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.
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?
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!)
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.