My grandmother did not exactly pass this recipe down to me, and because of an extremely unfortunate series of events – into which it would be unseemly of me to delve in such a forum – her recipe books are not, to my knowledge, knocking around in the bottom of anyone’s cupboards. Nuts and bolts was (and I use the singular deliberately), however, a family gathering staple, and I did once see her making it.

I reproduce it here to preserve something of the flavour of those times my family spent gutsing themselves on Nuts and Bolts.
Nuts and bolts

Nutri grain

Nuts – definitely peanuts, and possibly for the more fancy occasions mixed nuts such as walnuts, the dreaded brazil nuts (does anyone ever eat them), almonds and the odd hazel nut.

Curry powder. This would be keens for sure. A teaspoon or two depending on how fresh or stale it is.

I do not remember seeing it, but I imagine it is not entirely unheard of to add a packet of french onion soup to the mix. Which makes me wonder: has anyone ever had a packet of french onion soup actually added to hot water and taken as soup?


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. I suspect you would need to add a bit of oil to make sure the coating sticks to the nutri grain and the nuts.

Spread mix out on an oven tray (probably sprayed with pure and simple).

Bake in the oven. How long and at what temperature? No idea, but it wouldn’t be too hard to work it out. Moderate oven would be safest I suppose. No longer than fifteen minutes, no less than five.

Serve in brown fake-thatch bowls such as used to be given out with the packets of chips in pubs. You may wish to lay a serviette out in the bowl before scooping the nuts and bolts in. For Christmas, obviously the serviettes would be green or red and possibly be edged with holly or snowmen or both.

Best eaten in large handfuls.