Dear Alice, and a recipe for Orange Candied Walnuts

Dear Alice, and a recipe for Orange Candied Walnuts

Dear Alice,

A little bit over four weeks ago we were making plans. Looking through all of your cookbooks and mapping out our treats for Perry Christmas. The bread pudding with almond paste and raspberry sauce has been one we have talked about for years, and true to form – we talked all about it again.

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“I will have to gather the ingredients and make that for you this year!” I said with good intentions ((again)). “Oh, it is so good, Ken really liked it  – but it makes so much and it is just so rich. But it is really good — but a lot of trouble.” You were conflicted, not wanting me to work too hard. But knowing my friend like I do, you would have been delighted to have another taste of that almond raspberry bread pudding.

We tucked that recipe away again, and in my mind — I whispered to myself, this will be the year I make it for you.

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I flipped through another cookbook. We laughed as I asked you if you really had made Scalloped Celery. “It sounds gross Alice” I teased. She giggled and said “As I remember, it really was quite good.”

“Well, it has a check mark by it — you must have liked it.” I said and we laughed again.

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As I continued to flip through vintage recipes, the cookbook opened to a page marked with a pink post-it. 

“What recipe did you have marked on this page?” I asked “It must have been something really good – it is the only page in the whole book tabbed with a post-it.”

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“Well, let me see.” I was sitting close to you, close enough that with a sight twist of my wrists, you were glancing at the recipes on those pages. 

“Oh, well, it was the Orange Walnuts.” you said happily. “Those are absolutely delicious. I used to make those all of the time. It is a really good recipe for either walnuts or pecans.”

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“Oh, Alice!” I exclaimed. “They sound tasty, I will make those for Perry Christmas.” And we chirped with delight as we began to plan out the treats we would serve in just a few weeks.

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I brought the cookbook home with me this past Friday night. Four weeks to the minute of our late night recipe reading and ice cream sleepover. I brought the book home after your memorial service. That didn’t work out like we had planned.

IMG_9587Isn’t it weird how the very thing that will hurt the most, we gravitate towards?? I have been re-reading the recipes in your cookbook and have been most delighted by your check marks and notes.  I often come across recipes marked with a check, as if to say “I tried this recipe and they ate it.”

Other recipes simply have the word “try” jotted by the title. 

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Some recipes have a few extra instructions or adjustments written in the nearby margin. “Now it is perfect” you seem to be saying, as if you have mapped out the way to avoid future recipe pitfalls.

Several recipes have the marking #Very Good. I plan on trying every one of those, my friend.

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But even through my heartache, you made me laugh. One recipe ((for Graham Chocolate Cookies)) has the word “try” written next to the title. And underneath the word “try” you have added three more words that show just how very kind you are. You wrote: “not so good”.

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You didn’t insult the recipe or draw an X through it, as I may have done.  You simply wrote “not so good”. In true form, you said only one small gentle critique and the remainder of your cookbook is filled with positive adjustments and checkmarks of affirmation.

IMG_9600I won’t be trying that one sweet Alice. Thank you for the little warning.

I am not quite finished visiting with you, there are a few more things I would like to say – but it is almost time to pick the kids up from school. We will talk more soon.

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I love you,

Emily

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PS Oh! I almost forgot! I made the Orange Walnuts. You were right Alice! They are so good. I did make a few adjustments, you know me ((haha!)). I added a pinch of salt — don’t you think this recipe needed salt? Oh, and a pat of butter and a splash of vanilla. They are so good. Thank you for telling me about them.

In a warm, fresh and loving memory of my dear, sweet friend and grandmother-in-law Alice Allen Schuermann 9.06.25 to 11.02.14.

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Ken & Alice holding their first great grand baby ((my oldest – Kade)) – October 2002
Candied Orange Walnuts
A simple candy treat, perfect for the holidays! Walnuts, orange juice and orange zest make this unforgettable candy something that will be asked for every holiday
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3247 calories
356 g
15 g
202 g
47 g
22 g
739 g
605 g
319 g
0 g
170 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
739g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3247
Calories from Fat 1690
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 202g
310%
Saturated Fat 22g
110%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 142g
Monounsaturated Fat 28g
Cholesterol 15mg
5%
Sodium 605mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 356g
119%
Dietary Fiber 21g
83%
Sugars 319g
Protein 47g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
73%
Calcium
32%
Iron
50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 c sugar
  2. 1/2 c fresh orange juice
  3. 3 c walnuts or pecans
  4. 1 T orange zest
  5. 1/4 t salt
  6. 1-2 T butter
  7. 1 t vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and orange juice. Using a candy thermometer, bring the candy up to the soft ball stage ((238°)) stirring until a rolling boil is reached.
  2. While the candy is boiling, lay a piece of parchment paper out on a baking sheet.
  3. Once the soft ball temperature is reached, remove candy from the heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir until candy has thickened and turned opaque. Turn candy out onto the parchment paper, spreading into a single layer & allow to cool.
  4. Break candy into bite size pieces and store in an airtight container for 10 days to 2 weeks.
Notes
  1. This candy can be made ahead and frozen.
  2. Makes about 3/4 pound.
beta
calories
3247
fat
202g
protein
47g
carbs
356g
more
Food for a Year: https://foodforayear.com/


4 thoughts on “Dear Alice, and a recipe for Orange Candied Walnuts”

  • Your letter to alice was beautiful, i cried a little. This recipe is my grandmothers and my favorite recipes thank you for your share ❤❤❤ merry christmas from my family to yours

    • Thank you so much Kristin. I re-read the post after I got your note and cried – I’m so glad I wrote that so quickly after she passed, because reading it takes me right back to the freshness of our friendship and my refreshes memories with her! Thank you for commenting – I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I hope you enjoy this recipe and it helps add a little something special to your Christmas too! Merry Christmas ❤️

  • I don’t have access to my cookbooks this year. I needed the recipe like this. It is found in a collection my aunt put together from her mother’s recipes- “Vadna’s Kitchen”.
    It is a favorite of my father’s and I like to make it for him. All the other recipes I found didn’t require the mixture to boil to soft-ball stage. I really wanted this old fashioned recipe.
    THANK YOU for this post.
    What a beautiful memory and honoring of a woman who must have meant a great deal to you.

    • Thank you, knowing and being friends with Alice is one of my greatest joys. I am so glad to help! I hope you enjoy them as much as we have. Merry Christmas!

In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"