We have an open agenda at our 10:00am coffee hour. It could be said that we discuss everything from soup to nuts but we haven't warmed up to soup recently. We have covered nuts during recent days which led to Internet searches, trips across our back alley where there is a black walnut tree, and to one fellow bringing in his nut cracker. The nut to the right is one of several which came from a place a few miles north of Seward where the squirrels gain access to the "meat" by strategically placed holes. My alley squirrels seem to approach the task in a more universal manner. Both are done very intelligently for maximum results. I had never seen the likes of the nut cracker that was brought for demonstration. My tool of choice has always been a hammer and a block of wood, but then I've never taken the task very seriously. This nut cracker is a very ingenious machine. It allows for both maximum leverage and control. A flat area on the upper sprocket wheel which is at the end of the handle, enables the movable part to be brought into place against the nut and then the handle lifted to engage the sprockets and apply pressure on the nut. Notice the the "wings" that capture any stray shell particles.
We learned that the country of Brazil was named after the Brazil nuts that grow in the rain forest and not the other way around as may be suspected. The Brazil nut trees produce a tough shelled, ball shaped pod larger than a grapefruit which when mature, literally explodes and exposes the Brazil nuts as we know them. They grow as "slices" in the pod like the slices of an orange or grapefruit.