The world is just one big bowl of mixed nuts isn’t it? In this case, a cut-glass relish dish on my dining table filled with nuts. And a nutcracker. And nut picks.
I grew up in a house where during the holidays, a bag of mixed nuts was procured from the grocery store from one of those bushel baskets or large bins on an end cap. I’d sit on the bricks that made the platform for the Franklin stove in the living room, busily cracking open – or at least attempting to crack open, the walnuts, almonds (those were easiest), hazelnuts and the ones I wanted least… Brazil nuts. We also had a bowl of hickory nuts around as large hickories grew on the fenceline along the hay field. Cracking of of those open and getting out a “whole meat” from a side was a fete worthy of celebration.
I’ve kept up the tradition of mixed nuts during the holidays and even if they last into the next year, that’s alright. Sitting around the dining table, having a conversation with friends, the dish of nuts gets reached for and the crack of the shells punctuates sentences. There is a warm, convivial feeling that a visit, however short or long it lasts, takes on when folks can “sit and jaw a while”, cracking nuts and cracking jokes.
I’ve even grown to like Brazil nuts.