Pecans In Texas Are Puh-Kahns.

November 12, 2012

Living in this house…where my great grandparents used to live…I’ve found that memories I’ve long forgotten often pop out of nowhere in the most unexpected ways. It happened today when a pecan fell on my head.

I was just walking out to the car, through the gate, down the path, when plop. Incoming dive bomber pecan right in the middle of my skull. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. I feel like this is how I spent every Thanksgiving in the 80s. Outside. Kind of bored. Getting hit in the head with small objects thrown by squirrels.

We were in the country, the adults were all inside laughing and drinking coffee or bourbon and talking about taxes or whatever grownups did. My brother and boy cousins were playing football or climbing around the haunted float barns. My sister was inside being a little kid. And teenage me would just wander around the perimeter of the house, wishing I were in New York at the real parade, and probably complaining of boredom. My grandmother would always send me out with a grocery bag to “do something productive and stay out of trouble”… which when translated meant, collecting some of the pecans that were strewn about EVERYWHERE.

There are currently five giant pecan trees on the property…I can only assume that my great grandparents planted them. There were more back then, but we had to chop two large ones down because they were completely dead and in danger of falling over and killing everything in their wake. Deadly they were. But their cousins remain, housing owls and squirrels and pelting small round objects down on anything near them.

So around this time of year, the yard looks like an overachieving Easter Egg Hunt. But with pecans.

So I sent out this photo on Instagram, taken from inside my kitchen/outside the window of a tree full of pecans and people were like, ‘What? Pecans grow on trees?’ To which, I didn’t even know how to respond. To me, that question sounds like, ‘What? Is Tump a word?’ (Um, yeah, it’s a cross between tip and dump. Like, ‘Watch out, that’s about to tump over.’) Duh.

So yes. This is what pecans look like when there’s no danger of them falling on your head.

See? Green. Not ready to fall.

And this is what they look like when they can dive bomb you at any minute.

And this is what my yard looks like.

And when I get stressed out, I go outside and collect pecans.

So currently, I am rich in my pecans. Camp Mighty is happening later this week, and I’ve been trying to think of something to do to raise money for charity: water (everyone who attends camp pledges to raise $200 for charity: water) and I also wanted to do something for the Sandy Disaster Relief efforts. So I’m doing what I can with what I have: Pecans.

I’ve opened an Etsy shop (Shop con Queso) where I’m selling small batches of Texas Pecan Pralines, Texas Pecan Cookies, Spicy Texas Pecans, Texas Pecan Bourbon Balls, Toasted Texas Pecan Pesto, and Texas Pecan Pie Jam. Proceeds will go to charity: water and Occupy Sandy.

Go check it out (Shop con Queso).

It’s like all that wandering around bored time of my youth is finally finding a purpose. And at this purposeful place, we call them pecans, not peeeecans.

My great grandparents would love that I’m doing something productive with what I have.  And my grandmother would say…”At least it keeps you out of the pool hall.”

Happy Pecan Season.

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  • Reply Laurah November 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Of course it’s puh-kahn. And, yeah, tump is a word. A friend and I were just discussing this yesterday.

    What’s wrong with people these days?

  • Reply Minnesota Red November 13, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Hi there~ My mom from Illinois always said Pee-Kahns, emphasis on the “pee”. Her now deceased cousin from Austin and Dripping Springs, Texas, said Puh-Kahns and used to bring us the Prah-leens, which I grew up calling Pray-leens. My mom also says “warsh” for wash. You are so lucky to have those trees! I have only oak leaves and they make shitty pie.

  • Reply Carla November 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    There are not enough words in the world to describe how happy the title of your blog post makes me!!! I, too, grew up with grandparents who had 5 or 6 puh-kahn trees in their yard and we were forever picking them. I miss them so much. The pecans and my grandparents. Thanks so much for the reminder of my childhood in La.

  • Reply Adrian Jones November 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Very similar to walnuts. I’d never considered how they grew until I saw them at my partner’s parents’ house in France.

    Here’s a set of three pictures of a nut “hatching”


  • Reply Keriann November 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    My grandparents would send me outside to collect acorns. But there’s really nothing you can do with acorns except get them off the lawn. I live in the house that was theirs now, and we just lost the oak tree to Sandy. Which is all to say how awesome to have trees that grow pecans and to put them to good (delicious) use. Looking forward to meeting you this wknd!

  • Reply looloolooweez November 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    This brings back memories of Thanksgivings spent gathering pecans (dern RIGHT it is puh-kahns) in my grandparents’ back yard in Big Spring TX. Now we live nearer the Gulf and we have a lemons instead, which are somewhat more difficult to gather but also much less likely to drop on your head.

  • Reply Noodle November 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    The squirrels have been especially vicious this year – I think they’re organizing. I don’t remember being pelted in the head this much ever! And I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to have our roof inspected after this fall. The pecans are wonderful though. Thank you for pronouncing it properly! 🙂

  • Reply Snortsister November 30, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I am Canadian. My friend grew up in Georgia. She quickly corrected my atrocious pronunciation. She told me “This is a puh-kahn. The pee-can is what’s under the bed.” She might have grown up in Georgia without indoor plumbing.

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