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Kristen Millican

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 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.