Do you know what these are? These are ginko tree nuts! We have a lovely ginko tree at the entance to our neighborhood and it has been turning lovely colors of pale green to yellow to brown and now it is bare of all leaves. Did you know that ginko trees come in male and female? The female tree smells!
On the bare branches of the female ginko tree are little pods and the pods have been falling into the street where I am a crosswalk guard. Someone told me that inside the fleshy pods were the nuts that are so delicious when used in stir fry dishes and Chinese custards, so.... I wanted to go natrual and decided to gather up some pods and see if I could really use the nuts.
"Don't!" someone warned me. "Those pods are smelly. Just go to the supermarket and buy some already de-podded nuts."
But no, I wanted to do it the organic way so I picked up about a dozen pods and peeled off the fleshy part. PEEWHEW!!! Smelly is right!!! Throw away that pair of workman gloves! I peeled the rest of the ginko pods by stepping on them with my shoes. When I took my shoes off in the entryway the cats found my smelly shoes intruiging.
Next I washed the nuts that were inside the pods and ended up with a kitchen that smelled like a stink bomb had gone off. These things are deadly!
Finally I put the nuts into a paper envelope and popped them in the microwave. The smell is only in the pods so no more smell and the hard shells burst in the microwave so that I could get the green meat on the inside. With my 12 nuts I made Chinese custard with chicken, vegetables and eggs. Delicious!
But maybe next time I'll buy my nuts at the supermarket. This was a lot of work for 12 nuts...