Spicy Nuts with a Dash of Zatar and a Dollop of Neuroses.

It’s funny how when you know your are going to write about a recipe, you adlib the whole bit in your head like you are on a reality tv show (real houswives of Portland? Why not). Maybe I just do this. This is perhaps the only crutch of participating in French Fridays with Dorie*. Unless I’m rushing to put dinner on the table or zoning out in a complex recipe, I’m often directing the scene as I cook. I am the actor, director, producer, in total creative control. Critically analyzing every step of the recipe for blogging or photographing, making mental notes of witty asides, developing the narrative, pretty much acting like a bit of a nob. That whole buddhist bit about being in the moment of a task. Yeah, not happening here.

The recipe calls for me to toss the nuts in egg? Oh no, seriously. I’m gunna say how I hate tossing nuts in egg because then all the white cooks around the nuts in a gross way. No. I’ll write that I hate that method. Maybe I should film how I whisk the egg whites, I’m pretty good at whisking. It will look great on camera.

What? I’m to take the nuts one by one and take shake off the excess egg white? Are you kidding? That will take forever. No. I’ll find a faster method…. I’ll, um, dump them into a fine mesh strainer and rub the white through. OMG, This is so not going to be worth the effort! I’ll link to my favorite holiday nut recipe from martha stewart.

This happens as I read the recipe, and then I start cooking,iIn a grand effort to get something made to take with me to my baby and me group in a very short amount of time (But last group Nicole made spiced nuts!! Can I make spiced nuts too, will she think I’m trying to one up her, OMG! blarg!). Autopilot on, I pull open the spice drawer to discover that I indeed do not have the called for chili powder. Instead I grab zatar, and mix it with salt and sugar. I whisk the eggs, glancing at the clock. 45 minutes till I need to get Ells in the car and go. Everything into the bowl, and one by one I actually shake off all the egg whites- it didn’t take that long but I still tried to put everything into a fine mesh strainer- it didn’t work. Nuts into the oven, baby into the car seat, nuts in the bag, and out the door to the doctor’s office, and wouldn’t you know the appointment lasted too long and we missed out on group. Luck for me, I had a whole bag of spiced nuts. A delicious ride home well worth the effort.

* I’m a member of French Fridays with Dorie, a super fun cooking group taking on Dorie Greenspan’s, Around My French Table. Each month we select four recipes and write about our efforts. Join the fun, or keep up with the whole lot of us!

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10 comments
  1. OMG…just too funny! I do exactly the same thing. Full on running monologue in my head while I’m cooking about what I’m going to write. And then, I forget half of it when I finally do sit down to write (it’s an aging issue). I need to start running a tape recorder and talking out loud. I loved your thoughts (I had many of the same as I was cooking these nuts, especially about shaking off each nut). Thanks for the early morning laugh!

    • I actually bought a voice recorder a couple of years ago. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I keep a cooking journal in the kitchen, trying to write everything down as I go, but thanks to egg white coated fingers, the spiced nut page is fused together with the previous recipe. Better than all over the voice recorder!

  2. Teresa said:

    They look liked the worked out really well. I’m impressed that you got it all done with such time pressure!

    • Thank you! Me too. I guess this what becoming a mom is all about right? Pulling off the impossible.

  3. Lana said:

    I can relate to your internal monologue – not that I would confess any time soon:)
    I enjoyed you post and now i am looking forward even more to these cookies.

  4. Krissy said:

    I like to read about what you did and what you thought because I will be making this recipe soon and I want to learn from your experience…so, I won’t get out the fine mesh strainer.

    • I really thought I was on to something, but alas, you’ve got to shake’em off. One. At. A. Time.

  5. Ker-Yng said:

    Oh, it’s too bad you missed the group meeting after all your efforts! I was thinking of pouring the bowl of coated nuts into a fine mesh strainer so the excess liquid will drain off the next time I make this. I know you tried it and it didn’t work but I’m stubborn like this!

    • I’m stubborn too! I knew it wouldn’t work, but had to see for myself. C’est la vie!

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