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Nuts to the End of PDT! Somebody ought to pass a law!

Fall back this Sunday? Already? Nothing quite moves along like the changing of the clocks, but anything that moves us along will be welcome after these last few months. While the world reels with war, deprivation and inexplicable cruelty, we are grateful for Michael's steady recovery from surgery, and we managed the sewer fail requiring a $15,000 outlay, but the harshest blow in our house was the death of Leo the Labradoodle after fourteen years together. Most days, Leo reclined in dozing splendor on the rug behind my desk chair until it was time for an outing when he'd come over and put his head on my knee. Such a big hole left behind. Here he is with Michael on an autumn day a couple of years ago in the University of Washington Arboretum.

My reading has been sporadic of late but I was impressed with Anne Enright's The Wren, The Wren about three generations in a Dublin family interspersed with samples poems from the poet father. While there are some difficult moments in this story, and I don't recommend it to my sister who prefers a more upbeat story, the writing is sheer joy.

But she'd enjoy Ian McEwan's Lessons which is an old-fashioned, compassionate, multi-generational tale of a father who stays home in London and raises their child.

while the mother leaves her baby son and her husband to become a novelist. The handsome flowers are from a friend and neighbor.

Here's a recipe which is ideal for light holiday appetizer, as are endive leaves stuffed with mayo-tinged Dungeness Crab. I have a special addiction to such crab and to nuts.

Frog Commissary Cookbook Bourbon Pecans


1 pound pecan halves

3 ounces bourbon (whiskey), reduced by 1/2 equal 3 tablespoons

1/3-1/2 cup sugar, granulated

1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large pan with boiling water, blanch the pecans for one minute; remove from heat and drain in a colander.

In a small bowl, combine the reduced bourbon, sugar, Angostura bitters, Worcestershire sauce, and vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, place the still hot nuts and toss with the bourbon mixture. Let stand 10 minutes and then spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for approximately 30 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. When nuts are crisp and lightly brown and the liquid has evaporated, remove from oven and place into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and cumin. Sprinkle over the nuts while tossing. Place on a sheet pan to cool in a single layer. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 4 cups.

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