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“One won't find better friends than Teodor and Feofan!” people in the village used to say adding, “though it's surprising how such different people could be friends”."
Teodor was a gloomy person and only the cheerful Feofan did not take offence at his constant moans and complaints.
Once Teodor and Feofan went to the bazaar to sell their vegetables. Having sold all their goods, the two friends went to buy gifts, each going in a different direction. Teodor returned with a basket of fruit and Feofan with a basket of nuts.
“Look what I bought for the kids: lovely pears, sweet like honey. The seller told me that they are full of vitamin B” bragged Teodor, adding reproachfully, “And you dear friend, don't you know how to make your kids happy? Your nuts don't look very appetizing. Moreover, they don't taste like sweets.”
“The pot might be small, but the porridge is tasty” Feofan replied calmly. “The man who sold me the nuts told me that eating five of these nuts is equal to having dinner. To top it all, they improve memory and help with stomach ailments.”
“Oh he must have been bragging!” muttered Teodor. “What real benefit can just one basket of nuts give?”
“Yes, you are right on this point,” agreed Feofan. “But that merchant who sold me the nuts recommended an interesting custom to me: If a child is born; one should plant a nut tree. So I've decided to plant a walnut tree in my courtyard.
“It is better to plant a fruit tree than a nut tree. Whatever you plant though, your kids will trample it anyway. In fact, you've got only a small space of open land near the fence but the kids like to play there. You know it yourself,” grumbled Teodor.
“You mighty be right,” Feofan answered “but let's give it a try. You plant fruit trees, and I will plant a nut tree. We shall see whose tree will be of greater benefit.”
The two friends then did as they decided. To Teodor's surprise, his neighbour's children did not trample the tiny nut tree. On the contrary, it was fenced and carefully watered.
"Our daddy told us that kernels of this nut are similar to the brain of a person, therefore it makes the brain work sharper and improves one's memory," the children explained to their friends.
But they laughed at the tiny branch with its crescent-like leaves. Ten years passed and this very young tree bore its first fruits. With each year the walnut tree became taller and taller. Its crown already covered a huge part of Feofan's yard and part of a neighbour's garden too. Feofan's family did not starve anymore. On the contrary, they shared their nuts with their neighbours, and started to sell a part of their crop in the bazaar. Yet the taller and wider the nut tree grew, the angrier and gloomier Teodor became.
“Dear neighbour, is there anything troubling you? You don't look very well.” Feofan asked sympathetically. “Please, try some of my nuts. They are very beneficial, especially for people our age since both of us have already grown old.”
In answer Teodor became even gloomier. One day, the strangest news started to spread in the village: Teodor had brought a complaint against his neighbour Feofan, claiming that Feofan's sprawling nut tree shades his garden causing his fruit to grow badly.
"Teodor has asked the Judge to order that your tree be cut down,” one of the villagers told Feofan. In response Feofan sadly shook shoulders.
Both neighbours prepared themselves for the day in Court. Teodor, represented by his eldest son who had completed his agricultural studies, brought a big basket of fruit to the Court. Feofan's eldest son, who had just graduated from medical school spoke on behalf of his father. With him, Feofan also brought a big basket of nuts.
“Lack of a sunlight is harmful for fruit. Its sweet taste and vitamin content decreases due to this!” With these words, Teodor's son began his speech in the Court.
“If we speak about vitamins, then in walnuts, especially in its leaves, the amount of vitamin C is much more than in lemons and oranges, in fact 50 times more! Surely, and not without reason, doctors treat cold and diathesis in children with a broth made from nut leaves,” countered Feofan's son.
And in this way each argument was countered with a brilliant answer.
All the peasants were surprised to hear such clever speeches and could not decide which of the two parties was right.
“The Court is closing for a consultation and we will reconvene in two hours,” the Judge declared after listening to all the arguments and replies.
The Judge left, having ordered his servant to carry both baskets (one full of fruit from Teodor's garden and another with nuts from Feofan's garden) to the kitchen.
The peasants assumed that the Judge would sample the gifts and then deliver a fair decision, but Teodor and Feofan were both confused.
At last the Judge returned to Court. His servant and cook entered right behind him, carrying the baskets. A mouth-watering aroma spread in the Court hall, making those present feel very hungry. Even Teodor and Feofan remembered that in their haste, they had not eaten breakfast that morning.
“Attention! I've asked the cook to bake pies from your fruit and your nuts so that everyone here could try them and decide which is tastier and more nutritious: fruit or nuts?” the Judge announced.
For about one minute only sounds of chewing and approving exclamations were heard in the Court hall.
“Well I couldn't imagine that nuts could give such a unique taste to fruit,” Teodor said glumly.
“Neither did I know that fruit could compliment nuts in such a tasty way,” answered Feofan with a smile.
The neighbours embraced each other and upon arriving at their homes, decided to plant a new orchard on open ground behind the village. The orchard, which enjoyed a lot of sun, did not interfere with the nut tree in Feofan's courtyard. Soon their wives began to bake pies from both fruit and nuts. These appetizing and nutritious pies became famous, not only in their village but the whole area. The friendship between Teodor and Feofan, which was almost broken, became even stronger.
Both Teodor and Feofan bequeathed a nut tree to their children. By this time all their children had grown and became skillful professionals. When people used to thank them for their work, they answered smiling: “It is due to the walnut tree which strengthened our memory and helped us in our studies. So we should thank it first."
This walnut tree lived for many centuries and had grown higher than a ten-storied house. All of Teodor and Feofan's descendants inherited only one branch of this mighty nut tree, but the nuts were sufficient for everybody because the tree was giving more than one hundred thousand nuts per year.
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Educational stories on healthy food: The hazelnut and the oak
Healing qualities of almonds - educational story: The tender almond
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Liquidise nuts, raisins and dates or alternatively grind it in a food mill or meat grinder. Mix carefully. Store in the fridge.
Grind walnuts in a blender, coffee grinder, food processor or by hand. Mix the walnuts with buttermilk and add honey. Your unique walnut milk is ready!
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Healthy recipes with walnut and honey from Middle Eastern recipes collection