Assorted Nuts

I remember my maternal grandmother telling me that she had harvested walnuts in Northern California. Nowadays, the harvest is done by machines. Some brief research tells me that California grows most of the walnuts in the US and that the English Walnut was brought to California by the Spanish padres in the late 1700s. We used to get tangerines and whole walnuts in the shell in our Christmas stockings along with peppermint candy canes. Turns out this is an old European custom, ( the tangerines or oranges and walnuts). My maternal grandmother was English and I think the tradition was passed down from her. It’s been pretty nuts here in California recently with all the fires popping up North and South. I still have a suitcase packed in case of emergency. I like to think the fires will skip our town since we had them just last year and had to be evacuated. It’s a real shell game though and we can not take it for granted that we will be spared. Hope the rain comes early this year.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS,  is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt word is ‘nuts.’

Featured image of ‘bulk nuts’ by Kazvarpal on


17 thoughts on “Assorted Nuts

      1. IreneDesign2011

        The peppermint candy are going to hang around in the house and on the Christmas tree. Some families gives gifts daily and those can be delivered in different ways. I used often nuts, raisins and small gifts for a calendar for my kids, when they were small. Many years ago…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Deborah Drucker Post author

        People here do hang candy canes on the tree or around the house as well. That’s a nice custom to give daily gifts to make the season special. I have seen ‘advent callendars’ where the child opens up a square every day that contains a little treat. I did not do that with my kids because we had a combined Hanukkah and Christmas. I would just have some gifts for them on Christmas day.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. IreneDesign2011

        We had calendars with only Christmas pictures inside, next the chocolate calendars with 24 pieces and then the homemade calendars, as could be made with fx cross stings from an older family member and reused through generations. On those, we hang the 24 gifts. Today we can buy calendars with gifts directly too. I prefer the homemade ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Dan Antion

    I’m still catching up, Deborah. We used to always have mixed nuts, in the shell, at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also got oranges or tangerines. I didn’t know where the custom came from, but your explanation makes sense, as my mother’s family had a similar heritage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I did a some quick research before I wrote the post and it was attributed to French nuns who were inspired by St. Nicholas. The nuns would give stockings filled with fruit and nuts to the poor. St. Nicholas supposedly gave gold to the poor and oranges were meant to symbolize the gold. The gold might be a better stocking stuffer 😉 for the poor. Thanks, Dan.

      Liked by 1 person



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