There was only one problem: Fall and winter aren’t the best time to get into the woods and gather wild ingredients. Most of the berries and plants are at the end of their life cycles. I thought spring would be my next chance to get into it—and then I went deer hunting. As I sat in the woods, I couldn’t help but notice the constant thud of nuts hitting the ground all around me. I wasn’t certain what kind of nut they were, so I filled a small bag and took them home to identify them. As it turns out, they were bitternut hickory nuts. All varieties of hickory nuts are safe to eat, but the bitternut hickory is labeled “inedible.” As the name suggests, they’re apparently too bitter to eat. I shelled a few, roasted them, and gave them a try anyway. As it turns out, they were named appropriately. The nuts are so bitter and harsh that it’s almost impossible to chew a whole nut and swallow it without the assistance of water.