2010/12/23

At times the recipe reflects the state of mind of the person making it... (Sweet & Spicy Nuts)

I am not sure how you are, but sometimes when I am preparing a recipe an idea or strings of ideas get stuck in my head.  And they don't always make sense.  I am not sure if it is the stress from this time of year, or I fell asleep watching a movie or something; but when I made these nuts, that is exactly what happened.

I debated sharing this phenomenon, because I am sure you all will think I need to board the next train headed to Crazy Town.  Maybe, I am already there?  In that case, I will have to learn how to wear my oddity with pride. 


All was going well when I started my endeavor.  Coat the nuts in egg white.  Stir in spices.  Pretty simple.  Harmless.  

Then it came time to carefully place the nuts onto the parchment in preparation for baking.  Which is when it started happening.  The score from Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique" (op. 14) started streaming through my head.  While that composition was running in the background, sound bites from the Silence of the Lambs started popping in and out - like little bubbles breaking through the surface in a glass of soda pop.  It was totally bizarre.  And weird.  And so random. 



One by one, I scraped the excess goo off the nuts and laid them on the sheet.  As the score crescendoed in my head, I moved faster.  When it hit the decrescendo, things slowed down.  All while the little thought bubble snippets broke to the surface. 



The only redemption that I can offer myself is that I was making these the same day that I was doing this.  So, I am definitely going to blame it on whatever ailment was plaguing me.  Which is probably not fair - because I remade these a week later.  With the same results...  D'oh.  It's me, isn't it?  I guess I better collect my boarding pass for that train.  Just saying...

About the nuts... (no, not "The Nut" - we've talked about her long enough).  They went over really well in the house.  I used the Chinese Five Spice option.  The first batch was gone by the end of the evening.  It's a pretty versatile recipe - I just need to figure out how to keep them from looking so "clumpy" (I did reduce the amount of sugar the second time through and that seemed to help.  I also strained out the thick "gumpy" part of the egg white before I mixed them, which also improved things). 

On that note, Happy Holidays to all! 

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.  Come check out what all of the other more balanced bloggers have been up to...

13 comments:

  1. Umm, yep I think Crazy Town is definitely calling! Too funny!! Your nuts look quite tasty and I'm glad you are feeling better. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and get a little rest...it will probably help! :) Merry Christmas!!

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  2. @ Steph. I just bought my ticket and reserved my seat on the train. I will get there around mid-night on Christmas Eve... All I can do is hope that it isn't a one-way ticket!

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  3. We thought these nuts were fantastic!! Hadn't thought of using Chinese 5 spice on them. I'll have to give that a try.

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  4. You certainly were busy that day! Hope you're finally feeling better and trade in that ticket for some Christmas relaxation, instead. :)

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  5. the nuts sure look so delish!
    could grab a few rite away!
    happy hols with love and Merry Christmas!

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  6. I'm glad you tried the Chinese Five spice option! I was wondering how that would turn out. Great post! Happy holidays!

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  7. Your nuts look great…The chinese five spice mix sounds really good…will have to try it. I'm sure a little rest will help you to feel better!! Merry Christmas!

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  8. Yum! I'm trying these out for New Years!

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  9. On my second batch of nuts (they are that good!), I doubled the recipe for the sugar, egg whites & spices but used triple the amount of nuts. I folded the sugar in a tablespoon at a time. At the end, there was a perfect amount of nuts to spice mixture. I'm not patient enough to put the nuts one by one on the cookie sheet either (I just try to spread them out). There were a few nuts with a little "plate" of caramel underneath them but if I rubbed them a little between my fingers before putting them in the storage bowl, the plates came right off (for the few that wouldn't, I just ate them instead!).

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  10. I just love that Berlioz was running through your head...even if it was interspersed with Silence of the Lambs. Glad the Chinese Spice Option worked out so well! :)

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  11. I have made these five or six times already. Will try 5 spice next. I do think it is worth the crazyness to do this one at at time to the sheet pan though.

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  12. I completely understand the combination of Berlioz and Silence of the Lambs:) I always run by weird amalgamations:)

    But your nuts look really good. I have to make them again - I loved them so much.

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  13. You were so ambitious to make them to same day as the daube and while you were sick! I still have not made these, but I have some Chinese 5 spice and might just give it a try even try.

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