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.

Homemade Baked Zucchini Fries with Pecan Meal

I’m always on the lookout for new recipes. Good ones. Taste is my number one requirement, but I also make it a point to keep my eye out for recipes that are healthy. It’s summer and this recipe accomplishes both. Not only does it utilize the abundance of zucchini that is produced this time of year as well as pecan meal, but these fries taste great too. It’s the perfect gluten free recipe to add to your list this summer.

No Perfect People Allowed

I remember when I was a kid it was quite the rage to start clubs and invite your closest friends to join with you. I was a member of The Girls Club in which we would yell “no boys allowed” at the top of our lungs when some little boy would innocently cross our path. Poor thing! I’ve even heard my daughter get into the spirit of clubs with her friends.

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.

All Work and No Play

“All work and no play”. It’s a philosophy, just not a philosophy that our family believes in. I’m not saying that we don’t believe in working hard. In fact, hard work is something we feel strongly about. And instilling a strong work ethic in our kids and throughout our company is something we desire to do. But learning to take a break or have a moment of fun is what enables us to sustain our dedication to a job well-done.

Cute Kids and Yummy Cookies!

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. 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!

See our Video of this recipe!

*Like us on Facebook from now until June 1st for your chance to win a bag of Chocolate Covered Pecans!

Pecan Iced Coffee

Who doesnt love a good Iced Coffee on a hot summer day!

Ingredients:

2 gallons cold water
Glass of Ice
1 Tbl. Sugar
Half and Half
Straw
  • Pour ground coffee in a large container/bowl. Pour water in and mix. Cover and let it sit for 8 hours in the refrigerator. After 8 hours remove the coffee mixture from the refrigerator.

  • Using a fine strainer lined with a paper towel, slowly pour coffee mixture into a separate container/bowl. Make sure all the liquid has passed through the strainer.

  • Take your glass of ice and fill it half way with refrigerated coffee. Add the sugar and syrup and mix. Fill the rest of the way with Half and Half. Add a straw and enjoy!!

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.

Is it Really True??

Well….the answer is, YES it is!! We received a phone call last week from the Martha Stewart Show. Eeeek!! I must confess I am having a very hard time composing myself. As I spoke to one of the producers over the phone I found myself pacing the floor with anticipation and shaking. Yes, I know it is very shameful, but my hands were in fact shaking and I was trying hard to make sure my voice did not crack as to embarrass myself even more so. I found myself wondering what these producers must think of people like myself. Well, I have to report that she was very down-to-earth and did an amazing job of not making me feel like a fool 🙂

I have been watching Martha’s TV show since I was in college. Over the years I have made many attempts to produce her beautifully, creative crafts, recipes and decorations. I always seem to come up short, though. On screen she displays such ease in producing the masterpieces set before us, but for some reason my reproduction doesn’t quite look the same. If there is one thing that has impacted me the most, though, about Martha Stewart it is her passion for what she does. I have noticed this passion is contagious and has been for many years. So it is especially gratifying and rewarding for me to be able to share with Martha and her studio audience something that I am passionate about… Pecans!

To say that it is an honor to be included on the Martha Stewart Show as well as sourced in her new cookbook “Martha’s American Food” is an understatement. I am excited, honored, proud, giddy, nervous and incredibly blessed! Please join us as we watch with anticipation on the Hallmark Channel on Tuesday, April 24th at 10am and 2pm EST and Wednesday, April 25th at 1pm EST. Happy Baking!

Millican Pecan and Martha Stewart

Great News!!! The producers of The Martha Stewart Show called us yesterday requesting 200 bags of pecans that they are letting the studio audience sample. They also made us aware that they are sourcing our pecans in Martha Stewart’s new book which you can buy on Amazon. We are very excited about this opportunity and hope you tune to her show on Tuesday!

 

 

Shaking Trees!

From an employees view.

I have been part of the delicious world of Millican Pecan for two wonderful years. I have learned so many things about baking, pecans, and chocolate . I enjoy being part of a great company that has been moving since 1888.

There are so many things I enjoy about working for Winston and Kristen, but my favorite thing is baking pecan pies. They have taught me how to make their famous pecan pies and I have baked so many especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the busy season I like being in the kitchen all day baking pies. Some would call me the “pie machine.” I have a little secret when I’m baking pies and it’s not necessarily a secret ingredient. I always like to keep  the valued customer in mind that ordered the pie. I want them to be very pleased when they slice the pecan pie. I love the smell of the pies while they are in the oven. My imagination takes me to a cold winter morning having a slice of pecan pie with chocolate pecan coffee. Yummmm. If you havent had a chance to try our Pecan Pie. You should, because not only is it homemade but now you know they are handmade by me!

 

-Ines Aguirre

 

Pecan Meal Sugar Cookies

 

Here is the link to buy our yummy Pecan Meal:

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

 

Entitlement

I’ve been thinking lately of the attitude of entitlement. It stems mainly from a tragic event that happened recently in our community. A fellow pecan grower and friend of mine had her life taken from her because of it.
I have to admit that it’s not always easy to be grateful. After all, with life comes circumstances that are good and bad. But I have observed in my life that when I am grateful for what God has given me, then entitlement has no room to creep in. Recognizing that anything good in my life is not because I was entitled to it, but because God graciously placed it there for me. These gifts are evident to me when I reflect on the family I grew up in, my childhood friends, and grandparents. I also think of my husband and the journey we are taking together. We have been fortunate to graduate college together, see what once was a dream develop into a business, and now pour our hearts into two children. I think if our approach to these experiences was such that we deserved them or were entitled to them then we would miss out on the joy that comes along with them.
In short, I hope that we all can learn the importance of gratefulness. For with it comes the ease of a smile and a life well-lived.

Kristen Millican

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.

Easter Chocolate Pecan Turtles

Speaking of easter! Our Milk Chocolate Pecan Caramillicans come from an old family recipe handed down through the generations. We mix butter rich caramel with our fancy pecans and topped with milk chocolate by hand, one at a time. This is one of our most popular items and is just in time for Easter. This is a great change from store bought candy. Why not support your local business! Click the link below to order some.

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

Pre-K 4 Visits Millican Pecan

 

On March 9, 2011 in San Saba, TX, the San Saba Pre-K class visited Millican Pecan Company’s factory to learn about the pecans and make their own pecan pies. “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. As they all marched in line to put on the appropriate attire, chef hats and aprons of course, there were scattered giggles and fingers pointing at the funny hats they were all wearing. Each child was given a tiny piece of homemade pie dough that they were prompted to roll out with small rolling pins. Once the piece of dough was in a circle they placed the dough in the small pie tins and started pinching the edges of the crust. With a little help each pie looked very unique. The next step was the pie filling, when each pie had the appropriate filling inside, each child took a small handful of the famous Millican Pecan Pieces. After all the pies were put in the oven, owner Kristen Millican began to talk to the children about how pecans grow with the suns help and how each pecan is unique just like them. Kristen then told them about how they had each made a special pie but there was one more pie that was being made for a very special person. This person of course was none other than the Easter Bunny! With squeals of delight each child was so excited to sign the card that they had made for the Easter Bunny.

The smell of fresh pecan pies began to fill the air and each of the child’s small pies were taken home and enjoyed by them and their family. Millican Pecan Company has a love not only for the community but for the kids that fill it. “We want to build into the next generation which is a passion of our family. We want to be able to use the resources we have been blessed with to enrich the lives of others”, says owners Winston and Kristen Millican, “to see the faces of these children light up when they see the final product that their [own] hands made is pure joy. We also love that our passion for baking is being passed on to others. Who knows, maybe when these kids are grown they will choose career paths that allow them to use the skills learned at events like these.”

 

Spring Cleaning in the Orchard

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 orchards.  There were many stick piles from the pecan harvest and they all had to be pushed up and burned.  This is no small undertaking and is often overlooked by some.  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, the pecan orchard will have less scab spores.

Having a wet spring, broad-leaf weeds and other grasses have begun to torment the orchards.  Not only do they use up the moisture, but they also hide the sticks that the unsuspecting mower will find.  These weeds will continue to grow up into the hotter summer months.  A Roundup strip sprayed at the tree bases keep these weeds in check.   My general rule of thumb is 1.5-2 quarts per acre on thick growth and 1 quart for follow up in 10 gallons of water per acre.
This makes for mowing much easier since one does not have to weave around the pecan trees.  A green section is left between the trees to support the spray equipment in the spring.  This greenbelt will have to be mowed at some point.

Some people ask me from time to time if we use livestock such as cows, sheep or goats in our pecan operation.  The orchards that are entirely pecans do not have livestock and are managed differently than native river bottoms.  Most of the natives have pastureland adjacent to them and cows are allowed to graze beneath the trees.  With this setup, in a normal year, shredding is only done twice, one in early summer and one in late summer.  These animals are removed in the fall prior to harvest.   This has been a management system that has been very successful in the past.

Until next time, remember this about pecan operations:  There is never a dull moment and no two years are the same.

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 a pecan orchard 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.

When I walk through our pecan orchards it brings me to a romantic place. After all, when we were dating my husband and I enjoyed our first picnic together under the shade of his great-great grandfather’s orchard. This historical orchard was planted in the 1880’s. It’s magnificent trees still produce the fruit, or nuts as we say, of his labor to this day. As I stroll through the orchard my mind often wanders back in time as I imagine five generations taking the same steps that my feet currently take. I can picture them picking pecans by hand as they used to before sophisticated machinery was invented. The orchard is also a place that makes me reflect on the family that I have become a part of. I remember my first experience of harvesting pecans. It was my first Thanksgiving with Winston and we joined his family in the pecan orchard. My job was to help pick the pecans on the sorting table with about 4 other people. The rest of the family dispersed on tractors to conquer the other required tasks. It’s been a family effort for a long time. I love that!

orchardpicToday my daughters and I had some friends over to our house. After lunch we hopped on the four wheeler. Our destination – the orchard. It was our friends’ first time. What a great pleasure it was to see the amazement on their faces as we rode around. Of course, I recognize that face. It’s the same expression I had when I first experienced the orchard in the fall of 1997.

 

-Kristen Millican

Kristen Millican on “The Art of Substitution”

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. It is not convenient for me to just hop in my car and run to town each time I am in need of an ingredient for the new recipe I am excited to try. Let me also add that I am not good at planning ahead. Hence the reason I have had to learn the art of substitution even more so. I am also one of those people that does not like to wait. When I see a recipe that sparks my interest and I have my heart set on trying it…I must do it then. I can’t wait until tomorrow!

Now, there are some ingredients that really cannot be substituted. But there are many that can. For instance, I rarely have buttermilk on hand, so I mix ¾ milk and ¼ vinegar when a recipe calls for buttermilk. This special ingredient is common in many southern dishes, so you might want to jot it down. I usually don’t have half and half either. I do, however, keep a small carton of heavy cream in my refrigerator for my late night indulgences of fresh whipped cream by the spoonful. And being a mother of two small children who consume a shocking amount of milk each day, I also have milk on hand. So as the product name indicates, I mix ½ heavy cream and ½ milk when I am needing half and half.

My substitution list has grow over the last ten years. When I was younger my personality did not allow for substituting anything. As I have grown older I have embraced the chaos of life and realized that with the art of substitution comes relaxation. And I breathe a sigh of relief!

Spring Cleaning in the Orchard

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 orchards.  There were many stick piles from the pecan harvest and they all had to be pushed up and burned.  This is no small undertaking and is often overlooked by some.  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, the pecan orchard will have less scab spores.

Having a wet spring, broad-leaf weeds and other grasses have begun to torment the orchards.  Not only do they use up the moisture, but they also hide the sticks that the unsuspecting mower will find.  These weeds will continue to grow up into the hotter summer months.  A Roundup strip sprayed at the tree bases keep these weeds in check.   My general rule of thumb is 1.5-2 quarts per acre on thick growth and 1 quart for follow up in 10 gallons of water per acre.
This makes for mowing much easier since one does not have to weave around the pecan trees.  A green section is left between the trees to support the spray equipment in the spring.  This greenbelt will have to be mowed at some point.

Some people ask me from time to time if we use livestock such as cows, sheep or goats in our pecan operation.  The orchards that are entirely pecans do not have livestock and are managed differently than native river bottoms.  Most of the natives have pastureland adjacent to them and cows are allowed to graze beneath the trees.  With this setup, in a normal year, shredding is only done twice, one in early summer and one in late summer.  These animals are removed in the fall prior to harvest.   This has been a management system that has been very successful in the past.

Until next time, remember this about pecan operations:  There is never a dull moment and no two years are the same.

-Winston Millican

The Best Pecan Site Selection

MotherPecantree

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.

First off, pecans love deep, well-drained soil. Pecans have a very large and extensive root system. Their roots often extend twice the diameter of the drip line of the tree. Pecans also have a strong tap root to give the tree support. Many people say that the reason a pecan tree does so well is because of the tap root. In actuality, the truth is the most important roots of the tree are in the top three feet of soil. These feeder roots give the tree the water and nutrients that they need to survive. If a grower is to effectively grow a crop, then the top of the soil must be managed well. In Texas, it is not uncommon to have 30 feet of rich fertile top soil in a river bottom setting.

Pecan Site Soil Necessities

Soil structure for your pecan site is important. If water stands on the property, be leery of it because the culprit could be too much clay. Clay does not let the moisture from rainfall or irrigation permeate the soil profile. On the other hand, sand could also pose problems. Sand is very porous and does not have much water-holding capacity. There are many pecan orchards planted in Texas and the United States with soil that is either predominantly clay or sand.

Since you are at the beginning stages of your orchard development I highly recommend that you select a pecan site with an ideal soil structure. The optimum soil for growing pecans are a combination of both clay and sand, or what is referred to as a loamy soil. Loamy soils have the water-holding capacity similar to clay, but also have enough sand to make them well drained. This type of soil is also great at allowing air to circulate below the surface. Air is a critical component of soil structure, which makes loamy soil ideal for pecan production. The bottom line is that before you plant your orchard or before you purchase an existing orchard make sure that you take soil samples.

Water Requirements

As a general rule of thumb in Texas, if a healthy native pecan grove is on the property, similar soils would be suitable for pecan production.

Pecan Phanatic

Meet our very own and very first Pecan Phantic!

Definition: Pecan Phantic

noun//

language: Pecanese

A person or thing that is infatuated with the wonderful world of anything and everything pecan.

Do you want to be the next Pecan Phanatic?

Send us a picture of you with your favorite Millican Pecan Product!

sales@pecancompany.com

If we pick you, you could win a free T-Shirt and some of your favorite Millican Pecan Products!

National Ag Week!

Be sure to hug a farmer today or buy some fresh locally grown produce! Below is a look into how we harvest our Pecans.

Irrigating Pecans

irrigating pecan orchards need water to thrive
Pecans grow in size when irrigated properly

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.

Irrigating Pecans with Flood Irrigation

Pecan orchards that are established on near level grades are suitable for flood irrigation.  Pipes, canals, and ditches are all used to supply water to the pecan orchard rows.  The pecan tree do very well with this type of system as the entire orchard floor is covered.  2-6 inches of water are apply with each application of water.  Most systems require a minimum of 750 gallons per minute (gpm) with a high volume, low pressure pump

Irrigating Pecans with Buried Drip

One of the newest types of pecan irrigation on the market is buried drip.  Developed in arid Israel, micro emitters installed on black poly pipe is buried beneath the soil surface across the orchard floor.  Special plows install the tubing with most being buried about 12-18 inches deep and these tubes connect to lateral lines and main lines across the orchard.  Pump requirements are low pressure and low volume as compared to flood irrigation.    Filtration is the key to a successful drip system.  This system can be installed after the pecans are in production, but some roots would be disturbed.  

Irrigating Pecans with Sprinklers

Impact sprinklers are also used in pecan production.  Pressure is required to operate these types of systems.  PVC riser are the most common in which to install the “Rain birds”.  These risers are connected to a network of lateral lines, valves, and main lines.  During harvest these risers can become a problem with the machines as they harvest the crop.  Also livestock and these system do not go together.  Cattle think those sprinklers are like a water park!

Irrigating Pecans with Micro Sprinkler

Micro sprinkler use the same type of supply lines as the sprinklers except the risers.  A thin tube, known as a spaghetti tubing is installed onto the lateral line.  A sprayer stake is installed above the soil surface to hold the tube.  Many different patterns of water can be applied with different nozzles.  Diameter of the water thrown can also be adjusted as the tree grows.

Irrigating Pecans

These are the most common types of irrigation for pecan production.  Therefore, what ever your system, water is one of the most critical component of producing pecans.

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.

Good Health, Good Friday

I’ve been thinking about all the good in our lives. Lately, as we’ve been reflecting on Allison’s health issues I can’t help but feel the necessity to mention that she’s been blessed with good health in recent months. Today is Good Friday, which seems like a really appropriate day to write about such a subject. If you’ve been following our posts the last few weeks then you know that we had the unpleasant experience of making the hospital our home for several months this last year.

Celebration of Life – Kidney Friends – Part 3

I’ve heard of God encounters before, but I wasn’t really sure that I had ever had one. I’ve since come to the realization that the reason I haven’t personally had such an experience is because I’ve never been alert to them. Needless to say…I am aware of them now. Something else I soon became aware of…a new phrase…”kidney friends”.

Celebration of Life – Kidney Friends – Part 2

June 1st was like any other morning of my new motherhood journey: wake up with an awful back ache from the hospital beds, do part of my devotion, love on my baby and then realize I really need that cup of coffee to do devotions or love on the baby. My husband, Liam, is an Army Officer so I essentially did the whole hospital thing on my own, since we live over 70 miles from Dell.

To combat the lingering loneliness of caring for a sick baby alone, I would call my mom while getting my coffee to update her and chat about at least some of the “normal” new mom stuff. Yet, I still made the same mistake every day—talking to her in the elevator, where I would, every day, lose cell service. Usually I was alone, but on June 1st, another couple noticed my faux-pas, so, out of nervous chatter, I told them about my life. This couple, was Kristen and Winston Millican, our soon-to-be friends. I was surprised when I found out baby Allison was being hospitalized for similar issues. And we actually shared a doctor since Brennan’s urologist was on vacation.

Celebration of Life for Two Precious Babies

Our youngest daughter, Allison, is turning a year old on April 4th and we are getting ready for a big celebration of life! Why such a big celebration? Well, for our family it’s not just to have a party for her birthday. It’s really a time to thank God for some pretty big miracles that He has done this last year in our lives. The first four months of Allison’s life were filled with long hospital stays. These involved reoccurring infections and a surgery that we were pretty apprehensive about. During those months we were fortunate to have help from each of our families. We relied on FaceTime sessions and updates from our family to try and stay connected with our other two daughters. Even though we were walking through some really tough stuff we also saw God show up in some amazing ways during that time. One particular way was when we had the privilege of meeting baby Brennan.