With the holidays, comes an inevitable invasion of nutcrackers. They stare blankly ahead, grinning while gracing tables and guarding doorways.
When my children were young, we took them to see the Houston Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. My 5-year old daughter looked beautiful in her flowing fancy dress, and my 3-year old son looked precious in his tweed blazer — I was so proud of my young family. The sets were gorgeous, the costumes stunning, and . . . my kids were just too young to appreciate it. They fidgeted and whispered questions (in fairness, so were half the other kids in the theater). We could sense that the people in front of us were mildly irritated. At intermission, the redneck sitting in front of us turned around and said something like, “Could you control your kids? I paid $______ for these tickets.” (Doesn’t he know it’s impolite to talk about money, and besides, he probably used a Groupon.) We took the kids out to the lobby and got them a drink and some candy, and went back for the second act. Unfortunately, my son was still fidgety, and as he squirmed, he dropped one of his Skittles and it rolled down the theater floor — ping ping ping. Then he did it again — ping ping ping. Before the redneck’s head popped off, I picked up my son to move him to my lap, and during the transfer, the entire bag of Skittles emptied out and rolled down the theater floor. It sounded like soft rain — ch ch ch ch ch. At which point my husband stood up and said “Get up, we’re leaving.” Now, when my friends tell me they are going to The Nutcracker, I have to try very hard not to laugh. Y’all have fun.
But just because I don’t enjoy The Nutcracker doesn’t mean that I don’t like cracked nuts. A few years ago my neighbor brought us Swedish Nuts as a holiday treat. We loved these nuts! I hounded her for the recipe, and I am happy to be able share it. (Most recipes for Swedish Nuts on the interwebs use regular sugar, but I think the brown sugar really helps make these special). These are easy and really delicious (how could they not be with all that butter and sugar) — be sure to make an extra batch for yourself!
|SWEDISH NUTS|| |
- ½ cup butter
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Beat egg whites with an electric mixture until stiff. Stir in brown sugar and salt, mixing until completely combined. Add the pecans and stir until all nuts are completely coated.
- Place butter on a cookie sheet, and place in oven until butter is melted. Pour nuts onto cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet, breaking up any nuts that have stuck together. Can be stored in refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.
Stir until all the pecans are coated
Ready for to go in the oven
After 15 minutes
After 30 minutes
A perfect holiday treat