Cookbook Therapy…

444257F5-F821-48DD-BF08-DF8D90F28256Most Southerners take prolonged cold weather as a personal insult. Oh, we put up with chilly days in a good natured way, some even going so far as to say they love cold weather or that it’s a good thing ‘because it’ll kill off the bugs’. More than a few days? The novelty of wearing wool or goose down or cashmere has worn off- we’ll put on Bermuda Shorts with fake fur lined boots and heavy socks as if to defy the unwelcome visit of Jack Frost.

I admit it, I have taken the recent cold spell as a personal insult, even blaming the Devil for a few days and for me that’s extreme. Okay, I said, ‘It’s cold as the devil.’  Extreme weather conditions call for extreme blame. Fed up, I refused to go out in it and settled in to soothe my nerves. Bundled up in socks and covered with a throw, I was surrounded by my highly prized Southern Ring Bound Cookbooks, you know the ones- that real folks have tested and written. I took perverse pleasure in finding the most difficult, unusual, or even grotesque recipes I could find, with no intention of cooking any of it.  Well, maybe the sugar laden ones. Still. I was looking for more than recipes. Let me explain, Church or Organization Cookbooks are Story Books to me. I’m a descendent of at least 2 Grandparents who loved Crossword Puzzles, who were also Amazing Storytellers and one of them was an Amazing Cook- who clipped recipes from her beloved Birmingham News. Thus, I am a collector of- words, sentences, phrases, stories and recipes.

Cookbooks give me a window into other kitchens, other times and in most cookbooks- there are stories, methods, hints and tips that are priceless. I do not buy these cookbooks new, I want the recipes with a star beside favorites, or a note written to improve the recipe at hand.

  • I found mostly mathematicians in the Baking Sections, the insistent precise ones.
  • Then there were the Happy Socialites- especially in the Beverage and Appetizer Sections, though I wondered about a non-alcoholic punch I found…the recipe called for an entire bottle of Almond Extract! I asked myself if perhaps the person offering it up was in a 12 Step Program.
  • The Casserole Ladies might be my favorites, they improvise- aren’t precise, give options and also instruct the reader that the recipe can be stretched to feed a crowd, they are a big hearted group no doubt.
  • To my surprise on that cold and dreary day- hovering over the Soups and Stews Sections were other Southern Cooks whom I fear must have shared my disdain for cold weather.

One fine example was called NO PEEP STEW. After a sketchy mixture of ingredients was put in a Dutch Oven- the recipe writer directed- ‘Bake 5 hours at 250 degrees. DO NOT PEEP, REPEAT, DO NOT PEEP.’ … I wondered what would happen if one decided to go rogue and PEEP? and who in the world wrote it? a former Drill Sargent?  Apparently deciding to calm down- the writer adds- ‘Serve with wedges of your favorite cornbread and a green salad.’  Still another, in another cookbook, had a much nicer even fun title for hers- it was ‘No Peekie Beef Stewie’ … you have to love her!

Another Stew which was full of ingredients and difficulties was followed by ‘Served with hot buttered French Bread and Assorted Pickles, this will serve about 8 hungry men.’ … From vast experience with hungry men, no doubt. Surely this one had cabin fever like me- with the added pressure of being cooped up with 8 hungry men to feed!

Then there was the sweet lady who got a bit bossy about when to add egg yolk and vinegar to Pig Stew… but regained her composure and politely said- ‘My grandmother’s cook made this every Christmas and it was served alongside turkey, dressing etc. It’s very rich and not too good in warm weather, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without it at my home in New Orleans.’    Bless. Her. Heart.     Just so you know… we Southerners who had grandmothers or great grandmothers who employed cooks – You have to know- you must know, we  do KNOW who taught us how to cook right! I have a cookbook to prove it! It’s ring bound cookbook with recipes compiled by household cooks, fairground workers and large military service organizations. These recipes have exquisite names-

  • Chicken Elegante
  • Mardi Gras Chicken
  • Custard Pie Excellence
  • Sicilian Meat Roll
  • Sweet Potato Souffle
  • Asparagus Souffle
  • Squash Croquettes
  • Celery and Almond Gratin
  • A Devil’s Food Cake that has 3 layers with a Lemon Pineapple Filling and a Dark Chocolate Icing boiled to a soft ball stage!
  • Pillow Pastry
  • Luscious Chocolate Cake
  • Lane Cake (a Southern Classic)
  • Honey Caramels
  • Fig Conserve and Creole Pralines
  • Oh, and please don’t let me forget- Chocolate Fudge that is poured on a platter- this is the hallmark of an old but great fudge recipe!

Some recipes assume you know how to cook. One I’m particularly fond of simply says-

  • Cook Chicken, cool and shred.
  • Save Broth. Blanche Broccoli.
  • Make a White Sauce. Add White Wine and Grated Parmesan Cheese.
  • Brown Cracker Crumbs in Butter.
  • Assemble.
  • Bake at 350 until bubbly. Serve with Rice. That’s it.

I made that one recently. I need no nonsense, clear direction when it’s cold weather. Now, recently I offered you a recipe and our friend Bob remarked ‘Any recipe that starts with frying bacon can’t be bad’. He’s right. These are the recipes you know are winners- they start with a Cast Iron Skillet or Dutch Oven and Bacon. C6BD81F7-75CE-4851-A2DA-025E41542AD7

When I found one of those, my Freezing Cold Day- Cookbook Therapy was beginning to kick in. The recipe – no doubt submitted by a beautiful and fragile Southern Cook was so well written,  I fell in love with her …not sure about her recipe, but her gentle coaxing ways soothed me.  Her Southern Charm, her impeccable manners won me over, not to mention she started out her recipe with charm…

  • ‘Fry Bacon in a heavy cast iron Dutch Oven until crisp- set aside.
  • ‘Pour off almost all of the fat leaving just enough to leave a thin film on the bottom.’  There were no upper case letters… gently implied was this-
  • .‘Now darling, you better save that bacon fat, you may need it later’.
  • She gets fired up…‘Heat fat to smoking hot, brown meat a few pieces at a time… if needed, add a little more bacon fat.’
  • (Later on, when she finally finishes browning all of the meat and has removed it to a platter, she goes on… add butter to the pot…onions…)
  • Then says, ‘You may need more bacon fat.’
  • Alright, now she wants us to add Beef Stock, Spices and Beer.
  • Umhmm…Winter Stew for sure…
  • ‘Return browned meat to pot. There should be enough sauce to cover, but if you’re a little short, add beer.

Please, please notice how polite she is! You may need more bacon fat,if you’re a little short,  you may need more beer! Almost as nice as the lady who is making Beef Roulade Sandwiches…she starts out by saying- ‘First, be nice to your butcher. Smile.’ They both put me in a better frame of mind! Cookbook Therapy works!

Peruse the recipes in good Junior League or Church Ladies Cookbooks and what you’ll find are stories of real people making really good food. And what’s better than a collection of stories that could end up as a feast on your very own table?

Love y’all, Camellia

*Some of these recipes were found in a cookbook my friend Sandra and I think is the cream of the crop- Southern Sideboards compiled by the Junior League of Jackson Mississippi. Others were picked at random from River Road, Junior League of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The other cookbook shall remain unnamed…it is from my own private limited edition- privately published stash! *Photograph from Tante Marie, a French Cookbook published in English in the 1950’s- please note that Café au Lait, is not made with coffee at all…it’s made with a coffee extract and…on the next page we’re told it’s made with chicory– which could explain why Café au Lait in New Orleans tastes so good! Bon Appetite, y’all!B06450F9-AA38-4A90-8329-9CA61F333BBA

Art in the Parks…

0C77B8ED-AA6A-4E87-9CAB-943A6EBBE3F2The Beholder’s Eye is the best test for Art…great art is so many things, it’s hard to pin down- The way Fabric is stretched across a bright Blue Sky or tied upon a Shoulder- DF9A64B6-4481-4C3B-B3A3-9F83539AA546

A School of Bright Fishes or a Fantasy of Wishes- B1368F01-92D9-4879-8440-A4BF34E5FF92

An Aardvark or an Avatar- well- that’s certainly something only a discerning Beholder’s Eye knows is Art… C8D2D65E-7443-4112-82AF-676E1231868E

A Poster, a Print or Prose… yes I think I’d pick some of those, but then again putting words together pleasantly is an Art Form to me. B4AA0D2B-263E-4CC0-8A2B-068F89D7BF25

No one can deny an Animal Print looks far better worn by a Zebra than a Turtleneck on a Giraffe. Who wouldn’t be charmed by a Photograph of the time an Elephant crossed the road?

 

The many ways Light plays upon the Water- Magical Reflections or artfully rushes in several directions…

 

Is it Fire, a  Jeweled Crown, a Horse captured in sculptured metal- A Mural-ed Wall or Architecture?

 

 

Or surely it’s the Pleated Palm Leaves and a Flower Bed.

 

 

Mr. Disney’s Parks are a sensory overload of Magic, Music and Days. If Disney’s Art in the Parks were a Dance Studio- it would be a blend of Tap, Jazz, Soft Shoe, Waltzing Ballroom Dancers- ending with Marching Bands and Ballerinas followed by Fireworks and Classical Music – a Dance of Art, Talent and Reality laced with a heavy dose of Imagination… I suppose that Art really is a blend of expressions and impressions. If you can:

  • Rest your Eyes from the Soaring Sights-
  • Refrain from the Heart Racing Excitement of crowds…
  • the Culinary Wonders and Flubs,
  • the Snagging of Fast Passes,
  • the Overload of Winding Lines, Strollers and
  • Walking Miles and Miles…

68719AC4-3352-4BB7-A0B8-C7AD1382E95APause occasionally and Contemplate with your own Beholder’s Eye the Art of the Parks…

Love y’all, Camellia

D8C828F2-C078-4502-8559-DDD60B6FC4FB*All photographs obviously taken by me- in Orlando, Florida

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Southern Tomato Soup…

 

6036C5CC-D4B8-4D48-B754-AD0FA8CBDDD8Last week, Aunt Freesia Butler got word to us she was coming for a visit. So we knew cold weather was headed our way. There’s nothing like Homemade Soup to chase the chill, warm up house and home and make a body feel a little bit better about life in general…especially when icicles have formed as far south as the Alabama Beaches! I’ve dubbed this soup- Southern Tomato Soup because, well…it starts off with frying up some Bacon. We Southerners tend to think a bit of Pork makes everything taste better in one way or another. Salt Pork, Ham, Lard, Sausage and Bacon are always in the house.

And, Southern Tomato Soup takes advantage of another pantry staple- a favorite of Southern cooks and Fine Chefs- Canned Tomatoes.  Forgive me for going off on a little tangent here and say- Fresh Vine Ripened Tomatoes are the height of most Southern Recipes…and I’ve said it before but it bears repeating- ‘The closer you live to a tomato vine the better your life will be..‘ Though you know and I know what a short growing season Tomatoes have. So we put up tomatoes in the pantry or freezer as fast as we can- yet generally even our summer efforts aren’t enough to get us through a cold hard winter! So, we buy Canned Tomatoes and we’re not one bit ashamed of it. Now, truth be told- making Homemade Chicken Stock is one of the cook’s most satisfying activities- at least here at the Cottage, it’s made often, though homemade stock is used so often, it’s hard to keep enough of it around. Buying a few decent cans of Chicken Broth or Stock can go a long way in the Winter Pantry- please buy good quality canned goods, it does make a difference. FC9E4021-D536-41BB-BF9D-855BDF6A2891

Another ingredient in Southern Tomato Soup is Sweet Yellow Onions…we simply can’t get Vidalia Onions from Georgia all year round- though we do tend to favor yellow onions over the stronger white onions. There you have it- Bacon, Tomatoes, Chicken Broth and Sweet Onion are all you really need to make up a decent Southern Tomato Soup! Mid Century Moderns like myself- grew up eating that ketchup consistency canned tomato soup and it almost always was eaten with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. If you have a bit of Cheese in the house- Southern Tomato Soup will love you for it. And you will love how fast and easy it is to make a satisfying homemade soup before Aunt Freesia Butler knocks on your door! Here’s how you make:

Camellia’s Southern Tomato Soup

  • Fry 3 pieces of Bacon in the bottom of a large saucepan over medium high heat. Remove Bacon and Drain. Reduce heat slightly.
  • Take one medium thinly sliced Yellow Onion, sauté in Bacon Drippings until translucent.  Add 1 small chopped garlic, sauté gently.
  • Carefully pour two 14.5 oz. cans of Diced Tomatoes into onion and garlic. Add one 14.5 oz. can of Chicken Stock, stirring to blend.
  • Add 1 Teaspoon of Dried Basil, 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cayenne Pepper or 1/2 Teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes (or like me do both!) Add Kosher Salt and fresh Cracked Pepper to taste. Stir.
  • Heat the chunky mixture thoroughly to a gentle bubble for 10-15 minutes. Stirring occasionally until hot and fragrant.
  • *A tablespoon or two of white wine or Half and Half can be added to enrich the soup but is not necessary.
  • Ladle into soup bowls- top with Finely Grated Cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss or Fontina Cheeses are wonderful- *whatever you have on hand works.)
  • Top with a generous amount of coarse chopped Bacon. Serve!220E4063-83FB-4E1D-A6AE-556E25BF62A9

Now the truth is- this is a rustic soup which can be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd. Southern Tomato Soup also gets better, so you can make up a quick batch, refrigerate and reheat later, I certainly did. It’s great served with my favorite Oyster Crackers, Thin Sliced Bread spread with Garlic Butter and Toasted for Croutons and since this one is dubbed a Southern Soup you know I’m gonna say it’s just wonderful with Cornbread! And while I’m thinking of it- one of those Grilled Cheese Sandwiches would be great too! Stay warm this week!

Love y’all, Camellia

Let there be…

30966989-F009-458C-A820-7951995A564BAn enormous crowd … people from many nations were gathered…young and old…friends and families waiting in peaceful anticipation as- 015697A6-E8CC-494B-8D8E-34D6C8F599C9

A glorious display of fireworks began…intertwined with music and a chorus of voices singing…D498C228-B22F-4BD8-97CD-3D60E81A2CA1

‘Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me. 015697A6-E8CC-494B-8D8E-34D6C8F599C9

Let there be peace on Earth, The peace that was meant to be. 5095ADCF-32FC-42B2-B5DA-7AADDC256CDB

With God as our Father- Brothers all are we. Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony! EA3E422F-91E4-4F4E-9E4F-F85651A32AC0

Let peace begin with me, Let this be the moment now. With every step I take, Let this be my solemn vow: To take each moment and live each moment- In peace eternally. 6969BF50-E9C9-4182-859B-F6BDF777E04C

Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me!’32B64D7B-4649-4CEC-8F28-9B2423FB4715

The night sky was filled with points of light- bright white fireworks, the crowd quietly exclaimed. Some, like me- shed a few tears… As the beautifully illuminated faces of children of all ages…

B165CDF6-D653-45C1-8651-CDE950B7BF28For one brief shining moment stood in perfect harmony. A perfect celebration of the Prince of Peace. And so, I wish you all, a Happy New Year, filled with Peace and Harmony.

Love y’all, CamelliaE1BBA3F9-ADA9-4E09-9F46-8992E872C73F

*Fireworks Display from the Holiday IllumiNations held at Epcot – Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida. The song, Let there be Peace on Earth, was written for the International Children’s Choir in 1955 by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller. Copyright rules may apply. Photographs obviously taken by me.67EFC5DB-5BDA-4FA4-A81B-55AA1875AE3A

A Christmas Prayer…

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O Lord our God,

For many the holiday season brings an extra measure of darkness. Some wander quietly through catacombs recalling precious memories of loved ones now gone from this earth. For some hushed voices in dim hospital rooms bear dire diagnoses. Others are dogged with broken dreams, nagging problems and bear daily struggles…trudging through with hopelessness and despair.

For these we pray to the Light of the World, Who came to earth under cover of a dark womb; Who was born on a dark night, Whose Birth Announcement shone forth on darkened fields to shepherds guarding their flocks by night. How thankful we are that You chose to enter into the human experience of dark days.

Will You once again fling out the stars, bring hope and heavenly hosts bursting forth with songs only angels dare to sing? Will You give us clear direction on how to find the Babe wrapped not in Royal Robes, but in the warmth and security of earthbound swaddled clothes. Bring to us Wise Men bearing the richest gifts of all- that of worshipping the Truth, the Life, the Savior of Mankind.

May we become as the gentle stable creatures who offered quiet constant solace to others. Grant to us a new awareness of Your Abiding Love- which never ends, never forsakes us in our darkest hours. Shine forth in all of Your Glory and bring Peace to troubled hearts.

May our own kindness and goodwill toward men continue well into the coming year ahead for troubles do not always end with the holiday season. In the midst of our human darkness, may angel songs shine forth. In the Name of Jesus, Who dared to come to earth as a Tiny Babe on a dark night, we make our Christmas Prayer.  Amen and Hallelujah!


With Warm Wishes for Abundant Blessings in the New Year and a very Merry Christmas!

Love y’all, Camellia

*This prayer has been edited from one written December 23, 2104; Wreath signifying His Evergreen Fragrant Love, was photographed at Camellia’s Cottage.

Merry and Bright…

586E3884-4F57-4E51-88C5-75F3EC0E27A0The days are shorter, the holidays are upon us- it’s the Time to be Merry and Bright, right? Unfortunately, with a few days to go…some feel dreary and dull, weary and worn, overwhelmed. Good gatherings, the best parties should be an escape from the daily routine- the ones that take on a Childlike Joy, where the Unexpected, the Amusing and Heartwarming Set the Stage for a departure from Daily Cares. Why bring everyday concerns to a party?  Why would you want to mope and cope- when you could take part in light hearted flirting? Or laugh at an outrageous comment delivered with a deadpan look? Or there could be Music or Mingling and Moving about? A good party is a brief Vacation- a departure from the daily cares. 2189CBC5-F185-49B0-8546-8423A8B8BFF8

With just a few days to go… here’s a few Merry and Bright Ideas…

  • Keep the Food confined to What Folks really want to eat! Fried Chicken beats Caviar any day!
  • Guests really do want to know the answer to – ‘What can I bring?’ – let the answer be helpful to the hostess- ‘Bring a couple of bags of Ice’ or ‘Bring your favorite dip or side dish’. Guests really do like to help-
  • Why not assign someone the job of collecting coats? Another might stand at the doors with a tray of something to drink. Even glasses of ice water loosen folks up, and start conversation.
  • Have guests help unload cars, bring in offerings of food or drink. When you get everyone in on the act- there is a sort of being Merry and Bright that naturally occurs. 1A8FC01D-8570-418F-B632-DAAE37CE9154

A few days ahead, assign someone to plan a short program- ask them to send out a few emails to guests who are natural born leaders or entertainers- that say-

  • ‘Tell a funny Christmas story’ ‘Please do a short holiday reading- your choice’. ‘Plan to lead us in a Christmas Carol.’  Believe me, give them a conversation starter or an easy task and most folks will rise to the occasion!

One of my favorite things to do for a party is to add Merry and Bright Party Favors.. maybe a mix of homemade and purchased cookies- Cookies for Santa! With instructions to put them out on Christmas Eve for that Jolly Old Elf- the tags have sweet and goofy messages!  D35C52BD-7F3D-48F4-B22E-DF421E4C80FB

The best parties include guests of all ages. Old folks bring a wealth of wisdom which can easily be turned upside down by an earnest and charming child. Mixing age groups is the best way to ensure the party ends at a reasonable time. Speaking of time…it gets dark early…there’s no reason not to start the party early! Encourage guests to dress in simple, comfortable attire with a festive touch. Red lipstick, a Red ribbon in your hair, a Santa hat, Elf Slippers or Reindeer Antlers guarantee some fun! I know you can do it! 28F6D6B7-12AF-4DB7-8AC3-1B5C3D0C3990

As for home décor- Keep it simple…That old fashion adage- ‘Women who wear black lead colorful lives’ applies… Décor should be as simple as the little Black Dress- with just a touch of color. Here at the Cottage, the color scheme is neutral- Red seems to be a universal way to bring on the festivity- We keep it simple. Two red pillows and big Amaryllis blooms instantly brightened the room! Fresh Poinsettias are an easy inexpensive way to add color too! And a big red bow on a simple evergreen wreath at the door is good looking too. 99CD7039-C5CE-4851-834E-3C2772BD9D0E

In fact, Red is a universal color which goes with any décor! Simple décor keeps you sane and guests won’t  worry about messing things up or knocking things over. Don’t over-decorate. Keep it Simple. Your guests will bring their own lively shades of color, which is the best way to keep it Easy. Merry. And Bright…

Love y’all, Camellia

*all photographs are obviously mine. 2189CBC5-F185-49B0-8546-8423A8B8BFF8

Holiday Orange Pecans…

97B89CB0-BBB6-46CB-826F-6BD881C257D4Any good Southern Hostess has a dish of Toasted Pecans ready at a moment’s notice to serve to drop in company or the finest occasions… In fact it is difficult to imagine any festive occasion all year round when Pecans aren’t welcome! Especially welcome during the Holidays!

Native to the American South, named by Native Americans, grown at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson- who helped his colleague George Washington, get his own pecan grove started at Mount Vernon…why, it’s your patriotic duty to appreciate Pecans!CC17559B-731A-40EC-9EB0-FB113928287F

Pecans and Sugar are a natural combination- everyone who’s ever tasted a Southern Pecan Pie knows this to be a fact. Yet, it might surprise you to learn that well before the Revolutionary War, before New Orleans was even part of our country, they were making Pralines! Let me stop right here… please pronounce Pralines.. Praw-leenes and even more important- don’t say Pee Can- it’s an insult to this magnificent Native Nut! Pronounce it Pah- cahn, please- Thank y’all.

Now, while pecans are grown extensively – the best and thinnest skinned Pecans are grown in the Coastal Southern States. In fact a very memorable vacation side trip may be taken along Scenic I-95 in lower Alabama- grove upon grove with very large growth trees are beautiful and there is a Pecan Factory – through glass windows you can witness the shelling and packaging by hairnet wearing workers- Big Boards with mounted pecans show the extensive hybrids grown in the region…okay, well I enjoyed it!

Anyway…what you may not know is that nut for nut- Pecans are extremely nutritious… those who have a stash of pecans…could be said to be Healthy Wealthy and Wise. Good for the skin, rich in minerals, antioxidants and fiber- even sweeter than any other tree grown nut- Pecans without sugar are a wonderful addition to any diet.Still. Around the holidays we do love our Pecans – toasted, sugared, baked, candied…it’s just not the Holidays without them! Pecans take well to sweet or savory Southern flavors- Sugar, Bourbon, even crushed in breading for Fresh Fish and naturally Citrus.

4E8153A4-4AB2-42A8-85DC-B812DDED2A65As an addition to Holiday Gatherings- these Holiday Orange Pecans can be made in less than an hour- packaged for Holiday Gifts, Hostess Gifts and even kept in the Freezer for…oh I don’t know…maybe New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or Birthdays and Anniversaries.

One of the oldest recipes I have for Pecan Pralines has Orange Flavoring – these Holiday Orange Pecans have a Praline Coating that is easy to make and even easier to Eat! Here’s how you make them:

Camellia’s Holiday Orange Pecans

  • 3 cups of Pecan Halves
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2/3 cups milk or half and half
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salted Butter
  • Zest of one Large Orange
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Toast pecan halves in single layer on a large sheet pan in a 250 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes until they take on an even darker shade of brown- be careful- do not burn! In a large heavy bottomed Saucepan, cook sugar, milk and corn syrup to soft ball stage (234-238 on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and add Salted Butter (if using unsalted- add a pinch or two of salt) , Orange Zest and Pure Vanilla Extract. Beat until creamy and thick. 768275B1-BBA5-4EEA-9A75-80782E20CB5A

Stir in Pecans and coat thoroughly. Pour out on a parchment lined sheet pan- separating into single layer or separating each pecan. (If desired, more orange zest can be sprinkled on top of pecans before they harden) Allow to cool. Store in airtight containers.  Freezes well.AD51E784-E21D-46D4-A2DA-E55024190169

Now, the truth is- Holiday Orange Pecans are easy to make, but they aren’t inexpensive or low calorie. Still. I think you’ll find the rich flavor goes a long way.  They’re well worth less than an hour of precious holiday time to make! If you prefer, you may leave out the Orange Zest, increase Vanilla and have the classic Praline Pecans. Wonderful on their own, delicious alongside a piece of Pound Cake, as a Topping for Fruit Salads, Ambrosia or even Ice Cream!  Packaged in small tins or  beribboned clear cellophane bags to be given as a gift? I do believe you will be most popular this Holiday Season!

Love y’all, Camellia

*all photographs are obviously mine.