We’re Going Nuts About Cracking Nuts

Growing up during the holidays, we always had a large bowl full of Mixed Nuts out on the counter. It seemed to be a winter tradition. A few nut crackers were there ready to use and a smaller bowl for the empty shells. I loved fishing out the walnuts from the bowl, as they were, and still are, my favorite. So when I saw a large package of mixed nuts at the store last week, I had to buy them and try it out with my own kids.

Nuts About Cracking Nuts

They’ve loved it! I’ve had to do most of the cracking, as their little fingers can’t quite crack those large nuts, but I’ve made sure to have some easy cracking peanuts in there too. It’s been fun to show them what’s inside and we did a little taste test. There’s walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and one mystery nut. Does anyone know what this is? It doesn’t list this one on the package. We’re calling it the “mystery nut”.

Now any time of the day they can go up on the counter and start cracking their own nuts with the nut cracker and bowl for shells, they know just what to do. A fun yummy little snack!

What fun wintertime memories do you have from growing up?


  1. the brazil nut, always hard to get all the meat out. My Grandmother had the nutcracker and also a pointy thing that you could kind of dig out the stuck nut meat with. We also used the same utensils to eat crab with.
    I haven’t had nuts to crack in so long, I’m gonna go get some and see if I can find my Grandma’s nutcracker. Thanks for the memories!!

  2. My grandparents always had pecans to be cracked. My grandfather made his own nut cracker one time. He just used whatever was lying around in his garage. It had a rubberband and you pulled this thing back and let it go. Great memories!

  3. We always had a wooden bowl full of nuts as well. I too am waiting for our youngest (18 mos) to be a little older before I revive this tradition. I did do it for the first 5 yrs of married life – before kids – it was a fun reminder of past Holidays.

  4. My Grandparents also had a wooden bowl of nuts around almost all the time…I especially remember trying to use that nutcracker on the brazil nuts and how it would slip around so! I loved them but they were such a challenge to crack.

    Nancy~your funeral home leftover comment made me laugh! We also called them toes. Thank goodness my Grandpa never called them leftovers or I would have never eaten another nut again in my life! Hahahaha!

  5. I always loved the filberts. (filberts and hazelnuts are the same) The large ones we called “toes”. My grandpa owned a funeral home and casket company and he always told us those were “leftovers”. Gross huh!!
    We didn’t think so, since we played the funerall home it wasn’t spooky to us….

  6. My parents always had a bowl of nuts, too, when I was growing up. They still do, actually – a wooden bowl that has a holder in the middle for the cracker and nutpicks. Alas, that is how we found out my eldest is allergic to tree nuts! He was helping crack one year and his eyes nearly swelled shut – eek. So we hardly ever have nuts in our house now.

    I think Lexa is referring to Hazelnuts. My favorite was the Brazil nuts.

  7. Brazil Nut is coming back to me. Thanks! I do have a hard time getting the nut out of this one, the pecan too. I like the idea of microwaving it first.

    Katy – my Mom’s bowl was a thick wooden one too! Fun memories.

  8. Those are Brazil nuts! They are impossible to get the meat out of the shell!! My mom had mixed nuts around the holidays, too, and we would get in trouble for not throwing away the shells. Do you salt the nut meat?

    (There is another kind of nut that is my favorite – it’s small and round, but I don’t know the name of it. I don’t see it in your picture.)

  9. My mom always kept a bowl of mixed nuts out on the coffee table during the holidays. It was a wooden bowl with little bears carved in the sides. I do remember those Brazil nuts being very hard to crack. I keep thinking I should get a bowl out for the holidays, but think I’ll wait until my 2 year old is not such a terror. ha!

  10. Ohhh….brazil nuts are my favorite! They are horrible to get out of the shell but we have found if you warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds it helps.

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