Here is the story of my Not So Wonderful Nuts.
This isn't a recipe I made up. I suspect I got it off of a cooking show because it's written in The Composition Book in a very rapid illegible scrawl (unlike my slow and laborious scrawl). The Composition Book is my recipe collection. Many years ago, I bought a standard black/white cover Composition book. It's where I paste, copy, tape, and otherwise insert recipes. I used to use it for things I tried or wanted to try. Now it's just things that I've tried that are actually good. It's a mark of honor to make it into the book these days.
This recipe was from a time when I was just starting to become a good cook back in the late 90's. I was trying out these nuts as a possible gift idea for folks around the holiday season. I made a huge test batch and had far more nuts than I wanted to/needed to/should eat. I thought they were delicious but I also wanted other opinions.
So, I sent them to the convenient stomachs of The Husband's co-workers. He's a hair stylist and snacks are always welcome at the salon for both customers and fellow stylists alike. I dropped them off one Saturday morning, did a little shopping, then returned to say "Bye" to the husband.
I walk in through the din of hairdryers and house music. And one of the stylists, Dottie, shouted out to me, "Marisa, you're not so wonderful!"
Imagine my surpise. I found myself trying to process this unusual statement. Had my husband been discussing some of my virtues: smart, funny, basically nice and then moved onto my flaws: messy, aloof, mildly selfish? And then Dottie took it upon herself to let me know? Had there been a specific instance where I wronged her personally? Why would someone tell me that I'm Not So Wonderful? It implies that at one point, Dottie thought I was wonderful and somehow I'd disillusioned her. But I didn't really know Dottie all that well to begin with.
I was visibly puzzled and clearly was not giving her the response she was expecting. So, she reiterated, "You're Not So Wonderful!"
"Ooooo-Kayyyy," I said.
Finally, there was clarity. Dottie was saying, "Marisa, You're Nuts Are Wonderful."
So, these became My Not So Wonderful Nuts. It helps if you say it fast and make some sort of middle vowel between Not/Nut.
How do they relate to sports? They are always served at The Husband's Quarterly Chess Society Meetings (people playing chess in our living room). I check out yard sales looking for narrow serving dishes to place between the chess boards.
It does turn out that these are a bit hard to photograph. Nuts don't look especially yummy when you're not a professional photographer. They kind of look like something you wouldn't want to eat and would want to physically move away from.
The photo above shows them in little baggies because I made a double batch last night for a Haiti Bake Sale today. I hope they earn lots of money.
My Not So Wonderful Nuts
3 Tbsp Butter (melted)
1 Tbsp Dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Cups Nuts - (I like mixing walnuts, pecans, cashews. Walnuts are the best because they are a bit pourous and absorb the butter and shatter in your mouth just like really crispy bacon. Almonds are nice but are firm and aren't like walnuts.)
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Melt butter on stovetop, add rosemary, cayenne, salt. When you get used to the recipe you can increase/decrease the cayenne and/or salt. Note that your kitchen will start to smell very good at this point.
Pour butter mixture over nuts and stir to coat.
Spread nuts on baking sheet and place in oven for 7 minutes. Do not let burn. Burnt nuts are bitter angry things.