I bought some new season walnuts, in their shells. I remembered my sister saying how delicious they were last year, while her children were cracking nuts open at Christmas (one of the family Christmas dinner traditions, which seems a bit crazy given the amount of food already consumed before the nuts appear).
I searched through the utensil drawer. As I suspected, we don’t own a nutcracker. However, we do own a meat tenderiser, a bewildering utensil in our kitchen. I don’t know where it came from – had it been my grandmother’s, or was it already in the house before I came here? Anyway, it turned out to be a very effective tool for opening walnuts. One sharp tap and the shell is broken sufficiently to be removed. I seem to be far more skilled in its use than I have ever been with the myriad of nutcrackers that have appeared at Christmas.
And the walnuts do taste good!