Thanks to family members, I now have the right tool for the job - a nutcracker built to open black walnuts, not to mention shagbark hickory nuts.
Nuts are healthful, and available by gathering them into a bag as we walk in the woods or along pasture edges.
To shell the nuts easily, if you don't have access to workshop tools, vices, grips and the like, you need one of the super-strong, expressly designed nutcrackers available via a google search (see photo - around $50).
Now I will be less dependent on watching for supermarket "specials" on the price of English walnuts. Black walnuts are famed for their rich flavor and go for very high prices in the market place. A big thank you to my family for helping me bring the price waaaaaay down.
Woodland riches are free for the gathering. Watch for future posts on my recent adventures with black walnuts, shagbark hickory nuts, beech nuts, beech sprouts and more.