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Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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trailmix

Add Some Nuts

Today is National Walnut Day. I would guess, though I didn’t look it up, that walnuts are one of the most consumed nuts alongside the almond. Walnuts make a great addition to cookies, cakes, breads, and all by themselves are a protein filled healthy snack. What would trail mix be without them.

One of my family’s treats at Christmas time when I was little, was a full dish of assorted  nuts in the shell. We had two crackers and four meat picks. The four of us girls would eat the filberts first, then the almonds, then the walnuts. We would see if we could crack the walnut-shell open in order to get a complete half. Somehow they tasted better if they weren’t broken. How innocent the mind of a young person is to believe that. (I miss those days.)

Also at Christmas time, we gave home-made Mrs. Clause Fudge and date nut bread to the milkman, the paper boy, the post office employees, the Charlie Chip man, our teachers, and friends. Both of these contained walnuts. There wasn’t the concern then about nut allergies that there is now. To this day when I make date nut bread, I give half of it away so I don’t eat all of it because there is nothing better hot or cold, with lots of butter on it, especially if the dates are left in bite size chunks. Now my mouth is watering.

I don’t know too many cookies that aren’t better with a handful of chopped walnuts  thrown in the dough. And let’s not forget maple walnut ice cream; another one of my favorites. Can you tell I like food. It’s rough being one of those people who lives to eat and likes everything, well most everything.

Whatever your plans for the day, may I suggest you take a resealable sandwich bag full of walnuts with you. They are a much more healthy snack than that sugar filled coffee you pay five dollars for.

National Trail Mix Day

Have you gone shopping for trail mix lately?  In the super market I use, Wegmans, there are multiple kinds in the nut section, there are different kinds in the bulk food section and there are yet others in the health food section.  So, I leave the definition of trail mix to you.  I have read the first one made was just peanuts and raisins.

I like to take a bag of trail mix when we go on a car trip.  {It used to be motorcycle trip but the husband’s back gave out, and we have had too many close friends get hurt; I’m actually afraid to get on one now days.} The handy snack satisfies all sorts of cravings.  You can pick out just the chocolate when you need a sweet fix, and you can pick out all the cashews at one time, before anyone else gets to the bag.  The little pieces of dried fruit often give a more sour flavor burst if that is what you desire; and all jumbled together sends the taste buds into happy land, plus puts off the “I have to stop to eat!” demand for a while.  It’s a great staple for in the room too, no refrigeration or heating necessary.

Trail mix was “invented” for just that, eating on the trail when hiking.  I have been on some beautiful trails in my life.  Number one would be on Mt. Rainier in Washington state.  We parked in the Paradise parking lot and my friend pointed UP.  “You see that bench up there?” “Yeah.”  “That’s where we are eating lunch.” “Really?”  I didn’t have the exercise gene back then either, but I made it.  Trail mix was our dessert and the begging jay birds had some too.

Now I am back living in New York state, home territory.  There is a park named Harriet Hollister Spencer State Park that has wonderful views from the trails.  If you didn’t grow up around here, you’ll need a GPS to find it.  We also have Letchworth and Stony Brook state parks, plus many others.  I’m sure you have a great park near you.  Grab a bag of trail mix and go check one out.

One word of caution; dried fruit and chocolate can last almost indefinitely, not so with some types of nuts.  In an open bag in the cupboard they can go rancid.  So buy yourself some fresh trail mix and enjoy the Labor Day Weekend  (If you are in the U.S.)  while eating it, even if you do so in front of the TV, on the golf course, or around a fire pit.

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