Warm Black Walnut Milk
We had a nice little cold snap here the other day. It happens every year. Come September, an endless string on 90+ degree days is interrupted by such a storm. And somehow, it seems to break the back of summer, and the temperatures never get quite as hot again.
I don't do well in heat, and autumn is my favorite time of year. So I don't need much of a cold snap to break out all of my cooler weather favorites, all of those things which say comfort to me. Straight away, I've gotta cook beans with a smoked ham hock and cornbread, and meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I get on my hands and knees and fish around under my bed for my slippers, as having cold toes is a bit of a shock. And I simply must break out my favorite mug, the one made by one of my bestest buddies in college. This isn't just any mug. This mug is a thing of beauty, it's color, it's form, and it's handle are all delightful. And that handle perfectly fits my finger, just like it did when I was 18 years old and sitting around a dorm room every night with my girls. Warm hands, warm memories, comfort.
So of course I've gotta fill my special mug with something yummy. Despite my love of herbs, tea leaves me unsatisfied. I'm not a chocolate lover, so hot chocolate isn't an option. I'm sensitive to caffeine, so coffee after lunch is a bad idea. So what's a girl to do when she wants something warm and satisfying in her mug?
It actually took me quite a few years to figure out the answer - warm milk. It has a rich mouth feel, a slight sweetness, and leaves me utterly contented. And might I add that it is also the best post-bike snack on a chilly day.
I usually like my warm milk neat, no fussing around. But I've come up with a way to make it even better, almost like having a gorgeous little dessert drink - add black walnuts.
Warm Black Walnut Milk
I'm guessing there are any number of ways to do this. Here's what you need - whole milk, a spoonful of ground black walnuts, a small spoonful of maple syrup. I like to crush my black walnuts into a fine powder while my milk and maple syrup are gently heating on the stove, and then whisk them in just before serving (add a splash of rum if you want a grown-up treat). Alternately, you could buzz them up in the food pro and add. Or just add whole nuts to the milk, and blend it up with a blender. Dead simple, any which way.
And killer good. If you're lucky enough to have a good quantity of black walnuts, don't stop at sipping this milk as a treat. Use it in any number of recipes - breads, cookies, panna cotta, pudding, tarts, etc.
I created this recipe for the Wild Things round up. Wild Things is a foraging recipe challenge, and you are invited to participate! Do you have a favorite black walnut recipe that you'd like to share? Perhaps you'd like to try something you've bookmarked in a cookbook? Or you have a great recipe in your archives? Send your link to firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of the month, and see it included in the round up!
I'm sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop, and Real Food Wednesday, and Pennywise Platter Thursday.