The Coast News Group
Shelled and unshelled macadamia nuts
Shelled and unshelled macadamia nuts. Stock photo
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Weekend in a nutshell

My thoughtful co-workers ask me every Monday, “How was your weekend? What did you do?”

My usual answer is “As little as possible.” That is, in truth, all I require from my weekends these days to be a happy camper. But this Monday I will have a far more fascinating answer.

This weekend I harvested macadamia nuts. Have I run away to Hawaii and taken the first job I could find? While that scenario sounds tempting, I have not. What I have done is persuade my kind husband to minimize the enormous macadamia tree in our backyard.

Having had some time off for spring break, I spent way too much time considering the future of our neglected backyard. I decided that the rat buffet known as our macadamia tree (it’s their favorite) needed to be neutralized.

My husband insisted he can and will top the 20-foot-tall creature. I’m hoping you won’t hear the headline “Older, rather foolish couple crushed by falling macadamia tree. Film at 11.”

Meanwhile, he got a major part of it down this week and in the interest of fair play, I spent several therapeutic hours madly chopping up the fallen branches.

I also plucked macadamias from every branch and we are getting quite a harvest. Don’t lick your lips just yet.

Here are some things I have learned from that annoying tree. Macadamia leaves are very prickly.

Also, the nut has a double husk — a really thick one outside and a really, really hard one to crack underneath — before you get to the yummy nut. Then to make them actually edible, you need to toast and salt them.

My husband even bought a special nutcracker to accomplish all that. Not being a proper farm wife, I see it as far more work than I am willing to do for anything edible.

But I did get a proper upper body workout, wrestling with three sizes of pruners. I remain determined to deprive the rats of every single nut I can find.

They’ll just have to make do with the other five types of fruit in our yard.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer wishing there were more outdoor cats. Contact her at [email protected].