Promoting the growing of tree nuts in Canada, and their use.
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StarsOur Butternut Heritage

First, before we tell you Mary's story, here is how we got it.

Butternut lover Vera Jones spread the word in the neighbourhood that she was looking for stories about how people used butternut in past years. She found Mary, and asked her for her butternut story. And Mary had a wonderful story to tell.

We should all do what Vera has done - ask around, find people with butternut stories, ask them to write them down, or go and interview them. The more butternut stories we can get, the wider will be the public interest in saving the butternut. And the more support we will get!

And now, here is Mary's story...

March, 2002


   My name is Joyce Davis and my mother-in-law, Mary Davis, asked me to write 
   an email to you with her story about butternuts along with a recipe.  Please 
   find below that information. 


   About sixty years ago, I was a young girl growing up in Quebec in a little 
   town, in the Gatineau Hills, called Ryanville.  You may have never heard of 
   it, but it was tucked in the hills near Mont Ste. Marie.  I have many great 
   memories of my youth, but one of them revolves around a butternut tree. 
   This majestic tree was set in the middle of the road.  The tree had been 
   there a lot longer than the road, so the dirt road was built around this 
   great piece of nature.  Today, it would be called a median in the city, but 
   for us it was a symbol of how important trees were.  I remember watching 
   this tree throughout the seasons and waiting for the nuts to be ready to 
   pick.  It was quite a battle to get the great tasting butternuts before all 
   the squirrels got to take them for their enjoyment.  If we, my siblings and 
   I, were lucky enough we would get two bags of nuts for our stash at home so 
   that we could enjoy all the great things Mom made with them.  When we 
   weren't quick enough, we got only one bag of nuts as the squirrels got the 
   rest.  We would bring our bounty home where it would be stored for them to 
   get nice and ripe which is when they were the sweetest.  Usually the nuts 
   from the previous year's pickings were used as they had ripened enough.  My 
   Mom would make all sorts of goodies for us to enjoy, from cookies to 
   puddings to fudge.  The fudge was the best!  I would intently watch my Mom 
   getting all the ingredients to make a favourite fudge along with the pot to 
   boil it on the wood stove.  Then I would wait to see if she would get the 
   butternuts to chop into fine pieces to add to the fudge.  When she did that, 
   I knew it was going to be a great batch of fudge and it wouldn't last long. 
   The aroma of the candy would fill the house and I couldn't wait until it was 
   ready to eat.  Watching my Mom make that confection and then enjoying the 
   great taste of the nuts in the sweetness of fudge is a memory I will always 


   Add finely chopped butternuts to any of your favourite fudge recipe.  The 
   added flavour will make a great batch of fudge that will not last long. 

   I hope this is what you are looking for. 

Thank you Vera, Joyce and especially Mary!

Lets get more stories - email your story to Canada Nutculture Association

Canada Nutculture Association, Ottawa, Canada: "Progress through Research & Development"