One of my memories of the Christmas holidays growing up was a gift that we always got each year from my grandfather – shelled walnuts. His project each fall was to shell walnuts as his gift for the families of his sons and daughters.
I remember seeing his “production line” one year – a special board where he’d whack each walnut with a hammer to crack it open, shell it, and drop the nut meat into a bowl. While it seemed to me to be one of those projects that would take forever, he seemed to really enjoy it and it became part of his tradition. When the kraft-paper wrapped box arrived from him each year, we knew what was inside!
To this day, whenever I have walnuts, the very good memories of his special boxes of shelled walnuts that he sent us each year come to my mind.