Pine nuts [moved from the Greater Boston Area board]
Some pine nuts have much harder shells than others. I've had some that were easy to open with my fingernails and others that required a pair of pliers. In-the-shell pine nuts are great for a self-limiting snack; you soon get tired and put them away. For recipes that may call for a quarter cup or more of pine nuts, head for Sam's Club and the already shelled kind!
if they already out of the pine cone, boil them for 1 hour at low simmer, then the shells get soft and you can crack them - then you can eat them - this is what we used to do when I was a kid ... if they are still in cones, you can still boil them without taking them out, but it will take longer. We used to eat them like sunflower seeds - pop them in your mouth and crack the shell then eat.