Monday, October 1, 2012

the ecstasy and the agony

When we got back home Thursday the first thing I did was canvass the Big Back Yard, where the pecan trees are, for any pecans that may have fallen while we were gone. I filled both my pockets and then used the hem of my shirt for a basket. I picked up about half a gallon sized bucket's worth and sat down that night and shelled them.

this is a pecan

It rained Friday and off and on Saturday and when I got home from working at the store on Saturday, I went out to collect pecans again, picking up about a third of a bucket's worth.

Even though the rain had stopped for good by late afternoon, the breeze was starting to pick up and it was predicted to be very breezy Sunday so that morning after I had my coffee, I went out again to pick up pecans. I started out with a bucket this time, expecting to get at least that many after the soft breeze during the night.

this is a rock that looks like a pecan and I finally brought it inside so I would stop picking it up!

I tend to crisscross the yard, walking my pecan labyrinth as I refer to it, eyes cast down, stooping every now and then to pick up a pecan or two. The breeze picked up mid-morning and as I walked back and forth across the yard I could hear them falling all around me, hitting the ground with a heavy thud. After reaching the farthest point of the canopy I would snake my way back towards the house picking up the recently fallen, wait a couple of hours, and then repeat it all again.

This was my haul Sunday:

4” deep

It's a good year this year. The nuts are full and heavy and I'm getting pretty adept now at being able to determine which ones are good and which are rotten or dried up inside just from how heavy they feel. If I think they are bad I'll squeeze two together right then until one cracks. When they're rotten, they crush pretty easily. They only surprised me three or four times Sunday.

The previous years since we've been here, the ratio of good to bad was not so good. Part of that was probably because in my excitement I picked up every. single. nut. Now, I'm a little more discerning and my ratio of good to bad has reversed. Of course, it could be there are just more good nuts this year than in previous ones.

The fun is in the picking up. The drudgery is in the shelling, an activity in which I will be engaged every evening for weeks.


  1. Ellen, do you have a pecan problem? ;-)

    They sure are good little devils.

  2. i laughed at your rock - that is something i'd surely do - over and over and over again! :)

  3. Your little stone is like the "cutting" I tried to root for two was very realistic plastic! Sounds like radio time for shelling, NPR and stories.

  4. You'll be shelling pecans & I'll be crocheting - and both of us will have to rest our hands frequently!

  5. I made pecan pie with the nuts I won that year when you hosted the contest.

    So funny that you kept picking up the rock. ha! Love it.

  6. Love them pee-cans. Surely you have one of those shelling gadgets with the handle. Works like a charm and the halves come out unbroken.

  7. This reminds me of how much fun we used to have sitting around the dining room table and shelling pecans. Of course half of them get eaten this way.

  8. Wonderful pecans.

    My sister almost drove us crazy last year. Her method of cracking was a hammer on a upright log of wood. Her self-appointed job three hours before her bed time was cracking pecans quite loudly and she viewed tv.

    I am hoping she times her nut cracking differently this year.

    I have no complaints when I am eating them.

  9. My grandfauther made a smashing tool that he was 2 years back ordered when he died. It was simple with a wide rubber band for power.

  10. How awesome, to have pecans in your yard. Even if the shelling is a chore! (A coworker from Alabama once gave me a bag of pecans from his mother's yard, and yes, shelling them was a pain!)

  11. Surely the real fun is in the eating Ellen?

  12. I love pecans!! Yum!!!
    Have a good day, hun

  13. Pecans! This is one of the things I miss about living in Alabama. Pecan pie!

    That rock looks like a pecan fossil.


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