Picking Pecans on our Family Outing

The pecan trees are losing their leaves and the hulls are opening up which means it’s time to start picking pecans! What better time to start than today? This time of year we make frequent trips down to the orchards to see if the pecans are ready. Today just happened to include one of those trips. My guess is that Winston already knew that the pecans were ready because unbeknownst to me he brought a collection of buckets with us. He made it sound like he needed us to go check the trees with him, but in actuality I think he just really needed a few extra hands.

Strawberry Chicken Pecan Salad

I’m on a quest. A quest to eat more vegetables. I know. It’s not the most exciting mission of my life, but it is a good one. A healthy one. And I have to be honest that I am not interested in choking down my veggies. I really require that they taste good as well as providing me with the healthy nutrients that my body needs. After all, it’s my quest so I can make the rules. Strangely, I prefer salad over most other vegetable options. I don’t mind trying new things, but salad is my go to vegetable option.

Cute Kids and Yummy Pecan Cookies!

Y’all I have the cutest recipe video to share with you. Not only because it has some yummy pecan cookies from a great recipe, but also because it has some pretty precious kids in it. I admit I am super partial on this theory. Mainly because one of the kids is my daughter, Anna, and also because the other kid is our family friend, Ben. These kids had a great time filming this recipe. I told my mom that it was kind of like cooking with Elmo. The cookies are delicious as we got to enjoy them fresh out of the oven. As you will see, they thought the cookie dough was pretty spectacular as well.

Butter Pecan Iced Coffee

Front porches and cold drinks: two things that make the Texas heat more bearable in my opinion. When I said “cold drink” I wasn’t referring to the South’s poster child, iced tea. I was actually referring to iced coffee. Butter Pecan Iced Coffee to be exact. I personally like my coffee hot, but my sister, Leslie, has been telling me for years to give this beloved drink a chance. Since we are approaching summertime I decided to take her advice. By the way, I am so glad I did. This drink is amazing! And the recipe that I am about to share with you will “knock your socks off”, as we say in the south. AND… with your socks off, you can mosey on outside with this drink in hand and enjoy it on your front porch!

Mother Pecan Tree

Found this great article of Famous Trees of Texas! Click here for the original article.

Historical period:  Frontier Texas (1865 – 1899)
Historical topics:  Pecan-Our State Tree, Saved From The Axe
Species:  Pecan (Carya illionoiensis)
County:  San Saba
Public access?:  No access permitted
Tree Tour:  Coming Soon
This tree is the source of more important varieties than any other pecan tree in the world. From it have come such well-known varieties as Liberty Bond, Jersey, No. 60, San Saba Improved, Texas Prolific, and the internationally famous Western Schley (pronounced sh-ly’).

The San Saba Mother Pecan was discovered by an Englishman named E. E. Risien, a cabinet-maker by trade, who became fascinated with pecans. Risien staged the first pecan show in San Saba County to find the best pecan specimen. After the judging, he asked the winning exhibitor to show him the tree from which his pecans came. Risien was horrified when he saw it, for all the limbs had been sawed off except one. The man said that he had used that limb to stand on while he cut the others off to get the nuts!

Risien eventually bought the tree and the land on which it stood. Slowly the tree grew a new crown and once again began producing crops of the prize nuts.

Thinking he could reproduce the fruit by seedlings, he planted the first commercial pecan nursery in San Saba County. In that 40-acre nursery, none of the more than 1,000 pecan nuts planted produced trees of like fruit.

Artificial pollination of the “mother tree” continued for years as he tried to develop new varieties. He would ride horseback for miles seeking suitable “father trees,” gather the pollen-laden male blossoms in his saddle-bags, and bring them back to pollinate the “mother tree.” It generally took about 10 years to know whether he had a new and better variety.

In addition to his pollination experiments, Risien also experimented with budding and grafting pecans when few people knew it could be done.

Records of the first meeting of the Texas State Horticultural Society, held in Brenham in 1886, indicate that Risien won the honor of showing the best plate of pecans. For years after, his pecans were always top winners.

Pecan Sugar Cookies Recipe

Most kids love sugar cookies. To be real honest, most adults do too. I love to top mine with colorful icing to offer variety. But I found a recipe that doesn’t require icing to provide a unique .

Here is the link to buy our yummy Pecan Meal:

http://www.pecancompany.com/pecanmeal.htm

 

Pecan Phanatic!

We would like to present April’s Pecan Phanatic of the Month.

If you are nuts about any of Millican Pecan’s Products take a picture of yourself with some of our product and you could win some really wonderful stuff!

Chicken Salad

This was a recipe sent in by a fan and we loved it so much we wanted to share it as well! Enjoy!

If you have a recipe that you would like to share that has pecans in it we would love to feature it! Post below or send it to sales@pecancompany.com.

Pre-K 4 Visits Millican Pecan

On March 9, 2011 in San Saba, TX, the San Saba Pre-K class visited Millican Pecan Company. The kids spent time at the factory learning about pecans and how to make their own homemade pecan pie. “The class is currently learning about shapes and colors and we wanted to teach them a little about pecans and how they grow”, said owners Kristen and Winston Millican.

Caramel Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup butter or margarine, melted

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

1 cup Millican Pecan Pieces

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars and flour.  Add the butter, eggs, milk and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Pour into pie shell; sprinkle with pecans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until set.  Cool completely.  Yield:  6-8 servings.

 

Right Where I Want To Be

Most of the time you will read about pecan orchards and you can tell that the minds that formulated the words came from a man. Of course, I love to listen to my husband talk about life in the pecan orchards because his eyes light up and his voice reflects passion. But I wanted you to see what a pecan orchard looks like from the eyes of a woman.

The Art of Substitution

We live rather far from town. In fact, what my girlfriends consider “in the sticks”. We moved here as soon as we got married, which has almost been ten years ago. As a result, I have learned the art of substitution in my cooking endeavors. What I mean is that I have learned to use the ingredients that I have on hand.

The Best Pecan Site Selection

 

Recently, I’ve been getting calls and emails about people wanting to buy an orchard or develop native/seedling trees into a marketable crop. Just when i think I’ve seen it all, somebody calls and they have a completely different problem or question. Planting and harvesting pecans is a passion of mine, so helping you is an extension of that passion. So for the prospective pecan grower these are my recommendations for criteria that you need to look for in regards to finding the best pecan site to develop into an orchard.

Irrigating Pecans

High quality pecans require water from either rainfall or irrigation.  Most places rely on a combination of the two.  In the western US, irrigation is a must due to the lack of rainfall. Eastern pecan growers, irrigation is supplemental due to the abundance of rainfall.  Most growers fall somewhere in between. Mature pecan trees can requires much as 2000 gallons of water per week during the growing season.

The American Pecan Farmer – We Salute You

It’s November and there is, perhaps, no better month to celebrate the American pecan farmer. After all, you are one to be celebrated! You are, most assuredly, in full swing harvesting your crop. You are short on daylight, and your days are long. And at times you may be lacking the help you need to get the job done. You are probably seeing less of your family during these months as well. Spending meal times out in the orchard rather than around the dinner table. And if you are like my husband, you finish your day covered in dust and grease and are in serious need of a bath. Just to start your day all over again the next morning. It’s hard work, no-doubt. But one thing is certain…it’s rewarding.
Your reward may not always come in the form of loaded pecan trees with a bumper crop. But it is definitely rewarding to enjoy the fruits of your labor. To know that your work is making an impact. And it is. Consumers across the globe can attest to that. And especially in this Thanksgiving month where pecans take a seat at the table of homes across our country. We have even more reason to remember the American pecan farmer. And so we salute you.

A Time of Thanksgiving

As we pause this month to give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives we also pause to thank you. You are the bread and butter of our country. Although farmers only make up about 2% of our population, we recognize that we have fresh food on our plates because of the work that you do. Our meals are enriched because of your hard work. And our Thanksgiving traditions would definitely not be the same without you.
As you may have read a few months ago I shared with you my belief that pecans help contribute to long life. I spent some time and received some help from others to collect data that helped to support this theory. We found some really good information. While it was helpful and quite interesting we found that we just didn’t have enough data to conclusively reveal what we strongly believe.

Compelling Data from the American Pecan Farmer

In fact, the most recent records that we could find grouped by county dated back to the 1980s. This was prior to privacy policies which help protect production numbers where there may be only one grower in a county. As a grower myself, I appreciate privacy policies. I’ve also come to realize that in order to advance the message of the pecan we must also be diligent to provide compelling information.
As growers we know how good pecans are for our health and how delicious they are to eat. But there is a big percentage of the population that has not heard this message. In fact, most people don’t even recognize pecans as a major contributor to the nut industry. I know…shocking, right? I couldn’t believe it myself when I first heard it. But as I am talking to people I realize it’s sadly true.
It’s time for that to change. I hope that we will see this percentage drastically reduced over the next few years. And when it does we will have one more reason to salute the American pecan farmer and to help tell your story.
* As seen in the November issue of Pecan South Magazine

Apple Pie Pecan Jam Recipe

My friend, Linda, loves apple jelly. In fact, it’s the only type of jelly that she will eat. I can sympathize. Apples are one of my go-to fruits and a standard item on my grocery list. With fall just around the corner we thought it would be the perfect time to try our hand at some apple jelly. Well, we actually upgraded the basic jelly recipe and opted for apple pie pecan jam. We found a recipe that will not disappoint.

The Fountain of Youth Under a Pecan Tree

When I was a little girl, I remember hearing someone talk about the fountain of youth. I was curious. Was there really something that could help cultivate the look and feeling of youth? And if so, was it really a fountain of water? Maybe it was more like the one I passed by at the mall with my mom? Or could it be located in some far distant land where I would possibly never travel to? Surely such a fountain would be carefully protected so that it’s water or “magic potion” would not run dry? I didn’t know the answers, but I was anxious to find out.

Beauty from Pecan Ashes

Sometimes failure hits you when you least expect it. When it does I believe it’s important to seek to find beauty in the ashes. That was the case for us a few weeks ago as we sought to find beauty from the pecan ashes. I wish that was a symbolic term, but unfortunately it’s not. If there is one thing that can crush the spirit of a pecan farmer it would be to hear of involuntary pecan ashes falling in the orchard.

How to Store Pecans the Proper Way

When I spend money I want to make sure that I take care of the item I’ve purchased in order to ensure my money is not wasted. Most of us are that way, right? It’s no different with perishable items. In fact, I am probably more protective of the food items I purchase. Food is, after all, a passion of mine. And fresh pecans, well….that’s something I know a thing or two about. For awhile now you’ve been asking us how to store pecans and, friend, this is your go-to place to get those questions answered.

One Eye Wide Open and the Other One…

Have you ever had one of those days where you go about your day with eye makeup on one eye and the other one completely bare? I’m not talking about having one of those days that FEELS like you’ve only put half your makeup on. I’m actually talking about literally going to town with one eye fully decked out in the latest eye makeup trends and the other one completely naked. Well, I recently had one of those days. Yep, I seriously walked around public places with one eye wide open and the other one looking half asleep. 

Pecan Orchard Spring Cleaning

Burning Pecan Trees
Pecans Trees being cleaned up in the late Winter here in Texas

Spring is always a busy time around a pecan orchard.  By now, we have marketed a large portion of our pecan crop and have been busy in our shop repairing harvest equipment.  The pecans that have been retained for the summer months are being processed and will be in cold storage as soon as completed. January and February were busy months cleaning up the pecan orchards.  There were many stick piles from the pecan harvest and they all have to be pushed up and burned.  This is no small undertaking and is often overlooked by some maintenance teams. Pecan scab can and does overwinter in the fallen pecan leaves, so destroying as many as possible is a management tool. Not only will the pecan orchard look better

Pecan Sizes Explained

About once a week we receive a phone call or email asking us to describe the difference in pecan sizes. In fact, I had such a conversation today with a new customer. We love to help educate people on the various options that are available. When you are a newbie to any industry it helps to have some clarity offered on basic terminologies. Asking about an overview of pecan sizes is a great question and one that is best explained with a combination of pictures and words.

How to Make Pecan Pralines

As a young bride I had no idea how to make pecan pralines. I remember feeling this pressure to make these delicious candies, but I had no idea where to begin. It wasn’t because anyone pressured me, but for some reason I put undo stress on myself. I mean there I was newly married into a family with a rich pecan heritage. And I hadn’t the faintest idea how to make a staple pecan candy. I knew I could find a recipe, but I was the type of person that needed step-by-step guidance. Preferably someone like my grandmother standing next to me to talk me through each process.

I clearly lacked the confidence needed to be a good cook,

Pecan Phanatic – May 2017

We are excited to present May’s Pecan Phanatic of the Month, John Elston! John lives in Houston, Texas with his wife, Sandy. You can read more about John and his love for pecans below.