Something from Nothing: Larry’s Thorn Cocktail Picks

My father-in-law Larry is one of the most resourceful people I know. As long as I’ve known him, he’s lived in a suburban ranch house, but he has the sensibilities of a farmer: Always looking for new and more practical ways to stretch his resources.

Larry’s retired and a part-time lifeguard at a local YMCA. He walks the mile and a half to and from the Y on those days he works. Did I mention he has the 5 a.m. shift? On one of these walks he noticed a Honey Locust tree, also known here in Indiana as a Thorn Tree. Rightly so–they pretty much just harvest thorns. My understanding from a friend who punctured his thigh with one of the thorns while clearing his property is that they’re wicked and near-lethal. But as always, Larry didn’t just see a dangerous tree sprouting six-inch swords; he saw opportunity.


He came back to the thorn tree with some pruners and carefully cut off some 4-inch thorns. Back home, he rounded the dull ends with a nail file. And then he got out the olives. He gave me and Phil a set of these cocktail skewers, with dire warnings about not letting the kids touch them, and they’re Phil’s favorites.

Cocktail picks from lethal thorns — because making lemonade from lemons would be too pedestrian for my father-in-law.


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