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Butternut trees grew in several areas in the woodlot and pasture on our farm. We watched the nuts develop during summer and waited for them to ripen in fall. While they were still green, they were soft enough to cut with a knife; when ripe, a hammer or a special nutcracker was necessary to crack the hard shell and extract the meat. Dad used his jackknife to slice through a green nut to show us the complex structure of the nut, and allowed us to taste the bitter, unripe nutmeat. How different they would be after the nuts had ripened and dried, their rich, creamy, buttery taste a perfect flavor in maple sugar candy!
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