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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aw Nuts!

Do you remember nuts at Christmas back when we grew up?

These days there are bowls of nuts all over at Christmas gatherings.  You can get nuts of all kinds with all types of flavorings.  You can get pre-packaged sets of 6 or 8 sampler cans… flavors range from sweet to sour, from spicy to cheesy.  Nuts range from just peanuts to all mixed nuts to macadamia to other exotic nuts.

Wasn’t so when I grew up.  Not only did we not have many nuts or much variety, they were expensive so we didn’t seem to have a lot of them.  The one thing I remember that we had a lot of that you just don’t see as much today is unshelled nuts.  We had a big wood bowl that looked like a hollowed out piece of wood that would be filled with nuts.  It is exactly like the picture of this one here.  They must have been popular!  There was a little metal nutcracker that we would use to crack the nuts.  There were also little metal pick things to get the meat of the nut out of the shell.  I remember that it was a real challenge to squeeze tight enough to break the shell without destroying the nut inside.  It also wasn't uncommon to pinch your fingers in them a few times.
You don't see many of these around today - it certainly made you appreciate the nuts when you had to really work for them.

Any of you have the same nutty experiences growing up?


LaraAnn said...

I'm pretty sure that my aunt having a similar type wood bowl. There were definitely walnuts in it. I used to enjoy those. It was kind of fun cracking them open. We sometimes would get the fresh roasted peanuts at the Route 1 Flea Market.

Marco said...

This was a big part of my past. I would get them on my Christmas plate filled with goodies. Never did eat them. My dad did though. We had the silver nutcracker that you described and I had forgotten about the "dental pick" to get out the insides.

Personally I found out that if you hold two walnuts in your hand and squeeze them together it would crack them open quite nicely.

joe said...

My grandparents always had nuts laying around, but we never ate them. We'd just crack them open for the sake of using the nutcracker then just throw the nuts away.

Ally said...

Nuts are still a big part of our Christmas Eve dinner. I thought maybe it was because we're Italian. Chestnuts are always served in addition to a bowl filled with a wide variety of nuts and fruits. Even figs and fennel is served with these nuts.

Happy New Year!

Marissa said...

We didn't have the bowl, but we used a medieval-looking, metal tool that would make a dentist proud.

nanette r said...

i have a nut bowl i found at a thrift store and it's just like the one my grandparents had. no cracker or picks with it though. that's ok because i don't eat a lot of nuts. i use the bowl for incense. when people ask about it i tell them it's an antique, ceremonial incense bowl :)