This year is a bumper crop for pecans! I lost two very old pecan trees in Katrina. There are still three left and I planted four more. Finally! They are lookin' good! They produced a wonderful crop. I have about thirty pounds of pecan halves in the freezer and a lot more to shell. The rocket cracker (a got at a local hardware store) works really well.
It is so much fun being able to walk out of the door and pick up valuable, edible, useful things off of the ground! Shelled pecans sold for $10.00 a pound at the local farmers market. Mine were free! Currently I store the shelled pecans in the freezer. I would like to find out if you can toast and can them like you see in the store.
New Orleans is famous for their pralines. Really yummy! I found a recipe that tastes like pralines, but is in smaller bite sizes. I gave sugared pecans to my children's School and Sunday School teachers, they loved them. I made 4x the recipe for my large family's Christmas get together and they didn't last very long.
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 tbsp of butter
pinch of salt
4 cups pecan halves
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix the sugar, milk, butter and salt and cook over medium heat to a soft ball stage, about 235 degrees (this is very important for it to turn out right, I know it seems to take a long time) Add the vanilla then pecans mix well. Spread on a platter to cool. Separate pecans with fork and store in an airtight container.
I also like to crush the pecans for cheese ball coatings and to sprinkle on salads.