Kitchen Rules
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Kitchen Rules
Tell your favorite kitchen story
  In the 1950s when I was a young boy, and on one of our families rare holiday visits to a grand parents home, I wanted to help with making pies. I really wanted to be near one of my favorite fo
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Kitchen Rules

posted at 6/14/2011 3:21 PM EDT
Posts: 13
First: 3/3/2009
Last: 11/7/2011

 

In the 1950s when I was a young boy, and on one of our families rare holiday visits to a grand parents home, I wanted to help with making pies. I really wanted to be near one of my favorite foods, hoping to get a preliminary taste of what the rest of the family would get later. So grandma being kind to a young boy, trapped inside because of the weather, decided to let me help. She chose what, to her, seemed a way to keep me out of the way and occupy me for quite awhile - cracking nuts. I was only about six or seven and had seen grownups crack nuts and get the tasty nutmeats out.  So grandma gave me a flat iron, still a common thing in that part of Illinois then, and a hammer and sat me in a corner to let me work on the nut cracking. I was having a bit of trouble getting the nuts to crack open and an uncle was teasing me about being weak. He said I had to give a good swing with just the right force and it would crack right open, he then showed me how. I thought I had the technique down and said I wanted to try again. So he handed me back the hammer and I put a big walnut on the flat iron and gave a hefty swing, the nut shattered into thousands of pieces all over the kitchen floor. I didn't have the technique down as well as I thought and was quite embarrassed as all the adults were now laughing so hard tears were running down their faces. I was then set to the task of cleaning it all up and told to go watch TV with my grandfather. A year later we were there again and I asked if I could try cracking nuts once more. The story of me obliterating a nut was told again to all who were not there the previous year. I passed granma's test, my technique had improved, and I was welcomed into that family circle of home holiday workers. The rule, I learned later, was that one could not eat more nutmeats than they put into the common bowl. I was quite guilty of eating about two thirds of what I cracked and was again relegated to watching TV with grandpa.

 

Re: Kitchen Rules

posted at 6/14/2011 5:17 PM EDT
Posts: 7301
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/19/2014
Gregory - Great story - thanks

When I was a kid we did the same with nuts --- black walnuts and hickory.  Buying a nut was not done, not even thought about ... I'm not certain it was possible.
Our first job was to gather the nuts - then  "pick" them clean.  There was no such thing as fudge or divinity without nuts.

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