Almonds and Cashews

Some things are hard to figure. Lately I’ve been wondering how it can be that we come into this world complete with decided preferences. That is to say that upon arrival we somehow know what we like, and we know how to make it known. We haven’t had time to try anything and form an opinion. So I just chalk it up to DNA. We used to call it instinct but that word seems to have gone out of favor. So let’s just say it’s something that has somehow been passed down to us from our ancestors in this great cosmic relay race.

Now what has this to do with almonds and cashews? Well I can only speak for myself on this. But I seemingly came into this world with a preference for lighter colored food. It’s chicken breast not thighs.Vanilla not chocolate. On Thanksgiving it would be the turkey white meat not the dark. Chardonnay not Cabernet Sauvignon. And with nuts, cashews. Or maybe Macadamia nuts. Not Almonds, or Pecans, or Walnuts.

Now as it also sometimes happens, we find ourselves in a relationship with another who shares our preferences. On the surface it would seem that this is a good thing which could tend to lead to a more tranquil marital life. Go to the supermarket. Buy the vanilla frozen yogurt. No chocolate invited.

But then there is the business of nuts. Have you priced a jar of whole salted roasted cashews lately. Sheesh. And if you do ultimately decide that you are worth it, it would be so easy to sit down and just gobble the whole jar down well before the movie credits roll. And that would mean that the next day when your dear spouse came looking for them he / she would be faced with bitter nut disappointment. And this could result over time with building resentment. Or even accusations of gluttony. Or worse.

Okay. Okay.

So instead you buy the whole big jar of the mixed nuts for a fraction of the price of the real deal. And look. Right there on the label it says jar contains cashews, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans and less than 50% peanuts. How bad can this be? And look at how much more you get. Plenty for several trailers and a double feature. No brainer here.

But here is where the story gets weird. I sit down on the sofa and open the ample jar of mixed nuts and the first thing I notice is the ratio of dark nuts to light ones. Many of the peanuts are still in their brown papery husks, and when added to the quantity of almonds and pecans and walnuts and Brazil nuts, the cashews barely make an appearance. And as unfair as it is, were my lovely wife to chance upon this now opened jar, I fear I may be wrongly accused of cashew skimming. So I set out to do the right thing. I’ll munch on some almonds and pecans and religiously avoid the cashews thereby making the ratio appear more in keeping with what my mate had expected also avoiding the appearance of skimming on my part.

So I did.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate almonds. The’re really great in slivers on green beans. Walnuts are excellent in salads. And the pecans are OK too. Especially baked in a gooey sweet pie. By themselves out of the jar? Best described as an acquired taste.

But if I were really, really honest about this, and since we are among friends here, I will confess a great fondness for this woman with whom I share my nuts. Perhaps I can convince myself of how cool I am for secretly, silently, selflessly, saving the best for her.


Not bad at all.

Perhaps I’ll try the chicken thighs next time and leave her more of the white meat. I may be on to something here. Maybe I’ve been missing some things all these years.

Some things are hard to figure.

Romance can be expressed in many ways.

Mixed nuts?

Who’d have believed it?


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