Spicy Nuts and ‘I told you, Archie’

A few years ago when Archie was nearly 16 we had a holiday staying with some friends on their country property.  I thought it would be a lovely relaxing break where the teenagers could enjoy doing nothing except lying around the pool, sitting and talking or reading a good book.

But in the shed at this property there were motorbikes and from the moment we arrived Archie had just one thing on his mind.  So he spent all of his time revving up and down all over the property on the dirt bikes and I kept saying, ‘Archie, riding motorbikes is dangerous.  Why don’t you park that bike back in the shed and go and jump in the pool?’  I think he only swam in the pool when the bike ran out of petrol.

Archie with Arabella

And it worried me because Archie doesn’t do things in moderation and he always takes risks.

On the last day of our holiday Archie disappeared for yet another ride.  I could hear the motorbike in the distance and suddenly all was quiet.

A few minutes later Archie came in through the front door limping and covered in blood.  He had been riding one of the dirt bikes on the road which is illegal because he was only 15 and therefore wasn’t even eligible for a licence and all was going fine until he saw a police car drive down the street so in order to avoid a hefty fine he made a hard turn off the road onto gravel that sent the bike into a skid, the front wheel ran into a ditch causing it to come to an abrupt halt and Archie went over the handlebars and used his hands as brakes.

Some of the damage

‘I told you, Archie’, I said, ‘I don’t know why you couldn’t just lie around the pool’.

‘Mum, everything’s fine.  I’m okay, I just can’t move my wrists’.  And that was certainly a problem given Archie had to be on rowing camp in three days time.

‘What about rowing camp?  How will you be able to pull on the oars?’

‘Look mum, don’t worry.  Three days is three days.  It will be all good by then’.

Pre-dinner snack

But it wasn’t all good.

Three days later I dropped Archie off at his week-long rowing camp and forty-eight hours later I was asked to come and collect him.  The tendons and ligaments in his wrists were so strained they had swollen and he needed urgent medical treatment.  ‘I told you Archie’, I said when I picked him up, ‘I don’t know why you couldn’t leave that [adjective] bike alone’.

For the next two years Archie had on-going treatment to repair his wrists.  He continued to row but had to endure extremely painful cortisone injections into the ligaments in his wrists at the beginning of each season.  And these weren’t nice.  A thick solution was injected through a wide-bore needle into the wrist and down into the ligament.  When these appointments were scheduled I would drive out to the school to be with him.  It was on the tip of my tongue to say, ‘I told you, Archie’ but instead, seeing him sitting there pale and ashen at what he knew lay ahead I said, ‘It’s going to be all right, Archie’.

After these awful needles, the doctor used to let me take Archie out of school for a few hours.  I’d take him somewhere pleasant where we would sit and enjoy a a drink and a few nice snacks.  Something like these spicy nuts.

Spicy Nuts

Chilli Cashews and Walnuts

Serves:  8-10

Degree of Difficulty:  1/5

Cost:  I bought Californian walnuts (expensive) and cashews are even more expensive so not cheap but tasty!

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted roasted cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbspns mild sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbspn soy sauce (use G-F soy sauce to make this a gluten-free appetiser)
Pre-heat oven to 180C.
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Spread mixture on a tray lined with baking paper.
Bake uncovered, stirring occasionally for 20 mins.  Nuts will become crunchy as they cool.
This recipe has been adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly, Christmas Book.


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  1. Glamorous Glutton says:

    Great looking nuts. They’re all the same aren’t they? A fast – bike, quad, go-cart or whatever else they can find to fall off. Those injections are really painful, I know!! Poor Archie, no poor you having to do all that driving and be sympathetic. GG

  2. gardencorrespondent says:

    Between the gory photo and the giant needles, I’m feeling a bit faint! How do you survive these crises?!

  3. Poor Archie with those bloody hands and then the shots. And you are/were sympathetic to his pain but can’t help thinking that it could have all been avoided if he’d just stayed away from the rotten motorbikes. 🙂

    I love the nuts … savoury over sweet any time. 🙂


  4. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    How do we ever raise them, I ask, over and over? Poor Archie, those needles sound horrid, but mmmmm…the nuts look so nice.

  5. Delia (Postcards from Asia) says:

    Needles, they are almost as worse as the blood. You have quite an adventurous son!
    Those nuts look really yummy, hold the chilli though.
    I’ve tagged you for The Lucky Seven Challenge on my blog, I really hope you will give it a try! I’d love to see a paragraph (or more) from your manuscript!

  6. Oy! Archie certainly likes to live large! Love the nuts.

  7. yummychunklet says:

    How could I sense that Archie and motorbikes would be an inevitable, yet bad, idea? He is daring, though!

  8. Choc Chip Uru says:

    Wow Archie is so daring – although that injury sounds do hefty!
    Poor him 🙁
    I think if anything were to healh in 3 days it would be these nuts! They look so delicious 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Oh my! that was one painful experience
    I think you suffered as much as he did!
    those cashews on the other hand are sure to make anyone feel better

  10. Suzanne Perazzini says:

    Teenagers think they are invulnerable. My son has had motorbikes for a few years now despite my furious protestations. So far, so good but I know it’s only a matter of time before something happens. The statistics are frightening.
    Tears came to my eyes when you talked about Archie’s pain. How horrible for a split moment’s bad decison.

  11. Invincible teenage boys, what WILL we do with them. You’ve got another one coming up too! I’m pretty thankful that I have grandsons to deal with but I’m a considerable distance away so I hear about it only when it’s all sorted.

    I’ve had cortisone injections in a shoulder and just the thought of it makes me want to cry. Poor Archie. I felt like I’d been jabbed with a sharpened garden hose.

  12. Ok, he is absolutely, definitely NOT allowed in Deus Ex Machina.. xx

  13. I actually feel a little faint. Poor Archie, even if he did bring it on himself!

  14. This will all come back around to him you know with his own children! Nice nuts!

  15. justonecookbook says:

    Ahhh! My knee got weak a bit. I’m scared of injuries, especially my own children I’d definitely freak out. I hope I won’t be too scared when they get injury or cut… Your chili flavor nuts look like a wonderful night time snack while watching TV! 😀

  16. Forgetting about Archie for a minute. How did you ever survive his teen years? Get ready for Alfie! These nuts would make a great game-day treat.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Yes, they’re something that’s great to munch on during a game. And I don’t know how we’ve survived our Archie days – it’s been one thing after another! xx

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Yes, these nuts are great for a game. I don’t know how we’ve survived our Archie days. It’s been one thing after another but many wonderful moments in between – thank goodness! xx

  17. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    I saved a recipe very very similar to this the other day called Father’s Day nuts. Looks yummo!

    Oh dear Archie, oh dear.

  18. tania@mykitchenstories.com.au says:

    naughty naughty archie…you poor thing. When I visited a property when my son was littlwe I would always dread the inevitable quad bike or motor bike on offer,.

  19. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Oh dear! Boys get up to so much mischief don’t they hehe 😛

  20. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Oh my, it seems like some children have to learn things that hard way, but it’s even harder on mom, in more ways than one! Your nuts sound delicious and quite addictive!

  21. Well Charlie motorcycles are indeed amazing.. I started driving in the age of 12 (on summer camps) and got the license in the age of 16. The truth is that even though the first picture is such a wonderful picture but when you’re driving a motorcycle there are some things that you must do to protect your self and besides helmets and specialty jackets, it is necessary to actually know how to drive. Thank God it wasnt something worst my friend.
    I’m in for nuts! 🙂

  22. Goodness, you sure have a handful to deal with with Archie 🙂 I can only imagine how many near heart attacks he gave you. These spiced nuts look delicious!

  23. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Oh dear, never a dull moment Charlie! My hubby loves nuts so will have to make these for him when he gets back from his business trip.
    🙂 Mandy

  24. Those nuts look amazing. Archie’s hand? not so much.

  25. It’s so hard for us mums to bite our tongues 🙂 Oh, that looks painful 🙁 I think the spiced nuts would cheer me up, though!

  26. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    So…, has Archie been back on a bike since, or did this little accident end his racing? Sounds like an awful injury, although I suppose it could have been much worse.

  27. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    Oh no… that doesn’t sound very good for Archie. Yep, mum’s always right when she says “I told you so”.

  28. kitchenriffs says:

    I used to cause the same sort of grief for my mother. I’m sure I still cause her grief, but now it’s a different kind! Your spicy nuts looks terrific – I’ve been thinking about making some for awhile, but just haven’t gotten around to it. You may have nudged just a bit! Thanks for this.

  29. OMG that’s so painful 🙁 Poor Archie! And i definitely agree that ‘your mum is always right’ lol does Archie still have any issues?

    OH this is the perfect nut recipe 🙂 I promised a colleague to make him some hehe ~ YAY!

  30. InTolerant Chef says:

    Oh poor Archie! I’ve had those very nasty injections in the wrist, and am now resorting to surgery instead- I think it will hurt less!
    If only our children would belive that us parents are indeed Almost-All-Knowing-So -Listen-To-Us -Ooops-I-Told-You-So beings that are, they would save themselves a lot of trouble 🙂

  31. Yesterday Today Tomorrows says:

    I’m pretty sure over the years my mother has said “I told you so” so many times and has enjoyed every (most) times she has said it.. If only we listened half the things we’ve done wouldn’t of happened… Let’s just say I’m looking forward to my “I told you so” revenge when my girls grow up ha ha.. x

  32. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    Being a golfer, I learned a long time ago not to mess around with ones wrists. They’re just as important to life as feet are. 🙂

  33. http://promenadeplantings.com/ says:

    Ouch !!! But a treat afterwards does help. And I love spicy nits as a treat with a drink

  34. Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious says:

    I love the addition of chili in this snack!

  35. You turn even an unpleasant orthopedic regimen into something special, Charlie! What a delicious snack! And Archie must have a high pain tolerance to have made it even one day at rowing camp with all that damage! I hope it all healed well over time!

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