And this year, I decided to embark upon a recipe that requires me to have 3 cups of hazelnuts. (Raspberry Linzer Thumbprints - a hazelnut cookie with seedless raspberry jam in the thumbprint middle - ooooh!) I dutifully went to my neighborhood Wal-Mart, because it is prohibitively expensive to shop elsewhere in the nearby grocery store pantheon, and lo and behold! They don't carry hazelnuts in any form.
Off I went to Wegman's, the 40-minute-away foodie mecca and most perfect grocery store I know (their generic food is almost always just as good as - if not better than - the brand names). Surely they would have them, and they did, in both whole form (un-shelled) and in bags of pre-shelled and pre-chopped goodness. Upon price comparison, we decided to save $2 per pound and shell them ourselves. Couldn't be too hard, right? I got a big ol' bag of them that would surely yield three cups, and went on my merry way.
Today was a nut-cracking morning, I could see that. It is cookie-baking weekend here in the Fussy Foodie house, and so I decided to embark upon nut-cracking first. Before you read on, keep in mind these things about this adventure:
- I don't own an official nut-cracker
- Husband has a hammer called the Death Stick
- I'd never shelled nuts before
So I got out the Death Stick and the nuts and the cutting board and proceeded to crack nuts and dig the meats out of the shells. This soon became a very annoying and tedious task because
- I'm not what you would call a "strong" person. As in, I have little upper body strength.
- The Death Stick is a heavy hammer
- Hazelnuts are slippery and very tough to crack with a hammer.
As a result, I broke a lot of nuts, sent many shells flying (which Oliver loved chasing), and wound up with a measly 1 and 3/4 cups of nuts. Upon discovering this, husband and I decided to run an errand to get the nuts. Meanwhile I would start the nutmeg cookie dough while he finished his video game mission, and all would be well. Ingredients? sugar, butter, nutmeg, vanilla, eggs, baking powder, salt. I started creaming the sugar and butter together and was making my mise en place while the sugar and butter creamed, and guess what?
I'm out of baking powder.