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Hickory nuts are a tasty treat if you can get to them before the squirrels and other animals do. You can also tap shagbark hickories like you do maples for syrup, another woodland delicacy if you know how to do it properly. Historically the hickory tree has been used for its hard wood. Many old plow handles were made from the forking roots of the hickory tree. Medicinally the leaves have traditionally been used for headaches both internally and externally. The bark has also been used internally to help with arthritis. It’s also been used in certain “pegging” medicines, see my post on “Healing with Wooden Pegs” for more details.

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Here’s a recipe for a hickory cake, for those of you who can get your hands on a good quantity of the nuts:

Hickory Nut Cake
1/2 cup lard *
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups
Flour 2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup hickory nut meats

* (you may substitute butter or shortening if you have no lard)

Bake in a moderate 350-375° oven. Cool the cake. Use any boiled icing. Sprinkle icing generously with hickory nuts.

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