“The good ole days, the good ole days. Everybody’s talking about the good ole days,” Gladys Knight crooned. She was right. We tend to remember warmer winters, greener grass, and bluer skies. Those days were better. Or at least the way we recall them.
Occasionally I find myself in the kitchen baking. I recently had a recipe I was following which called for chopped nuts and it got me to thinking. My grandmother had a device just for such a task. It was a round jar with a screw top. There was a metal contraption which screwed on top. It had several steel prongs on a rotisserie spit which attached to a handle. You put the nuts into the metal part, turned the handle and the chopped nuts dropped into the jar. You unscrewed the top and poured out what you needed and stored the rest.
My grandmother and I spent hours baking. We’d scour Pillsbury bake-off winners’ recipes to see if we had all of the ingredients to recreate their award-winning desserts. Of all of the tasks I was assigned, chopping nuts with that little culinary tool was by far my favorite. I’d often choose a recipe simply because it required chopped nuts.
The other day, I was thinking about it and wondered if they still made them. Sure enough, I found one on Amazon. To my surprise, though, the reviews were awful: “flimsy”, “doesn’t work”, “don’t waste your money”. What? How can this be?
There were several upgrades listed which did a better job for a little more money. Technology had improved the process while my memories had captured Nostalgia, dressed her up, and made her way prettier than she probably was in the beginning.
Now I hold onto those baking memories and time spent with my grandmother with a deeper fondness and a clearer focus. They mean the world to me. They truly are the good ole days. But, the nuts? They’re being chopped in the food processor and the recipes are still turning out just fine.