Sunday, December 17, 2017

Last year's spiced nuts.

'Tis the season, as you've doubtless heard. I've spent the better part of this weekend in the kitchen, making all the cookies and treats I make every year -- including the spiced pecans I wrote about last year. Go check it out, if you missed it; I posted the recipe and everything.

As you can see, the recipe calls for a pound of nuts, but I always give so many away that we don't have a lot left over for us. So last year, I bought two pounds of nuts, fully intending to make a second batch in time for Yule. Or maybe New Year's. I forget which.

Now here is where I need to mention that I have developed a habit, honed by many years in journalism, of working best on deadline. That's one of the reasons I like NaNoWriMo -- it imposes a deadline on me, however arbitrary, to draft a novel in thirty days. As a corollary, I am the sort of person who wants to do the thing and be done with it -- and so the thing I'm doing had better have tangible results. Cleaning the house, for example, is not something I'm good at keeping up with; I don't see the point of dusting unless there's enough dust on the coffee table to write my name in it.

So I set deadlines for myself. Draft a novel in some random thirty-day period? I'm in. Cookies have to be delivered on Monday, before everyone leaves for the holidays? I'll be in the kitchen all weekend. But buy an extra pound of pecans with the intention of making them this week, or maybe next week? Yeah, not so much.

All year, I've been looking at those pecans in the pantry, fully intending to make them into spiced nuts. At one point I tried to get one of my daughters to make them. Didn't work. There those pecans continued to sit, silently judging me.

Last month, I even pulled out the recipe and sat it on the kitchen counter with the pecans on top, figuring I'd be annoyed enough by them being in the way to make them for Thanksgiving. Didn't happen.

Last year's nut on the left; this year's on the right.
Finally, this weekend, it was time once again to make holiday treats. I couldn't bring myself to give away last year's nuts as gifts, so I bought a pound of new pecans. But I couldn't just throw away last year's nuts! And I could hardly make the new ones before using up the old ones. So yesterday morning, on deadline, I made last year's pecans into spiced nuts, just for us. Then this morning, I made a batch of spiced nuts from the new pecans.

The two batches look the same, if you ask me. You can judge for yourself in the photo. And last year's nuts taste fine, I think.

The best part is that "make spiced nuts" is off my to-do list for another year. I can't tell you how relieved I am. Maybe now I can get around to dusting.

But first, I've got a little something planned for members of my Woo-Woo Team later this week. I'll be doing a live video in our closed Facebook group on Wednesday the 20th at 9:00pm Eastern time (or, y'know, thereabouts) with a new little story about Sage and Webb. I've been inspired by my daughter Kat, who sends her friends and fans holiday cards every year with a ficlet -- a story of less than 1,000 words -- enclosed. Rather than sending mine through the mail, you get to watch me read it.

You say you're not a member? I can fix that! Go to the Woo-Woo Team page here and ask to be let in. Even if you can't make the live broadcast, the video will be there for your viewing pleasure later.

(And yes, I've set myself a deadline so I will actually write the thing.)

Talk to you on Wednesday.

These moments of spiced nutty blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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