Our ancient building (too small for modern cars) has proven to be an ideal denning spot for numerous neighbours -- raccoons and squirrels, both black and red, in particular -- largely because my husband is reluctant to discard electronics boxes. So these cardboard and styrofoam marvels take up residence in there, forgotten by us, but discovered with delight by our temporary renters: "Look, honey, modern, no drafts, and lots of insulation!!" This particular little homemaker-of-the-year even remodeled one of the boxes as a pantry.
Now imagine the work involved. First you have to find a walnut tree (check -- we have both white and black on our property); then you have to work fast in order to beat out the competition (check -- she had a couple of hundred at least -- the girl was fast); next, you have to chew off the thick green coating that makes them look like limes in September (check: these were completely stripped and looked like the kind we buy);
Esoterica: walnuts were traditionally sourced to produced a beautiful dye of warm yellow, and so all of the squirrels around here unwittingly acquire saffron moustaches in Movenber. Finally, after storing them in the perfect larder (thank you, Sears), you have to chew two access holes in every nut as you wish to consume it.
My food prep is a whole lot easier.
So this industrious gal had fully stocked her Martha Stewart larder with hundred of walnuts and, as Jon caught sight of her slipping in through the garage window last week, we're pretty sure that she had a better winter than the average squirrel. Here's the rub -- only about half of the walnuts had been consumed. The others were still in storage and Jon was anxious to dispose of the box. What to do? Over objections, I went out and sorted them, refilling a small replacement box with the intact ones, because I'm the cook in this family too. Good luck to you and your family, Missus.
But don't even think about trying to move into the main house.