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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Just the kind of day for hard work

October 17, 2011

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I'll confess I was something of a nut case this weekend. I somehow got it in my head to wash ALL of the windows and screens in the house. An admirable aspiration, and easy to say. My gosh. After three hours, the kitchen and dining room windows were sparkling. That left four bedrooms and the basement (7 large windows and one sliding glass door).

I did get it done, sometime in the fading light of Monday, and realized as I poured a glass of Riesling, that there was still the giant window above the front door. And the two nasty bug-poop-splattered, cobwebby windows in the garage. So much for exhilaration.

The thing is, after all those hours, I have a lot more clarity. I was able -- in the mindless (or mindful) motions of spray, wipe, spray, wipe -- to give thought to things I normally push aside on an ordinary day: how I really want a hammock and I'm going to find one, how fast the kids are becoming who they are, how I crave protein lately and what's the best remedy for that. A good steak, I'm thinkin'. It's been awhile. And nuts. Salted or candied or just plain nuts.

As for the remaining three windows, I'll do those three on Friday. It's looking like a sunny day, but cool. Just the kind of day for hard work, for good thoughts, for clarity.

A batch of these nuts will fill a bowl several times over, and who can resist? They're healthful, and they taste good. Works for me.

Candied Walnuts

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups walnut halves or large pieces

Boil sugar, salt, honey and water, stirring often to 242 degrees F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage). Remove from heat; add vanilla and walnuts. Stir until creamy. Turn out onto waxed paper; separate walnuts with forks.

If you're looking for a snack a bit more quickly, give this one a whirl:

Place 1 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves into a light brown liquid and coats the walnuts. Remove walnuts from skillet, and spread them out on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool.

Enjoy!

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