Friday, November 5, 2010

toasted and tasty hazelnuts...

Hazelnuts are grown in Turkey and Italy...and in Washington and Oregon...and in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.  That's here...and the harvest is just completed for this year.

For many years when our children were young...we lived next door to a hazelnut farm.  We had an open invitation from the owners to come 'glean' once they were done harvest.  We would wait for a nice day...and take the family on an annual nut-picking adventure.  That was the fun part!  We then washed and dried the nuts and then handed them over to my dear mom-in-law...who cracked them and roasted them on our behalf...and sent them back in jars.  What a labour of love! 

We moved away from that neighbourhood...but were still invited to return with our buckets to collect nuts every year.  Even Emme and Spencer had a turn at nut-picking...a few years back.  Since my mom-in-law is no longer around to do the cracking and the roasting...the whole nut-picking thing has lost much of it's appeal.  And besides...our former neighbours moved on...and the nut orchard is now gone.

But I still need some roasted hazelnuts...for old times sake!  And so we visited another hazelnut farm...that sells the finished product.  And so I came home with a few bags of hazelnuts.  Some are dry-roasted...just like those of my memory.  Some are honey roasted...and some are chopped, ready for the baking!

I tried a cookie recipe which I have been holding onto since my high school days when I took a cooking course.  It's a hazelnut shortbread cookie...and always reminds me of my 'foods 11' instructor, Mrs. Pucher.  She was  fabulous teacher.  I can still picture her in the designer clothing she created...with her almond skin and her European accent...and the hint of coconut scent she left in her wake.  Her enthusiasm was contagious.  Today I eat 'her cookies' and wonder what became of her.

Add hazelnuts to salads...use them for baking...or eat them by the handful.  They are delicious...and good for you!


  1. Just caught up on all your recent posts! Beautiful cherub! -- Love your leaves mosaic - such beauty. --- Have always enjoyed delicious desserts made with hazelnuts. What a treat to be able to have permission to glean! There isn't a nut that I don't like - I know, double negative - but I like the sound of it.

  2. What a lovely post! Thank you for sharing! Those shortbread cookies look delicious! Have a wonderful weekend!


    Molly Jane

    PS. Stop by and say hello!;)

  3. Oh, I'm loving the look of those cookies. Yum. Mouth is watering.

  4. It looks like you really had a nice walk down a memory lane. The world is so full of fantastic nuts . .I can never get enough of them.
    This post also reminded me of my foods teacher that I really loved. Maybe all us MGCC have someone like her in our past.

  5. I love them and I LOVE hazelnut creamer....I use it every day! When I was growing up, we did the same thing but with pecans. Of course, we picked them up off the ground. Then we took them home, shelled them and put them in the freezer to stay fresh for all those wonderful recipes!

  6. We love hazelnuts around here. Those cookies look as good as your description of your teacher :0)

  7. My husband loves to end a meal with fresh fruit and nuts. He particularly likes roasted chestnuts this time of the year, but we always have a supply of hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, etc., on hand.

    Mrs. Puchar's hazelnut shortbread cookies look wonderful! I wish my HS had a cooking course as I would have enjoyed that so much!

  8. The hazelnut shortbread cookies look yummy. I, too, have hazelnut creamer in my coffee every morning at work.

  9. Oh, isn't this handy since I have a hazelnut pancake recipe slotted for tomorrow? I found out you can get the big bag of hazelnuts at Cosco...but the farm is the best.
    I still have a mom who is providing us with hazelnuts... from the lake property. Yesterday she called and asked if I'd like them ground.
    Love your memory story about your home ec teacher.

  10. Karen @ Ocean SoulNovember 5, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Mrs. Pucher was the best! She was a round ball of energy and hilarity! I knit a baby toque and mitten set in her family studies class! I'll have to try the recipe for sure!

  11. Oh a twin in younger days... Cute to see.

    I love hazelnuts! How has it escaped me that they grow on trees and need to be harvested and roasted, etc. I particularly enjoy a delicious cup of hazelnut coffee from Tim Horton's. I've not dreamed to put them in a cookie...oh the possibilities!

  12. I look forward to every one of my trips to Agassiz, when I head to the hazelnut stands. I have a bag of ground nuts in the freezer - time to get baking!


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