Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nature's Bounty!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!  This is an extra special Thanksgiving for us because we have been fortunate to have quite the backyard bounty.  In the North, we gather apples, but in the South, we collect... pecans! 

When I first noticed Jeff picking up these peculiar brown nuts from our deck, driveway, and yard, I thought... why?  Certainly they are just dried up nuggets that will lie around our house until I, inevitably, toss them out.  Little did I know, that we had been blessed with something akin to gold!  Yes, I am quite serious when I say this -- gold.  When you rip these little shells open, there is an actual pecan inside, just like you would pay a pretty penny for in the grocery store.  Since I am quite cheap (I can say this because I am speaking about myself!), I was overjoyed at our special little crop. 

The main trade off, however, is our ancient pecan tree overshadows our entire backyard, which stunts any sort of grass growth and produces an absolute ton of leaves.

Milt Dog likes to be in the thick of things when we work with the leaves outside.  Note his winter coat is growing in...

With a tree, like this, we stay awfully busy during the fall...

The branches are actually a highway for squirrels and a constant source of amusement for the Milt Dog.
Just a weekend's work...
Jeff likes to pick up the nuts, but once I found out what was inside, I run out in the morning and the evening, like it is a veritable Easter egg hunt.  The nuts like to hide, so you need to have a sharp eye and kick at the leaves.  I equate it to spelunking, of course, with Milton by my side.


Milton likes to help too.  If we are rooting around looking for things on the ground, goodness knows his snout is right there in the midst of things!  Milt actually is not the best of help because he likes to nibble, gnaw, and eventually swallow our pecans, which wreak havoc on his little tummy.  The other evening, actually, Milt fell asleep on our bed, and he threw up in the middle of the night.  Did he get sick in our bed?  Why no, he leaned over the side and puked on the floor.  My mom deemed that considerate, and we agreed.  We prefer that Milt sticks to ball playing in the backyard rather than snacking.

Ball in mouth

What in the world do we plan to do with all these pecans?  I, and I am taking Jeff down this rabbit hole with me, plan to gift these little beauties away for Christmas in the form of pies and candy!  We actually kicked it off at Thanksgiving baking a pie for Jeff's parents and aunt and uncle.  I used Grandmother's authentic Southern recipe, so one can only imagine how tasty these must have been.  In case you are wondering, I haven't even tried a bite yet!

My handiwork

Jeff and I are certainly not done yet.  We have about four containers, very similar to this one, still waiting for us to crack.

I try to make the pecans look aesthetically pleasing on our counter...!

Here is our cracking device; it is called a "rocket."  Pretty cool, huh?

Well, if you are friends or family, expect to receive a homemade AND homegrown gift this year from Milt Dog and family.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone -- gobble until you wobble!


  1. Yum! The pecan pie was great. (That's pecan, like pea-con; not pea-can.) HA!
    Thank you, Heidi!

  2. Thanx for the food and pie , maybe pecan next year
    Luv ya