Have you ever thought to collect pine cones to extract the pine nuts?
Usually around July (winter) you will start to see the cockatoos dropping pine cones to the floor to extract the pine nuts around the large pine trees. If your lucky enough to find heavy pine cones on the floor, collect them I assure you!
The pine nut is a delicacy for the cockatoo and for us.
As a child my dad would always have an eye out to the side of the road looking for pine trees. We would collect so many pine cones from the side of the road on our family trips, to extract the pine nuts.
My dad made a special homemade tray made from steal mesh that we only used for pine cones as the sap from the cones can seep out and can never be removed.
We would heat the steel mesh tray in the BBQ, wrap each pine cone with alfoil and place them on the tray with the lid on. We would check on them every 10 mins by opening a little of the alfoil, a lovely pine fresh aroma filled the air.
Once the pine cone fragments would seperate we set them aside to cool.
You don’t necessarily need to heat them you could use a hammer to break open the pine cone to remove the pine nut seeds. Tho heating them will ensure the pine cones open and the pine nut will become exposed within the cone fragments. We would wear gardening gloves and pull apart all the pine cone arms to remove the pine nut shells. And place them all in a bucket of water. The shells that float are usually rotten inside so we would discard them. We would wash the pine nut shells, dry and store them.
As you can imagine this process takes a lot of time and patience and justifies the high price of pine nuts.
We would then just sit of a night time watching tv and cracking each pine nut shell and eating the pine nut inside one at a time. Trying hard also to collect as much as we could to use in cooking.
We would end up with black hands and cracked bits of shell all over the lounge room floor.
Mum was not impressed about this mess.
Comment below If you have collected pine cones to extract the pine nut……..