For as long as I can remember my Mom has made Nutty Nuggets at Christmas. It's like the Russian Tea Cake Cookies or the Mexican Wedding Cakes, you know the buttery rich dough molded into a round ball, studded with lots and lots of finely chopped walnuts, baked till just set and then rolled into powdered sugar.
It's a recipe she got the first Christmas she married my Dad. It was Christmas 1946. She was a young bride of 18 when she married my Dad, who had returned from WWII and at the age of 34 never expected to be swept off his feet by her. But he was, and I'm glad, or I wouldn't be here writing this blog. Dad introduced her to some of his friends in the small country town they lived in, and the wife taught my Mom how to make these cookies.
And, as they say, the rest is history. Every year as a child I remember Mom making these cookies. Of course I carried on the tradition, even after moving to Arizona. One year, sick with the flu, I barely drug myself out of bed on Christmas Eve morning. It was obvious, at least to me, that some things would not get done that year, and one of them was the cookies! Or so I thought until my kids discovered my devious plan. "But Mom, Grandma made these every year for Bumpa when you were a kid, and now you make them every year for us!" Of course the cookies were made, and some left out for Santa as always.
And from such simple things, traditions are forged forever.