Pecans are Falling
It’s happening, it’s happening! After three years of “no fruit,” my pecans are falling again and the shells aren’t hollow this year!!! Three years ago, I had an AMAZING pecan season. At the end of it all, I had collected about 3 large brown paper grocery bags full of pecans that netted approximately five pounds or so. That’s a lot of pecans, but even better, a lot of money saved on holiday baking!
“Pecans are not cheap, my hons. In fact, in the South, the street value of shelled pecans just before holiday baking season is roughly that of crack cocaine. Do not confuse the two. It is almost impossible to make a decent crack cocaine tassie, I am told.” — Humor Columnist and Author Celia Rivenbark
I am overflowing with excitement over my recent back yard discovery, because with the Texas drought that ended this past Spring, my trees have been barren for several years. My husband and I purchased our “pecan friendly” house four years ago, so I had never experienced what it is like to not have to buy them! At first, I was trying to crack them myself. I went online to Amazon and bought a fancy nut cracker. The girls and I would lay down a blanket and have “nut-cracking parties” on my kitchen floor for hours! I would actually pay them to shell pecans with me, because there were so many of them to get through.
That’s when I wised up. I found an actual “Pecan Cracker” in Dallas, and let me tell you! Worth EVERY penny! For those in the Dallas area, I highly recommend this wonderful man, running a very efficient, seasonal business. However, as a side note, I will say, his operation looks pretty sketchy from the outside. But don’t be scared, he takes great care of your pecans. Check out the picture of it on google maps: The Pecan Cracker_Google Maps. Although I am very thankful to find Mr. Pecan Cracker himself, I still plan on having pecan cracking parties with my girls. When the whether gets cold, the apple cider is on the stove, holiday candles are burning, and I’m the kitchen with my girls, the beauty of Winter starts setting in.
Going back three years to my first pecan season, it was like Easter every morning. After grabbing my coffee, first thing I’d do is mosey on outside with my basket, and start collecting. I’d pull back the bushes in search of a gem. I’d meticulously scan the backyard and all the usual places my pecans would fall in hopes I could get to them before the SQUIRRELS did! My 5 year old snuck a few shots of me this weekend as I was pecan hunting. I heard her notorious giggle coming from the deck and looked up to find her snapping away on my phone. Sneaky goose. This one cracks me up. I’m such an old lady.
Let’s get back to the squirrels for a moment, my nemeses this time of year. It starts with October and our Halloween pumpkins…we are lucky if we even get to October 31st with our pumpkins in tact. Last year, I tried to scare the squirrels off by covering my pumpkins in Spicy Tapatio sauce. It was a HOT, GORY MESS, no pun intended. See for yourself:
So what do I do with all my pecans. There are so many recipes out there that ask for pecans, so trust me when I say there is no shortage of ideas out there. Personally, I perfected the Pecan Pie, Pecan Bread (w/Bananas), Cayenne Baked Pecans, Pecan Turtles and Pecan Pralines. My husband and I’s absolute favorite Holiday cookies are Pecan Dainties, otherwise known as Pecan Snowball Cookies. Delicious! I am salivating just thinking about it. Aside from all baking, I like to share my pecans with neighbors and freeze up the rest. Yes, I still have perfectly delicious pecans in my freezer from three seasons ago. I’ll be baking them up this weekend!
Below is my favorite Pecan Bread Recipe. I wish I could tell you where I found it, but all I have are the notes! Would LOVE to hear from you on your favorite Pecan Recipes in the comments section below!
PECAN “Always Gets Them Out of Bed” BREAD (w/bananas)
Yields 1 Loaf
1 1/3 cups chopped Pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe banana
Heat oven to 350 °F. Generously grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Combine egg, milk, oil and vanilla; blend well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in 1 cup pecans and 1 cup mashed ripe bananas. Spoon into greased pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup pecans.
Bake at 350 °F for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Slice and enjoy over coffee or wrap it up nicely for your neighbor or kiddos’ teacher at school.
Hooray for the Glorious Pecan!
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