16 April 2016


Nuts.  Nuts is the word for the day.  Now, Mom had a taste for nuts.  She’d bring home walnuts used mainly for banana bread.  Around the holidays, there’d be peanuts brought home mainly from the social events we went to at school and at church.  And pecans and a funny colored nut that was hard to crack, the name of which I haven’t learned.  And  then there’d be an assortment, again, the names of which I haven’t discovered.  In the time I’ve been on the ‘Net, I haven’t researched these.  Might be project for the next time I’m bored.  The only kind of nut she hated with a passion was Sunflower Seeds.  Naturally, being children, we automatically liked these and ate them whenever we could.  She didn’t mind if we bought the seedless kind.

It wasn’t til I had my own house that I discovered the reason why she hated them.  Cause it wasn’t actually the seeds themselves.  It was the shells.  Most kids rarely pick up after themselves.  Nuff said cause the point of this post is the equipment used to crack all those nuts that were brought home.  And the reason why peanuts were the most popular in our house.  They were the easiest, aside from the sunflower seeds, to get opened and eaten in record time.

Mom had gone to town one day and so begins my lifelong fascination with the fancy little tools and bowl she’d brought home.  It was sitting on the table when I came home from school one day.  There were nuts in the bowl and three silver tools sitting on the bowl.  I examined the things, then set them back and grabbed one of the walnuts and proceeded to get out the hammer.

This was the tried and true method of getting the nuts open.  And the favored method amongst us kids.  And the reason Mom bought those little tools.  I set the pecan on the table and proceeded to open the nut with my usual enthusiasm.  This method involved a lot of pounding, noise and occasional cussing, which being a properly brought up girl child in the Holmes household, I wasn’t supposed to do.  I was happily opening those nuts and eating them as fast as I could, unaware that Mom was sitting on the couch watching my every move.

She’d come home sick from work.

I shortly became aware of that fact.

I could feel someone watching me.  The sensation of eyes upon one is not the creepy, hair stands up sort of one.  It’s more, the slow penetration of watching that comes over one when someone is staring at one for more than a glance or two.  Some people are trained in this and therefore, they pay attention when the sensation touches them.

First, one tries to casually move one’s eyes to see who doing doing such a thing.  Then, if at all possible, one moves one’s head in a manner designed to catch the starer off guard.  That wasn’t the point at which I became aware that Mom was watching me.  Nooo.  Not me.  I was too absorbed in my demolishing of the nuts in that bowl sitting so obviously in the middle of the table.

It was at the point where the untrained learn the folly of not paying attention to the sensation in the first place.  Something happens to make them wish they’d paid that careful attention. The hammer was grabbed out of my hand, the nut I was holding flew across the table and I stifled a scream when I saw who was standing there.  She was shaking her head, lips thinned down like she was biting them.  She took the hammer with her, went back to the couch, laid down and went to sleep.

Long story short, later that evening, she woke up, called me into the kitchen and promptly gave me a lesson in how to use the nutcracker and the little tool that got the nut out of the shell.  It was then I discovered that I wasn’t the expert with those little pliers that she’d hoped I’d become.  And I learned to check if she was home before using the hammer to open the nuts.


  1. I have a nutcracker that is a wooden mallet and a block with a dent the nut goes in. It works better with walnuts than with almonds, but it is very dramatic.

    1. Might try that. Least the nuts wouldn't go sliding after each smash.

  2. Ha-ha. That's a funny story. I got rid of Nutcrackers a long time ago. I buy nuts in bulk now and grind them for cereal,salads and breads.

    1. I tried that a few times. Less I'm cooking with them, I stick to the tried and true. The hammer on the table method is easier cause my hands can't fit the plier around the nut.

  3. Love it. That's the only way I can open a coconut. I've seen the videos that show it being done differently, but like your hammaer and the pecan, so goes mine on the coconut. https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/

    1. My son and I tried a hammer. I saw a video. We gave up on that particular cocomut.


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