12/11/2017

Perfect pecan day

A pocket of pecans
Headed on the sunny trail south to the William Dexter Prince Memorial Pecan Grove near the corner of Parker and Spring Creek this glorious noon. Orange leaves drifted down from the creekside sycamores in the light breeze.

One man was collecting a bag of pecans. On weekends I often see whole families collecting in the grove as I drive by on Parker. Maybe it is late in the season.

Filled one pocket with promising pecan prospects, then resumed my walk. No clue what to do with the pecans after photographing. I am a better birdwatcher than a pioneer gal. Cedar waxwing flocks were decorating the big, old pecan trees, but bluebirds and chickadees were also hanging out. It was too nice out to ponder the plural of tufted titmouse.

Cedar waxwings

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The pecan grove


Joy of Cooking said to soak the pecans in boiling water before cracking. Sites online suggested curing, freezing, or roasting. I went with the twenty minute hot soak, while searching for the nutcracker. About half the nuts were empty, or held suspicious contents. The other half smelled delightful when cracked and I managed to pry out broken pecan bits. I've been nibbling them when I pass through the kitchen, and I'm still alive. 


A library patron brings us a jar of candied pecans each Christmas, made with pecans from her yard. My mom's recipe seems a bit different:

Fritzi's Sugar & Honey Pecans

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla
3 cups pecan halves

Combine sugar, salt, honey & 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking without stirring to 242 degrees on candy thermometer, or until a little dropped in cold water forms a firm ball.  Remove from heat. Add vanilla & pecans. Stir gently until mixture becomes creamy. Turn onto wax paper and separate pecans with a fork. Let dry. Makes about 1 1/4 pounds.

Sycamore on Rowlett Creek



© 2014-2017 Nancy L. Ruder