A lesson in pecan crackin'
Tuesday, November 18, 2016 Journal Entry 2
As I pull out my note book full of recipes, concepts, and the start of a currently fragile family tree- Pop walks in with a plastic bag half full of pecans. These weren't Store bought, and they didn't fall from just any tree. These were pecans from my Aunt's yard, (land passed to her from her Mother's Mother Elena Pollard) which had been eclipsed with them after Hurricane Matthew blew through. Pop stated they were specifically for Antony (my older Brother), but sibling-ship means sharing; so I dug in. My Grandfather and Brother have an incredible relationship - the jokes, sarcasm, and occasional roast makes for a good time. They became much closer after Pop had an almost fatal truck accident at his shop (POP WOODARD REPAIRS-located in the back of the house) a few years ago. While Pop was under an 18 wheeler, the clutch wasn't secure and the truck started to roll with him underneath. The winding parts caught pops uniform, dragging him for a while before releasing him to be fully run over by the truck. Now, understand - Pop is 6'5, in great shape - however was in his 70's at the time. And this accident broke several ribs, his pelvis, punctured his lungs, and technically should have taken his life. BUT GOD-HA, HE SAID LIVE (southern Baptist moment). And my brother then moved in with Pop to take care of him after his hospitalization. So what better way to repay Antony, than with pecans...I would love to get pecans over thank you cards, any day.
Using a rusted nutcracker I grabbed from the misc. drawer in the kitchen. The same drawer you find extra packets of duck sauce, the occasional recipe that was ripped from a magazine, and even bolts and nuts that may belong to an unused appliance resting in the cabinet below. With a hand full of pecans I started to crack them in a savage manor - breaking the inner meat into sections mixed with shell, that I'd have to sort through before tossing the mix into my mouth. Feeling proud and accomplished at my work on the next one as more of the nut remained whole, showing off my instant progress. Pop then shared his knowledge which is always so profound. "If you crack the pecan at each end gently, you can pull the entire center out unscathed, genius. Recipe Idea >> Brown Butter Pecan and Goats Yogurt Custard with nutmeg molasses drizzle
I realized Pop was in a sharing mood, so I started to read the information I'd previously collected from him, aloud. "Augustus was Nana's dad, right?"- My tree was really starting to fill out. And I wanted to see these people's faces, hear how they laughed, know what they did for a living...my mind was opening up in a way it hadn't before. Things that had been there all along, felt completely new, untouched, or perhaps just revived.