we all have little things that remind us of home. i rarely see the red berries that grow all around my parent’s house since i’ve moved away. but just seeing them simply placed on their table this past weekend was a joy and a comfort. likewise, every year my parents have a giant bowl of mixed nuts, in the shells, that we crack open (usually with lobster shell crackers) and munch. it’s a tradition that i haven’t encountered elsewhere. it’s one of those things that’s so common at our house that i’ve never given it much thought, but it’s such a fun way to snack that it usually brings people into a conversation at our kitchen bar. actually, i think of it as more of a social activity in our house. anyway, small comforts, but that’s what i enjoy about this time of year.