Through February and March our single almond tree blooms beautifully
and the bees come do their pollinating job.
And I work hard too.
In June and July the hulls begin to slip open and we know that it will
not be long until it is raining almonds.
At this point many professional almond orchards sweep around the floor of the
orchard and bring in a "tree-shaker" machine that gives the almonds a little help
letting go of their branches.
In July and August the wind and the birds help our almonds thump to the ground.
It is at this point where Layla and I have a race to see who can grab them first.
I open them and easily pop the nut out of the soft outer hull.
The nuts are kind of moist and must be dried in the sun in a single layer...
..for a few weeks until I am sure they are fully dried.
Last year I set the trays out in the backyard on a table.
The birds were very grateful.
In September they are nice and dry.
Now it's time to shell them.
Layla is surprisingly good as she watches the process, hoping I will let her have her favorite
snack. But she is allergic and the nuts she gets from the backyard on her own
are quite enough.
Still don't have a decent nut cracker!
I love them raw and munch on them by the handful.
I have a tendency to eat the almonds before this point.
But this step is covering them with a bit of oil and salt...
..and roasting them in the oven for 20 minutes at 325 degrees,
turning every 5 minutes.
The aroma is wonderful and the flavor changes into something
deeper, richer and even yummier!
Thank you almond tree. I love this healthy treat...
from bloom to bowl.
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