Monday, January 28, 2008

Memories of Pecans

I played hooky today! Stayed home with my hubby. We cleaned a little, went shopping took a nap, it was nice. By this afternoon I wanted to sit outside in the fading sun and enjoy the little warmth left from this beautiful day. I decided to make good use of my time outside and shell pecans. Thats pronounced pea-cauns, not pee-cans, anyway. You may find shelling pecans boring, strange, laborious, whatever i like it. So out to the swing I went, two bowls and the pecan cracker. My pecans came from my Memamas trees in Georgia. She has 12 or 14 huge, old trees. This year was the first time I ever got a bag of pecans from her without my Grandaddys grading system inside.

Let me explain. Grandaddy would pick up the pecans as they fell from the trees. He would put all of that particular year in bags, date the bags, time and approximate location and place them in a very large freezer to be used at will or given to family. So every year i get nuts from Memama, when I got them from the freezer to shell, there would be a small piece of paper inside, with Grandaddys handwriting on it with the date, time and approximate tree. Sometimes he would grade the nuts as good, dry, large or plump. This bag, had no grade, no description. Grandaddy died in June.

But I have such sweet memories of the pecans. Of picking up pecans in the yard with him for years and years. He made it seem fun, not the boring job it could of been. He had a pecan picker upper thing, it had a long handle with a wire, cage thing on it, looked kind of like a spring. You pushed it along the ground and the pecans got into the metal and couldnt fall out. It was open on one end to dump out the nuts. My aunt and i would pick them up by hand, he said we were closer to the ground and could get them better that way. He showed me how to hold two of them in my little hand and press really hard together, cracking one of the nuts, then you could pick out the good pieces and eat them in the yard while you were suppose to be picking up nuts.

Grandaddy and I would sit outside his shop and crack pecans, with the same type of cracker I have today. He would just crack them, not shell them completely. i wold take the bucket into the house to Memama where she would finish shelling them and make Chewy Cake! Yum!!!

Shelling the pecans leaves my hands dry with brown pecan dust under my fingernails, little bits of nut stuck there too. Sharp shells all over the porch floor, and you know what... I wouldn't change it for the world.

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