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Old Wood, Winter, and Roasted Macadamia Nuts with Thyme and Rosemary

Winter arrived this weekend in a fury of fierce winds and pelting rain.

Before the rain arrived, I bundled up in layer upon layer to take the girl goats for a feed in the fields accompanied by Solar. He loved it, bounding through the tossing grasses before cozying down into a little nest out of the wind. I felt like a little kid again as I hunkered down there with him, sinking my fingers into his thick, white fur, laying back and watching the grass and tree branches being whipped above us.

After our rest we went exploring, finding all sorts of things hidden in the grass by the wood pile.

I love old, weathered wood, always have. My grandpa used to take us grandkids out for drives on the prairies of Alberta. We’d pile into the back of his station wagon and bounce along rutted tracks and even bumpier fields before clambering out to find abandoned homesteads and barns ready to be examined by a crew of curious blond-headed kids.

We never knew what we’d find: old iron bedsteads, weathered window frames with tattered curtains still flapping in the prairie wind, dusty bottles that whistled eerily when rogue breezes blew across their tops.

We always wished for treasure, of course, and I suppose we found it through the stories we imagined of the people who used to live in these empty buildings.

My thoughts would run wild wondering who had rocked on these rickety front porches, what did they eat, wear, dream of, and why had they dropped everything and just left?

I will never know, but I think that was part of the magic of those adventures, making up our own stories about who the residents were and what had happened.

I loved wandering about finding old wood piles that had been chopped by hand but would never be used, looking inside old tins and wondering if they had once been filled with cookies or flour or perhaps, carefully collected rocks, feathers, and bits of wire from an imaginative child.

I loved opening creaky cupboard, closet, and cellar doors, hoping against hope that I would find a hidden diary or photo album that would reveal everything I yearned to know.

I treasure those adventures and it makes me smile to be able to relive them a bit here on our Aussie farm, finding remnants of abandoned projects, an unexplained pile of rock that looks very, very much like a grave, and the detritus of generations living off the land.

After such meanderings it is lovely to come in out of the cold, casting off layers of wool and flannel, and sit down to a dish of roasted macadamia nuts tossed with salty crisp bits of rosemary and thyme.

These savory little morsels make stormy winter days an absolute pleasure.

What do you think of when you see old, weathered wood?

Roasted Macadamia Nuts with Thyme and Rosemary


2 cups raw macadamia nuts
olive oil
fine sea salt
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C).
  2. Place all ingredients in medium bowl. Toss well until nuts are evenly coated.
  3. Cover baking sheet with baking paper and spread nuts in single layer.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes until nuts are golden brown.
  5. Cool 10-15 minutes and eat warm. Store leftovers in sealed container.


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ruzzel01 - How adorable your pet is. He looks really nice. closet remodel

Krista - They have grown like crazy the past few months, @inspiringtravellers:disqus πŸ™‚ I was going through old photos the other day and came upon the ones of when they were pups. Awww, they were so cute! πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, @6e04e5cb15f9260ba7d2b9c95064a63f:disqus , but I really don’t mind one bit. πŸ™‚ I like winter, so long as it doesn’t hang around forever. πŸ™‚

Krista - Oh that’s wonderful, @OrgasmicChef:disqus πŸ™‚ I’ve not seen them in the shell where I am, but I will look for them. πŸ™‚

Krista - I loved reading these memories of yours, @rachelfriesen:disqus πŸ™‚ You described them so vividly. πŸ™‚ I was born in Saskatchewan and still have rellies living there. And now I’m craving Canada Dry. πŸ™‚

Krista - Isn’t he beautiful? Such a cuddle bug too. πŸ™‚

Krista - Yes – so beautiful but it brings up so many questions. πŸ™‚

Krista - They are absolutely addictive, @disqus_2LQ5qLN5aY:disqus πŸ™‚ I thought they were good roasted from the can, but they are HEAVENLY made at home. πŸ™‚ I love old barn wood too. So much. πŸ™‚

Krista - Welcome home, @disqus_P99pSwMSi1:disqus !! So glad you’re back. πŸ™‚ I love winter too. It quiets my soul. πŸ™‚

Krista - I’m smiling so big after reading your memories, @budgetjan:disqus πŸ™‚ Only in Australia would you have a table under the house. I love that. πŸ™‚

Krista - I am delighted to think of you collecting fiddleheads, nettles, and morels, @thefisherlady:disqus πŸ™‚ That would please me no end and is definitely something I hope to do one day. πŸ™‚

Andrea and John - I think last I saw your dogs they were puppies! Look how big Solar is!!

El - Sorry to hear you’re entering winter. Your photos are lovely and the macadamias look very toasty!

Maureen | OrgasmicChef - I bought some raw macadamias at the farmer’s market recently. Now I just have to hammer those little beauties with my fancy dancy macadamia hammer. πŸ™‚ I love the wood photos.

Rachel Friesen - This post reminds me of the little house my dad grew up in back on the family farm in southern Saskatchewan. After raising five kids with no running water, my grandma was ready to embrace the wonders of indoor plumbing, so my grandpa built a big modern bungalow right next to the original homestead. Eventually, its lean-to kitchen was demolished and the remaining structure was moved to the barnyard along with whatever flotsam was still inside it. We grandkids used to come pay homage every visit or two, examining the gray weathered wood and the peeling wallpaper, marveling that such a small space could have been home to seven people – even accounting for the missing kitchen it seemed so cramped to our spoiled nineties eyes. And, naturally, we hunted for treasure. When we were teens, there was a find: a cache of old glass pop bottles amidst the rusty tools and mildewed teddies. The vintage trend was just catching on in Saskatoon – I and my city-slicker siblings were very excited. Our farm cousins didn’t see why anyone would make a fuss about old “lamb bottles”, but figured we were welcome to them if they meant that much to us. We cleaned them off and brought them home to be filled with our own flotsam and jetsam. I’m sure my old bottle of Canada Dry is still in a box somewhere, perhaps still filled with coins and beads and what-not, waiting to be rediscovered once again.

Joanne (eats well with others) - What a lovely outing! Solar is such a gorgeous dog and the scenery is pretty beautiful as well!

mlleparadis - oh that weathered wood! me too, loves it….such a sense of history and lives lived, and endurance……and then yes, but what happened to those people who made and handled these things?


bellini - Macadamia nuts are so rich and satisfying. I can’t imagine them being homeroasted with sea salt and fresh rosemary. So addictive!!!!!I love old barn wood. In fact in one of the homes we lived in the floors were made of old barn wood refurbished.

Hila - So, so, so delicious. Winter really has truly arrived – I got back from Israel, with all its sunny warmth, to 2 degrees in the morning in Perth! It was a shock to the system. I am glad though, as I love winter. I hope you’ve been well!

budgetjan - I know that feeling. My maternal grandparents owned on a small goat farm. My grandmother outlived my Pop by about 20 years, but she never altered anything on the farm after he died. There were sheds full of implements and others that just lay around. A fossic under the yellow bell trees was always an adventure (looking out for snakes). Underneath the house was an old table, covered in linoleum whose drawers and top were cluttered with tools covered in grease and the dust of time. I still remember the smell of that grease. Visiting always felt like an adventure.

thefisherlady - oh right now all I can think of is roasted Macadamia nuts! I also seem to always be on a treasure hunt for these old beauties of weatherred times… the gathered photos and looking back over them from time to time remains my biggest joy…. brings back the feeling of the day. I can usually even smell the earthiness all over again.
This was a truly remarkable post; each photo a masterpiece in itself… all of it relfecting the grateful heart of the ‘clicker’
we are into our truly blossoming spring days that will slide into summer and all that wonderful garden produce. for now we are wandering about collecting fiddleheads, stinging nettles and morels…. My solomon seal is in full bloom now and my head is heavily happy filled with the heeavenly fragrance….

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