A family winter tradition--the nut bowl--sounds a little odd unless you grew up in an Italian household in the 1950s and 60s. Once upon a time, nuts didn't come already bagged and roasted. My grandmother would buy them at the Farmer's Market and then toast them in the oven. I can especially remember the almonds in their shells laid out on cookie sheets. My dad was a woodworker in his spare time. He crafted wooden nut bowls like this one and gave them to family members.
Family dinner with guests were common back then--a weekend occurrence, not meals around the table just on special occasions. After dinner, someone would bring the nut bowl and nutcracker to the table. A meal never ended with dessert. Sometimes we would sit and talk with family and guests for hours. While we shared our lives, we would pass around the nut bowl. As we cracked nuts and snacked on them, stories were batted back and forth as well as laughter.
I still have a few of the nut bowls my dad crafted. When I spot one of them, I remember him more vividly. That's what tradition is all about.
Cassidy has a secret. If she reveals to Ben that she can't read, can this CEO/cowboy still love her?
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 87th novel will be released in 2015.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.
©2015 Karen Rose Smith