The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

January 2, 2008

How to make Swedish Nuts

REALLY, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SO EASY.
INSTEAD, MAKING NUTS TASTE GOOD IS HARD.

That is, if the directions aren't exactly clear, or if the person in charge of acquiring the ingredients and then whipping them into shape as per instructions doesn't know a pecan from a toucan.

Or if he doesn't have one of those high-falutin' whipper-upper thingies.

Blogger buddy Anna sent along this recipe for Spiced Swedish Nuts, something she said her husband and everyone else raves about.

I hummed. I hawed. But being the amateur gourmet chef I am, a master of chicken stir fry, bacon and eggs and Kraft Dinner, I finally decided to try them. The first thing I did was look at the recipe.

The next thing, of course, is to get the ingredients. This is where I began to foul up. As instructed, I bought the pecan halves.

Unfortunately, because I actually tried to remember the ingredients instead of writing them down when I went shopping, I only bought half a pound. So I had to go back to the store a day or two later.

And when I did, they didn't have the pecan halves any more, they just had the pecans in the shell, a whole giant package. Unwittingly, I figured a bunch of whole nuts is better than half a thing of half-nuts.

So I bought that, leaving me with this:



Well, DOH! I've never busted nuts before (only had mine busted). And these things are HARD! I had to bring out all the artillery.

Nothing really worked all that well. Pecans are, ahem, tough nuts to crack. But I needed another half-pound of "pecan halves." So I soldiered on, through trial and tribulation.



I tried my garlic press. I tried my pliers.



My hammer worked the best, but a lot of pecans lost their lives in the process and were crushed to bits. I don't know how the professionals do it, but if there's a secret, I couldn't discover it.


And my dang nuts seemed to be laughing at me. Doesn't that look like a sly grin to you?

Anyway, I never got even close to extracting half a pound of pecan halves from that big pack of nuts. I gave up after about half an hour.
And compared to the hugely expensive but convenient pack on the left, I ended up with what's on the right. So fine, let's proceed with the recipe.
I had to extract two egg whites from two eggs, leaving the yolks behind. But what the heck was I supposed to do with the best part of the egg, the yolk?

As instructed, I heated up the pecans.
And in an amazing first for me, while I was doing that, and without the benefit of an electric mixer, I had to manually "whip" the egg whites, chili powder and all kinds of other stuff like sugar in a "large bowl."

UNTIL STIFF!







Surprisingly, I managed to do both things simultaneously.

Then all I had to do was mix all this gooey stuff together.



Back in the oven they go, for three 10-minute intervals of stirring (not one 30-minute interval, no sir-eee!)


TA-DA!!!

I'm sure I got the volumes (or is that weights) of the ingredients wrong, but they ARE good!

I thank you, Anna. And I hope the Muppets' Swedish Chef would be proud.

35 comments:

  1. I love a man who cooks. And you...well...you are about to make me kick Joe Biden and Bill to the curb.
    Being from the south you would think I love pecans. But I rather dislike them. I hate it when my mom makes pecan pies. I'd rather have blackberry cobbler.

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  2. I'm soooooo impressed! really really really impressed!!

    I couldn't have done any of that - well perhaps the bit with the hammer!

    Next time tho, if you only have 1/2 of something just 1/2 everything else!

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  3. I'd love a man that cooks too - where d'you get them?

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  4. The Food Network called and wants you to replace Gordon Fucking Ramsay.

    Paul Deen wants to slather you with cream sauce.

    And Rachel Ray says you're "yummo!"

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  5. That should be "PAULA" Deen, not Paul Deen.

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  6. Awa:

    Yeah, just kick Joe and Bill over...towards that sewer grate, they'll roll in. (Why aren't you at the Iowa Caucuses to see 'em?)

    I don't mind them, actually. Pecans I mean. Don't know that I've tried blackberry cobbler, but sounds delish.

    Ziggi:

    Really really?

    I only hit my finger twice with the hammer and broke a nail trying to peel off those shells.

    I was terrible in math. I didn't have just half, I had about 3/4s. It worked out OK.

    And us men who cook live only in Winnipeg, Canada.

    MJ:

    Gordon Fucking Ramsay? Is he that f*ckn' guy who f*ckn' says f*ckn' every second f*ckn' word?

    I'll definitely replace him and I'll kick him in the f*ckn' gonads on the way out.

    Now who is Paula Deen? Rachel Ray, nah, all talk, all smile, no beef. How about Nigella Lawson?

    Now THERE'S yummo!

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  7. Anonymous6:35 PM

    They sound delicious!!!!!! I adore nuts especially pecans,and dont forget all that VitB12 aswell!!!

    Happy New Year!

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  8. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Oh sorry,I forgot to put my name with the previous anonymous post! Its Laura!

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  9. Well lets all do the :hipshake: You got them a cookin'. More determination than I would have given it. But I love this story. It made me smile the whole way. I would have loved to be a bug on your wall as you made this. (Course you would have to offer me some at the very least)

    Thank you for this posting, I needed a smile and a laugh.

    Soft love,
    T

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  10. Laura:

    Where ya been, girl!!??

    My nuts ARE delicious! (Insert innocent giggle here). I had not thought about the B12 benefit.

    Happy New Year to you and -- broken record time -- when are you going to start your own blog?

    Note to MJ:

    I googled Paula Deen. She's that 60ish southern woman with an accent so Deep South you can barely understand her! Thanks, girl!

    Tara:

    Yes, please DO do the :hipshake :-)

    I would have put the fly swatter away to allow you to observe, no probs.

    And of course I'd have offered you some.

    If I make the time for it, I like cooking. My dad and I used to plan and cook a huge meal for my entire family once a month when I was growing up. It's kinda cool!

    I'm glad I could give you a smile and a laugh. And thanks for visiting. And hugs.

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  11. But MJ, I don't have a melon baller. And there's no meat in that recipe.

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  12. Ah, but could you be trusted around melons with a baller?

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  13. MJ:

    (*LAUGHS HEARTILY*)

    Put that way, no.

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  14. I laughed through this whole post. So glad they turned out yummy anyway. They look right at the end, so you couldn't have messed up too badly.

    By the way, you could have used the egg yolks to make egg-drop soup.

    You should have just hollered. I would have helped! And since you did so well, I'll be sending you more recipes. :D

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  15. Anna:

    Well thanks for the recipe! Now I have to brace myself to try that other chicken in a crockpot recipe you sent...maybe this weekend.

    Egg-drop soup? Sounds a bit over my head but the yolks are still sitting there in that bowl on the counter.

    Just kidding.

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  16. If you drop the egg-drop soup, then the yolks on you.

    Oh I "crack" myself up sometimes!

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  17. MJ:

    You're cracked, all right...now I've got egg on my face.

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  18. I ended up feeding the yolks to my dog. She loved them.

    And yes, please do try that other recipe and let me know if you like it.

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  19. Anna:

    I don't have a dog, and those egg yolks are starting to smell. Maybe the mice would like them?

    Or I'll feed them to the crows outside AND get rid of the odour at the same time!

    Hopefully I'll try the chicken thing this weekend. Thanks!

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  20. Yerdee gerdee de hotsy totsy der dee der deesus spicey schveedish nuts mork mork mork!

    Okee dokee I vant to see yerdee smash yerdee nuts wit Thor's Hammer!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc_UCc8EQcQ

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  21. I am so sad right now. My Joe has officially withdrawn from his bid for presidency of the US of A. Dang those Iowans! I am all for Orack, Orick, Orackarackroo or whatever his name is, but Joe was my number one pick.

    Oh well, I guess I should begin support of a different candidate. Oh, and guess who is the designated speaker next week at the democratic meeting in my area. ME! Who would have thought! Please don't tell them about my online adventures. They would have a stroke and then I would have to give a speech on how my life, my rights, my doings have absolutely nothing to do with my performance, my intellect, my speech and my product. And uh, I ain't trying to do all that! :)

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  22. Do you want me to mail you my hammer? Believe me, I got the heaviest one.

    Well, you knowing cooking works in your favour. Some woman might have you..:D

    Can I have your efforts mailed to me? I would like to taste those before I make any judgement and recommend you for some hapless female.

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  23. more posts like this please ww, they look yummy... but i hosed myself!!!

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  24. CresceNet10:35 PM

    Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

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  25. LOL!

    That is so funny- not laughing at you, laughing with you, I actually make the effort to write up a shopping list, then leave it on the table. So shopping becomes "Memory-failed-induced-spontaneous-buy-up"..

    I'm thinking, put the little concrete suckers in a vice, get the cordless drill and hit 'em in 3 x different anatomical strategic spots-with the smallest drill bit you've got....then remove from vice and take to them with the hammer.

    (I figure cracking pecans would be like blowing up a medium sized bridge?)...............and........

    "Bob's your Uncle!"

    You did a top job there, thanks for putting up the recipe too, will cook that up for my partner; he loves his nut stuff.

    Pam

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  26. HE:

    I did find that YouTube link with the Muppets' Swedish chef. You've always liked that one. Yerdee Gerdee indeed.

    But Thor's Hammer on my nuts? That's a bit too painful to imagine...

    Awa:

    Yep, Joe's done like dinner. It might have been a different outcome if you had been Iowa. Personally, I'm for Obama.

    So you're into politics...really? I'll keep your online adventures secret. Wouldn't want anyone to have a stroke.

    Gautami:

    No doubt you have the heaviest hammer. It would cost you lots of rupees to mail it here, and I wouldn't want you to go to such expense.

    Hapless females: Ha! Cooking aside, they wouldn't be hapless any more, just happy!

    Angel:

    You hosed yourself? For my next culinary adventure, I think I'll prepare some Froot Loops.

    Pam:

    Ha! The drill bit thing might work, except another one of my accidents in an earlier life was to put a drill bit right into my lower thigh at high speed.

    Now that was painful.

    These things are worse than a medium sized bridge to break open. And they're slippery too.

    And, yeah, Bob's Yer Uncle!

    I brought my Swedish Nuts over to a party that HE and his lovely wife had last night. They were a big hit and a big joke all night, especially involving the one guy of Swedish extraction.

    Now all my Swedish Nuts are gone.

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  27. Hi Within Without! Happy New Year to you!! This post gave me a big smile and made me hungry too -- the finished product looked so yummy. I loved reading your account of making the Swedish Nuts -- it really cracked me up and I could totally identify with what you went through trying to get the recipe right. I love that you took photos step by step and hung in there even when cracking the nuts was really difficult. I hope this new year is filled with wonder and joy for you!
    :)

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  28. very provocative post in some ways...

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  29. hmm hot chef here ha ;-)

    Keshi.

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  30. Clare:

    Hiya California Girl! Hope your Christmas and New Year celebrations were good ones and all the best for Oh-8.

    Yeah, the nuts turned out pretty good, they're all gone now. Grocery shopping and me = disaster.

    Just wait until I attempt my next culinary delight...

    Annie:

    Hey, just havin' a little innocent fun with the goofy "my nuts" jokes, which carried on into a party Saturday where they were all consumed...

    Keshi:

    Well, the nuts were hot anyway...actually, they were more sweet than hot...

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  31. HELLO!!!!
    I feel so priveleged to have actually eaten those nuts in the RW. Man, they were good.

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  32. Joyce:

    I readily admit how absolutely DENSE I am, but what is the RW?

    Nonetheless, you have tasted my nuts, and you approve, apparently.

    That's all that matters.

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  33. Is it pathetic of me to be thrilled that others have tried them and loved them? I'm so glad you shared them! I hope they become a holiday tradition for you as they have for me... and I hope you think of me everytime you make or eat them. :)

    By the way, RW = real world.

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  34. Anna:

    It's not pathetic at all to feel that way! I was going to email you to tell you in person (so to speak), but never got around to it.

    I'm sure I WILL make them again, and I'll always let everyone who tries them and likes them that this is your recipe.

    And of course I'll think of you when I'm making my nuts (OK, yours) or eating them. :-)

    And thanks for clearing up the RW puzzle for me. Sometimes, I'm so culturally dense...

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