Flaming Nuts, Fireflies and a Cheap Date – What More Could a Gal Ask For?

I rarely try to cook these days. It’s a lesson I’ve learned through countless mis-haps, fiery disasters and cleanup that can last for days.

However, every now and then my inner Betty Crocker pops up and says “Hey! Let’s give THIS a shot!” And invariably I listen.

Silly me.

So, when I ran across a recipe that said you could make roasted nuts on the grill, what else could I do? Ms. Crocker and I whipped out the tin foil and went to work.

In less than 10 minutes, Betty was fleeing for her life. Smart girl.

Spiced Nuts (the hard way)

Spiced Nuts in Foil

So, following the recipe carefully, I piled a bunch of mixed nuts and sunflower seeds into my tin foil packet. I shook some spices over all – chili powder, pepper, garlic salt. More chili powder. And then plopped on a few pats of butter. Mostly following the recipe.

Then I carefully folded my packet.

Spiced Nuts in Foil

And tossed it on the grill. Hub-meister lit the grill, because I preferred to keep my eyebrows intact. As long as the grill was going, I tossed on a hamburger – why not?

I let the nuts roast for 8 minutes, and carefully unwrapped my package. Um…hm. The nuts were barely warm! The hamburger was still bloody and raw! Disaster!

Well, it appears one must first have propane to light the grill. This would seem obvious, except there’s no meter on the side of a propane tank to say when it’s empty. Seriously propane people? How hard can this be?

So after much grunting and labor and twisting things off and on (not by ME of course, I merely watched in sympathy) the new tank was put on. Flames burst forth! Yay! Let’s roast these nuts!

Back on the flames again, I dashed inside for seasoning salt and pepper for my burger. I watched the time carefully. At 7 minutes I hurled myself back out the door – this time the nuts would be SPECTACULAR! I might even start my own nut company and make MILLIONS!

I peeked at the burger first – wow, it was still kinda…gray. Ugh. Obviously I need to turn the heat up. And then I looked at the packet holding the precious nuts. Well. Sparks shot from the foil and smoke geysered out of one end, like those smoker things they use to put bees asleep? I didn’t see any bees nearby, so it’s possible smoking nuts do the same. Snatching up my tongs, I ran for the house and frantically blew on the package of nuts. (Hey, I know. But I’d lost it a little at this point) Tearing it open I discovered ….yes, burnt nuts. No actual flames. Thank the Lord.

Spiced Nuts in Foil

The outer edge was completely black. The bottom layer was completely black. The inner 2-3″? Yeah, that part was good. Fumes of fried nuts filled the house and the cats let themselves out to get some fresh air. Hubby finally came over to see what had happened. “Oh,” he said. “You must have had the heat up too high.”

Brilliant man.

After a few adjustments, I found out the grill had TWO burners, each with their own separate settings. The burger was on the low side (where I thought the nuts were) which is why it didn’t cook. The nuts? Yeah, about that. They were on high heat. Explains a lot, yeah?

Now my hamburger was cooking nicely, the nuts were in the trash bin and I set out my usual burger accoutrements. Pickles, ketchup and mustard. Brandishing my spatula and a plate, I went out to get my (now) nicely browned burger. Giving it a little flip over onto the plate, I heard a funny noise. Like….a tiny scream. A little flash of light. Odd that, I thought.

Inside the house, I flipped the burger onto the bun (look out Emeril) and discovered – a firefly. He’d apparently flew between burger and plate while I was doing my theatrics and was trapped under a section of the burger. His wings were a little soggy, his light flickered unsteadily, but DH and I set him free again with a stern lesson to never come near the grill again.

Smart Ass Romance - Bottums Up - Fun Drink RecipesBurger joined the nuts in the trash.

Which brings us to the drinking section of the evening, in memory of my lightly toasted friend, The Firefly.

1 shot of vodka (more if you’ve had a day like this)
2 shots of grapefruit juice
Grenadine or pomegranate schnapps

In a tall glass over ice, pour the vodka and grapefruit. Slowly pour the grenadine or schnapps over the top. It’ll sink to the bottom, making a nice sunset effect.


Now believe it or not, this cooking sketch takes 8 minutes. Yes, the exact same 8 minutes it takes to make spiced nuts. Fix your drink, toss your nuts on the fire (so to speak) and watch this.


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