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Saturday, 1 December 2012

T'is the season...to go nuts!

Yule must be coming around, because three nets of whole nuts have made their way into the Island Dreaming household.

This doesn't happen at any other time of year, for reasons that aren't really clear to me at all. None of us are allergic. I love nuts. Nick loves them. The kids are partial to them, including The Picky One (formally known of here as The Boy). Intact in their shells and stored in a cool dry place, they will store for a year or more and stay fresh tasting. Shelled nuts can be hit and miss, if not slightly rancid tasting and waaaay more expensive. No, for the rest of the year, the only nuts that make it into the house are either in butter form, enrobed in chocolate (possibly both) or, rarely, shelled and saltier than the Dead Sea. Defying all food convention, nuts will never be healthier in our house than they are during the biggest feast of the year.

I think this is mostly a problem of availability - most shops only sell whole nuts during a three month wintry window. I know if we are to be healthier this year then a daily portion of freshly shelled nuts throughout the year will do us some good, which means bulk buying over the next month or two. Whilst calorific (good for those trying to maintain their body weight and for fast growing kids) they are mineral and vitamin dense too. I have previously added flaked almonds to pasta dishes, crushed walnuts to shepherds pie and pistachios to rice dishes - but only between the months of December through to January.

In spite of my best efforts now that I have small children who believe in Santa, I am still an unreformed scrooge at heart. I have been ignoring the fairy light and tinsel early adopters in the streets around here since early November (as well as I can with a preschooler who shouts 'LOOK, MUM, SANTA!!!' every time we pass such a house), but now we now have a nut bowl on the kitchen counter, the season of good cheer and cut price plastic toot is well and truly upon us. 

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