We went nut-free for such a long time in this house because The Monster was at high risk for allergies. With the risks behind us we've welcomed the gradual return to a nutty life. I still remember the first peanut butter cookies we made together and their crumbly, sweet taste. Now, without thinking about it we're back to adding toasted hazelnuts to roasted veggies, walnut oil in salad dressings, and eating classic out of hands nuts like cashews and pistachios.
A few weeks back we were helping our neighbours plan a kitchen reno. The girls ran around, chasing the cat, banging on the piano, and scoping out some 1970s toys Poppa and Grandma B have lying around. Then it got eerily quiet. If you've got kids, or even been around them for 20 minutes you know that too quiet usually means trouble.
A quick search found the two girls huddled, not over a beaten cat or something breakable being used in a creative way, but around a container of pistachios. The Monster easily figured out how to get the meat out the shells and a little pile had already appeared. Smilosaurus was frantically begging her sister to shell more and more for her grabby little hands. Happy that nothing was being destroyed we let them be and tried to figure out just how our neighbours could fit an island in their kitchen.
Fast forward a few weeks to me packing snacks for an outing to the zoo. Remembering the girls' love of pistachios I threw some together with a handful of dried cranberries. And when we stopped for a warm-up and treat they promptly picked out all the cranberries and refused to touch the pistachios. Okay, so we need more exposure to establish a pistachio habit, fair enough. Or, so I thought.
The other day Hubby is picking up groceries and upon his return he declares that he bought a treat for the girls. As a mom, I kind of cringed, knowing that they'd already had a fair amount of sweets that day. But it wasn't red licorice or fruit gums that he pulled out, it was a container of pistachios, in their shells. And the sheer excitement of the girls' faces as they gathered around the coffee table superceded even the performance of the aerialists at the Olympics.
So, in the nut adventures in this household, apparently shells rule.