I was raised in a household where Christmas tree ornaments were not allowed. My parents banned them all, year after year. I didn't know any other kids who didn't have them, so I was really confused about what Santa was going to bring when the Christmas tree remained bare all year long. It didn't feel very Christmassy at all.
I never got the whole idea of Christmas tree ornaments, anyway. Mainly because I am completely weirded out by glass figurines. I am not a fan. They seem too fragile. When I was little, I was convinced one would fall off the tree and break. I once saw a glass reindeer ornament fall off a tree and break into a million pieces. One of the legs had snapped off and it just shattered. The horror. I never wanted to see that happen again.
My mother told me one day that she didn't want to see a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments that were breakable. She said there was no reason why we couldn't have a tree that was very pretty, but that we didn't have to have anything that would break. That got me thinking maybe I could make some tree ornaments out of foods that were safe. I remember talking to my friends about this and they were so excited. We decided to make them out of Rice Krispies.
I don't know why, but I was taken with the idea of making tree ornaments out of nuts. It just seemed the perfect thing to make. I made them with my friends one night and my mom took them to work the next day. I was so excited to see how they came out. The next day, my mom told me that one of her co-workers asked what they were and asked if she could try one. I was shocked. Not in a bad way, but shocked that there was someone who had never had a Grandpa's Salty Nuts.
Grandpa's Salty Nuts make a great Christmas tree ornament because they are so delicious. They crunch and taste really good. It doesn't really matter what shape they are. It's pretty cool to see them hanging in a tree after they've been there for a while. They collect a little dust and look like they've been around for a while. It's a tradition that I hope to continue for many years to come.
- 2 cups (200g) raw pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water
- 1/2 cup (120ml) white vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce
- 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place nuts in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Pour the hot mixture over the nuts. Stir to coat.
- Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 250°F (120°C) for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.