I have an old, huge pecan tree in my yard. My neighbor has a bigger, older pecan tree in his yard that branches over into my back yard. Last week, I went pickin' pecans. I had to suffer the squeaky insults and stink-eyed glares from my arch enemies, the squirrels. Even the blue jays were having conniptions. I did not let that stop me from rooting around in the dead-fall. There were pecans just waiting to fall out of their pods so I sent Joshua shimmying up our tree to pluck them (the boy was my pawn in case the damned squirrels went militant). I spend hours in the cold harvesting pecans. My back is still killing me.
I got them in the house and washed them, dried them, and commenced to shelling them with my bare hands, using a meat tenderizer to whack them and a campfire hot dog/marshmallow forky skewery thingy to pry the meat loose.
Mr. Bubbles gets home and tells me that there is a tool for picking pecans so the picker doesn't have to bend and stoop. I am all like HUH, WHUH.
My dad and I were on the phone and I am complaining about my "labor of love" (trying to guilt everyone into appreciating my sore back and chapped hands) and the HOURS it is taking just to shell a few pecans, and he said "Well, you don't have a pecan sheller". HUH? WHUH? There is such a contraption??
I got two things on my Christmas list now! I always assumed that pecans were so hot danged expensive because there were only a few little old ladies and child slave laborers shelling the hot danged things by hand!
Pecans grow wild here in Oklahoma and all over the southern U.S. And DO NOT let a Texan tell you that theirs are THE BEST pecans in the world because that is a LIE. Everyone knows Oklahoma grows THE BEST Pecans in the world.
It took me about four hours to shell enough pecans to fill a sandwich baggie. I took that over to my dad so he could share with Clover (the cockatoo my parents love more than they love me) and he was commenting on how different the flavor was from pecans that grow in North Carolina, his native Holy Land. I am guessing that the flavor is going to be different because of climate, altitude, soil, and proximity to the ocean. Oklahoma pecans are very golden, light brown and are very sweet.
After shelling and shelling and shelling pecans until my vision blurred and my cuticles are shredded to ribbons, I informed my family that everything they eat for the next few days will be covered in pecans. Even my Bunneh Wunnehs are getting their fill of pecans.
Omelet de fromage? Omelet de pecans!
Carne asada tacos? Si. Pero con mucho pecans, por favor
BBQ chicken? BBQ pecans
Green bean casserole? Mm hm, and topped with french fried pecans
Pizza? Stuff the crust with pecans
Hot dogs? Hot pecan dogs
Egg rolls? Pecan rolls
Get the idea? Pecans on everything. If I had to whip up some brain stew for a tribe of cannibals, you better believe they would be thinking "WHAT IS that pleasant crunch?".
And it ain't over. I still need to get back out there and pick some more. This time I think I will wait to shell them til after Christmas. Maybe Santa Pecan will put a sheller under the tree.