, by brittany furbee Gesus Palomino Jalapeño Peach Danishes
, by Kelsey Brandt Agave Club
, by Kelsey Brandt 1934 Cosmo
, by Kelsey Brandt All Gold Everything
Every Christmas, my grandfather would arrive from Atlanta, and there were a few things we could always count on: he’d greet the dog before any human, he’d be wearing denim shorts no matter the weather, and he’d be carrying a can of peanuts and a box of Red Hots cinnamon-flavored candies.
My dad grew up—and consequently that meant I did, too—in a home where little dishes of peanuts mixed with Red Hots were placed on end tables around the house during Christmas. While people gathered or as they watched television, they could munch on the salty-sweet-spicy combo peppered with brilliant bursts of crimson throughout the bowl. It’s an understated, simple duo but irresistibly crunchy, and the saltier the peanuts, the better.
Admittedly, I was not that dazzled by the pairing until the past few years. The Red Hots were too cinnamony, too pebble like for my taste. Recently, though, my mom started making the mix, and became a little different—the peanuts were larger, saltier, and a little meatier. They finally held their own against the Red Hots.
My mother practices the same brand loyalty to Hubs Peanuts that other families do to Duke’s Mayonnaise. She keeps about three tins in the house and an emergency one stashed in her office. The jumbo, extra-salty, and richly flavored Virginia peanuts were a total game changer for the Christmas mix. They make the Red Hots fade into the background with a subtle, spicy sweetness that no longer overwhelms the mix. Altogether, it’s a mix that begs for a cold beer or manhattan to wash everything down.
DIY Peanuts and Red Hots
Makes 10 small servings
- 1½ cups Hubs Salted Virginia Peanuts
- ¾ cup Red Hots
In a medium bowl combine peanuts and Red Hots until evenly mixed. Divide into small serving bowls, or store in a cookie tin until ready to serve.