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Butternuts? We have four butternut trees on the side of our house, but most people I’ve talked to about them, don’t have any knowledge of them. Now, I’ve seen them referenced on IFI twice in one day. With that, and the link to a quantum computing video yesterday, I’m pretty convinced I could learn anything here!

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  Grandma used to cook for the farmers during the harvest.   I have old photos of meals at threshing bees.   Those people knew how to eat!  I remember her horn rolls.  They churned fresh butter!

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Mine was famous for her pies; somehow the threshing crews always were on their farm when it came time for the big meal---with pies. Long after that farm was history I spent summers with my Grandparents and made a deal with Grandma; she was getting arthritis and couldn't process stuff for pies very much.  Well I would pick the blackberries, apples, peaches,  pecans, etc. and process them to her specifications and she would make the pies and cobblers.  Funny my Grandfather never objected...

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  Blackberry pie!  Sigh...  I bet she covered a table or two with pies.  You don't see that much any more.  Now it's tinfoil buffet pans from the high speed bakery and deli.  I don't blame your Grandpa!  :)

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Goods:  Butternut and black walnut shells and husks are a good dye stuff for a brown-tan color.  The Confederate army was dressed as much in butternut dyed uniforms as gray.

We used to have a big black walnut tree in our back yard and we got the husks off the shells by lining them up in the driveway and driving the car over them.  Husked them nicely but didn't hurt the shells.  I usually broke the shells open on my anvil and let Martha pick out the meat with an ice pick.  Much better flavor than English walnuts IMO but much harder to obtain.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

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  The shells also make good blasting media.  

  I once ran a bunch of black walnuts, hulls and all, through a hammer mill at work to see if it would be an easy way to shell them.  It made everybodies eyes water, plugged up and ruined the screens.  Epic fail!

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We picked up a couple of 5 gallon buckets of black walnuts for dying once and put them on the back porch,  (100  year old "shed type across the back of the house), to soak for several months.  Well the squirrels found out about them and went diving and shaking off the "dye" all over that end of the porch.

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We ended up moving before I got around to rebuilding the porch. (Funny one of the goals of buying a another house when we moved to NM was for it to NOT need massive amounts of work to fix all the terrible things done to it by a previous owner.) 

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  I rebuilt the porches on This Old House.  The front wasn't bad despite everything being all crooked and cockeyed.  Tongue and groove, never again...  The back, enclosed porch, shaved some time off my lifespan, they laid the deck before they put the walls up.  I had to jack up and support the walls and then chisel out the boards.  I'm in the market for a new place now and you can bet I'm going to LOOK at things in a critical, cynical way!

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  I was "stuck" with several hi lift jacks that payed for themselves many times over, after that project.  They have 1,000 and one uses to the right person though, so I can't crab too much.

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