. I hope you'll join me at my new blog home, Breezes at Dawn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.