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Updated: 01/09/2014 01:48:56PM

A special ingredient

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My growing-up years were spent on a Wisconsin dairy farm where a big event each Fall was gathering, cracking and shelling the nuts from our walnut and hickory trees, getting them ready for Mom’s Christmas baking marathon.

And now my brother and his wife, still Wisconsin residents, have assumed those chores. That’s why I got a wonderful package recently in the mail. It was two very special bags of shelled nuts, all ready for my Christmas baking. It wasn’t a complete surprise, as they had asked which variety I preferred: walnuts or hickory nuts, and I had assured them that hickory nuts were my preferred baking choice.

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