Merge attributes from machine resource with defaults

I am trying to set up some nodes with chef-provisioning. I am using the ‘attributes’ property of the machine resource to set a bunch of attributes. I would like to merge the values I want to set with the default hash for a particular key in the default attributes for the node. is this possible?

If the hash of defaults was set on the node attributes of the provisioning node, you could merge them using Chef::Mixin::DeepMerge.merge(dest, source) before you set them on the machine.

If the defaults are actually only set on the target node, can you not do the merge in a recipe that runs on the node?