Their Aisle of Organics

It was a relatively uneventful Saturday due to there not being much if any real estate activity. I did speak to a buyer this morning about several new listings which came on the market, and found her interested enough to where she’s wanting to see them late tomorrow morning. I’m just hoping it’ll be a little warmer out than it was today because that cold air can sure take a person’s breath away.

Very early this morning I stopped at a groceteria to pick up some supplies for making fudge since I now have a good supply of black walnuts I can add to it. The recipe is calling for 2 to three cups of walnuts, so I’ll be shortening it to two cups because they’re stronger than English walnuts. My grandmother used to make some “to die for” black walnut fudge which never lasted very long when company arrived. She was one of those old-schoolers who made everything from scratch and plenty of it. Her favorite lines were “Take all you want, but eat all you take.”, and “If one helping’s good, then two should be better.” Yes, she was quite the lady, and certainly ahead of her time in more ways than one.

She’d always have something clever to say which would either cause a jaw-drop, or a belly laugh. Some of those clever lines could be taken several different ways, and sometimes they’d even be on the evocative side like, “If my shades are up, then come on up, but if they’re down, it’s best you not stick around.” To this day I wish I had enough foresight to make note of them all because there were many. Since she was a prolific reader, I’m sure some of those lines were from books she read, or possibly handed down from her parents and grandparents. When thinking about it, their farmstead didn’t even have electricity when she was a child, so I’m sure they entertained each other with clever conversation.

Speaking of the old times, one of my dear friends mentioned her grandmother went without electricity on her farm far longer than most, so you can only imagine what those cold winter nights must’ve been like when having to keep stoves tendered with coal or wood, along with making sure there was enough kerosene and lamp wicks. She mentioned that two of her grandmother’s cousins were found frozen to death because they’d lost their way to a barn during a blizzard. She said they had a rope tied from the house to the barn just so they’d know their way, but somehow it broke and they got disoriented. Keep in mind, there were no yard lights or lampposts on farms back in those years. Oh the daily struggles those farm families had to endure just to stay alive.

Whenever hearing some of those stories from the old ones back in the day, it seemed just about every family had heart-breaking stories to tell. Many years ago, an aged client of mine told a tale about her younger brother leaving the farm to go work on the railroad out West, and from the day he left, their family hadn’t heard a word from him. As much as her parents tried to find out where his last residence was, there was always a dead-end. She said it had a life-long effect on her mother who believe he must’ve been murdered because he wasn’t the type who’d just take off and never write. When you stop and think about it, I’m sure back in the late 1800’s, getting away with murder would’ve been far easier than today. It’s no wonder people back then had loaded guns which could be easily accessed.

After doing my daily check-up on vacant listings, I headed back to office, changed my clothes, and went to work for three hours on those walnuts. After I had enough for one day, I looked at the many I have left to crack and said to myself, “You’d better keep cracking of you want these done before Christmas.” The person who gave them to me, must have at least two cultivars because there are distinctly two varieties. One type is smaller and harder to crack but the nut meats taste out of this world, and the other type is much larger and easier to crack, and their meats aren’t as flavorful as the smaller ones.

Out of the 600+ nuts that I’ve already cracked, I happened to find three which had three lobes instead of the standard two which fascinated me to the point where I set them aside and now have them home, and if the ground isn’t frozen too solid, I’ll get them planted and see if they’ll be sprouting next Spring. If I find another one with three lobes, I’m going to crack it and see what the inside of it looks like. I think it would be a hoot if I should manage to get at least two of them to grow, and in not so many years, I’ll be hoping for a black walnut tree bearing nuts with three lobes. I personally believe they’d be easier to crack because of their shells being more symmetrical.

I’m scheduled to play at St. Paul Lutheran tomorrow morning, so if I do get that fudge cooked tonight, I’ll take a plate of it for them to have with their after-Services coffee and treats they always have on hand. I think some of the ladies take turns bringing something to share with their community of faith. I’m going to hope and pray their organ isn’t going to be acting up because it can be a bit un-nerving. I find it funny when thinking how much more comfortable I’d grown with playing the old girl, and then her pipes start acting up.

While I was shopping this morning, I decided to have a look at their aisle of organics, and after seeing all the varieties they now have, I do believe the once nascent all-natural and organic movement, has now mushroomed into a multi-billion dollar business. In spite of most of it being markedly more expensive than their generic brands, there are all the more willing to pay the price as long as it tastes better and healthier for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if it continues to expand even more. I personally know several people who’re die-hards when it comes to eating only all-natural and organic foods.

Tonight’s One-liner is: If you’ve got a big mouth and you’re controversial, you’re gonna get attention.

Joe Chodur

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